Monday, August 13, 2007

Morea & Bora Bora

Beautiful Morea was our next destination and only 4 hours away. We had heard, and read, so many nice things about this island and were keen to disprove the myth. We failed!

We anchored in, breathtaking, Cook’s Bay, along with S/V Opsray, and decided to set about exploring the lush valleys and mountains. We hiked through the lush countryside, picked some fruit along the way, to “Belvedere” lookout for a spectacular view of both, Opunohu and Cook, bays far below us. The first 5 or 6 kilometers weren’t too bad, or steep. Once we made it to the Opunohu experimental farms, and agricultural school, the walk became a climb through lovely forests and great views of the valleys below. We were almost out of steam when Chris, S/V Barefeet, drove past with his in-laws and promised to come back for us. He did and we were so grateful as our legs just didn’t want to cooperate further. The view was definitely worth the pain.

For the return trip we opted to stop at the farm store and have some home made ice cream, yummy, and then continue over to Opunohu bay and follow the coastal road to Cook bay. Big mistake. It was much further than anticipated, although the majority was on level ground, and we just couldn’t make it before dark. We decided to hitchhike and were finally picked up by a nice lady who was a bit of a historian as well. One interesting point she made was, 50 years ago the Moreans were, about, 90% independent of imports and lived an agrarian lifestyle. Housing was constructed from natural materials with walls woven from palms. Nowadays, they are 90% dependant on imports. It’s sad, but seems to be a common theme amongst the islands we’ve visited so far. I’m not saying these people shouldn’t modernize, it’s inevitable, just that it’s a shame they’re heading towards the same stressful, disjointed, selfish, lifestyles, we, the developed world, have adopted. I find it ironic that so many, westerners, seek simplicity whilst islanders are heading the opposite direction. If only they knew!

After the real hustle of Tahiti it was nice to be in a slightly more relaxing Morea. We just took regular walks and explored.

Upon leaving Morea we had a few islands to explore before Bora Bora, but decide to go straight to B&B to collect our security deposit and continue west. The decision was also influenced by the two large tears in our ancient headsail and a new, worrying, oil leak that developed at the front of our motor. After the squall which tore the sail we had a dead calm and sloppy seas, so we motored until I noticed the low oil pressure and shut down stinky (our engine). If it’s not one thing it’s another hey! Anyway, in Bora Bora we had time to address these problems – a huge thanks to Geoff and Meryl on Sifar for their help with the sail – and explore before heading west.

Meri fell in love with the Bora Bora Yacht club building and wants one just like it in OZ. She took numerous pictures and made sure I sussed out the building technique. It’s sooo us. Now we just need to find a bit of land at home and build it.

The scariest thing in B&B was the anchorage depths!! We dropped our hook in 22meters off the club and wondered how to retrieve 80 meters of chain with our little manual windlass and an uncooperative anchor locker. The first half of the chain has to be piled forward, behind a dam, before retrieving the rest. Not fun in any kind of wind with only the two of us. Lesson to cruisers, DEEP anchor well that can take all your chain easily, and, hate to say it, but a good electric windlass with manual option also. I was so tired after that episode. 22 meters of our chain, plus the anchor, weighs over 35 kilos. Dead weight hanging straight down!!

Well, goodbye to Polynesia and time for the Cook islands.


At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there's me in a picture on your blog! Where are you guys? I jumped ship again and am now sailing on a whitby 42 ketch "Blue Stocking". We are in Savusavu. I have to fly back to Vava'u to fetch Ospray here in a week or so. Love to catch up with you. Debrae


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