We have been really busy since we arrived in Tahiti – firstly we took part in the ‘Puddle jump’ Tahiti to Moorea sailing rendez-vous, which is sponsored by the USA magazine’ Latitude 38′ and Tahiti Tourism. It is for boats that have crossed the Pacific, known as the puddle jumpers!!!
Normally there are about 70 boats taking part, starting with a 20 mile race from Papeetie to Moorea , followed by a lunch time BBQ on shore. Sunday there was canoe races, tug of war and ‘banana humping’ plus of course lots of partying! The finale was a traditional Tahitian meal with lots of local dancing, gorgeous girls in grass skirts, and as for the men in grass skirts, don’t even go there!!!
Although the race across to Moorea isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, as there are no handicaps or race divisions, it still turned into an amazing yacht race – in fact, it wasn’t meant to be a race at all, but once you spot another boat in the same ocean as you it automatically becomes a race.
At the start there was very little wind, but once we were clear of the land we had 25 to 35 knots on the beam all the way to the finish. It was an incredibly fast race and the first 3 boats across the line were catamarans who were so intent on winning, they didn’t even reef and the winning boat ( 50ft Schoinning) reached speeds of 19 knots ( Sorry Roger, we did our best).
Unfortunately, Innforapenny had a disastrous time, as we stuffed up the start, the middle and the finish. We had trouble furling the screecher and we were reduced to 2 reefs in the main due to a split in the sail which is looking more and more like a patchwork quilt- excuses, excuses!! .
However, we came in 10th ahead of all the French cats. We all had a great time and didn’t come away empty handed as Penny won the Banana humping competition!!
After the regatta we headed back to Tahiti to restock and get a few boat jobs done. We still haven’t had any success in finding a refrigerator expert to repair our freezer. Papeete, the capital, has improved a lot since we were last there over 6 years ago. There is a really nice park running along the waterfront and like all Polynesia it is spotlessly clean. The main attraction for any yachtie is Carrefour supermarket and the fruit and veggie market – it has been over 3 months since we have had a good shop for supplies, so $750 later we are now ready for the next part of the Pacific. Hopefully it should see us nearly all the way home.
We also struck lucky before leaving Papeete as we discovered a duty free wine shop. I can’t remember when I last had a decent wine (perhaps you could mention that to your suppliers Louise!!!) so we have some good stuff being delivered to the boat in a couple of days. Unfortunately it is in bond so we have to wait until we leave French Polynesia. I suppose we can always bypass the rest of the Society Islands. Just kidding!