Thursday, October 6, 2016

Huahine -- Out and About

We sailed around the north side of Huahine to Fare, one of our favorite places in five years of cruising.  Most of the charter sailboats based out of Raiatea tend to cruise around Raiatea, Taha’a, and Bora Bora, so Huahine remains a somewhat authentic Polynesian island without the hoards of tourists, jet skis, and snorkeling tours.

Fare has a great grocery store with easy access from the dingy, and an even better cruiser’s bar called the Huahine Yacht Club (not really a yacht club, however). We met with the crews from Ednabal, Eye Candy, and French Curve for great Happy Hour Hinano’s and rum punches.  They certainly know how to make a strong drink down here.  Cruisers are fun to hang out with since typically everyone has so many weird stories of people they’ve met, things that broke on the boat, and sharks that  chased them. A fun night with great friends!

I love the simplicity of design here, the bold geometric shapes and the bright colors that mimic the island itself.
We spent the next couple of days just hanging out, SUP’ing and reading books. We even took a walk down the beach to a fancy hotel just to see how the other half lives. Most of the hotels seem half empty to us so we’re not sure how anyone is making money down here. Coupled with the expensive airfares to get here (about $1800 RT from Los Angeles) we’re amazed there are tourists here in the first place. Thank God for Japanese honeymooners.

Views like this are around every corner when you walk on the shoreside roads.
With the winds still unusually light, we decided to follow the fleet down to the southeastern tip of Huahine to Avea Bay, a large bay protected by a large barrier reef to the south. When we were here this past June we had steady 25-knot winds rocking the boat; today there was just a gentle swell.

We did some more hiking on shore to find a magasin that sold fresh baguettes and to get a little exercise after being on the boat for several days. We found a marae (sacred site) called Marae Anini that we didn’t know about so exploring that was interesting. 
Looks like an ad for Red Paddle. Seriously, these inflatable SUPs are great for exploring the bays and shallows.
It's not often that you see these huge slab-sided rocks in the construction of a marea.

We also got to borrow a SUP from French Curve so Meryl and I could explore the bay together. It’s very shallow with a sandy bottom here in Avea Bay and it’s weird to paddle up to a big rock on the bottom only to see it quickly scoot off, that’s how many sting rays are here.

This small resort in Avea Bay epitomizes the old South Pacific, in comparison to the ultra expensive and massive over-the-water bungalow developments you see in Bora Bora.
We typically have sundowners on one boat or another so our social life stays very active, but many nights we just have a drink in the cockpit, watch the sun go down (still no green flashes), and read our books. Life is good. Not sure how we are going to adapt to going back to the States and living in a house (although I am looking forward to long, hot showers again).

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