Greetings from Tahiti Everyone!
We departed the Tuamotus a week or so ago and dropped anchor 48 hrs later in a sheltered bay on the northern tip of Tahiti right under the lighthouse at Point Venus in the exact same spot where Captains Cook, Bligh & Bouganville anchored more than two centuries ago. This was precicely where Cook studied the Transit of Venus and where Bligh's crew loaded bread fruit into HMS Bounty. And I suppose very little has changed in that area since then, as the mountains had only a small smattering of homes on the slopes and there was only one hotel to be seen on the shore. There were a few monuments built under the coconut trees ashore to honor the past explorers and the "new" lighthouse was built about 160 years ago by the father of Robert Lewis Stevenson. The beach park there remains covered in fine black sand and outrigger canoes... but the Tahitian beauties failed to swarm upon us in the numbers I dreampt of ever since I was a child.
We sailed to the capitol city of Papeete the following morning and took a berth along the town quay for a few daze of festivities leading up to the annual Sailing Rendezvous and we were nearly overwhelmed by the party that Tourism Tahiti threw for gathering of cruising sailors! Never before have we been showered with such a generous welcome of food, music & dancing! We invited a young Tahitian Beauty and the wife of a sponsor aboard Gallivanter for the fun race over to the beautiful island of Moorea, 15 miles distant, where we partied-down for the weekend, feasted on local food and participated in all sorts of fun activities including outrigger canoe races, coconut husking, fruit relay races, stone lifiting and more dancing.
We spent the week anchored at the beach park in the shadow of a visually stunning majestic, ancient volcano. We took our dinghy to a far corner of the lagoon where we swam with hundreds of gentle stingrays (and several sharks) close enough to touch them and went scuba diving on a vibrant coral reef where I was able to get close and personal with a very old turtle on the sea floor.
We reluctantly left Moorea two days ago and are now anchored back in Tahiti just past the end of the airport runway in anticipation of the arrival of Stuart's grandfather in a few days and some Australian cousins next week followed by our old friend from Guam - April Kern. Lots of fun seems to be in store here in Tahiti for the month of July! We'll head toward Bora Bora (100 miles NW) in August.
But right now... I'm looking past the giant rollers breaking on the reef, out toward the cloud shrouded monuntains of Moorea and dreaming of going back...
Life is good.
Peace & Love,
Kirk, Cath & Stuart
PS - I just heard that our friend Foxy Calwood of Jost van Dyke was KNIGHTED in London by Queen Elizabeth four days ago! So, it's "Sir Foxy" for now on!