Wednesday, May 27, 2009
on the plane on her way back to Tahiti, she met a girl and her mom. The
girls' name is Grace and she is two weeks older than me, and her mom's name
is Maelisa. They are really nice and live in California. They have been to
French Polynesia 20 times and have gone to the Hibiscus Hotel in Moorea
every time. Grace and her mom are now friends with the owners and took us to
the hotel restaurant for free. Grace is really nice (Sylvie-she's a lot like
you!). Anyways, when we met up with Grace and Maelisa, they told us that we
should really dinghy over to this place on the reef where we could feed
stingrays. We thought that that sounded awesome, so we all piled into the
dinghy and took along some tuna to feed the rays. When we arrived there were
tons of rays swimming around the dinghy. Grace just jumped in and started
swimming around. It took me a few minutes, but then I jumped in too. After
we all got used to the fact that we were swimming with, petting and
sometimes kissing stingrays, Daddy started to dish out the fish. As soon as
the tuna hit the water, the rays went crazy and started smashing into each
other to get the food. When they discovered that it was gone, they went to
every person and bumped into them as if to say 'do you have any food?'. It
was so cool. Soon the rays found out that Daddy was the one with the food.
They would bump into Daddy and push their open mouths in his face. Then
Daddy could just drop a piece of tuna in their mouths! It was so much fun.
We could just stand in one place and the rays would come up to us and allow
us to pet them and play with them! Soon we got cold and had to go back to
Zen. That night we went out to dinner with Maelisa and Grace at the hotel
restaurant. It was delicious! Well, gotta go, bye!
Friday, May 22, 2009
So a few days ago we went on a really cool tour around Tahiti. We got up at around 7:00 and went ashore to play soccer for a little while with Liam (12 years old) on the boat Flashback. Liam and his dad are visiting for a week, so normally there aren't any kids on Flashback. After playing a really fun soccer game for about an hour, we walked to the gas station to wait for our tour guide to come and pick us up. Soon we saw our truck coming. The truck was a pick-up truck with seats and a pull back roof on the flat back. When we got on the bus we met our tour guide Allen and three other people on a boat called Song of the Sea. Anyways, the tour started out kind of slow and we were just driving down a paved road, but when we turned onto a dirt road with tons of potholes, I knew that it was going to be fun. The first stop was a view point where we could take pictures of the amazing views of a huge waterfall and beautiful green mountains. After that Allen drove us to a river where you could swim and jump from rocks. The water was really refreshing and cool. It was really fun trying to swim up the current in the river and touch the rocks at the opposite end. After everyone was back in the truck, we got back on the road and headed for a waterfall. While on our way to the waterfall we went through rivers, over rusty, old bridges and past lots of cool flowers and animals. When we arrived at the waterfall, we all put our suits back on and hiked for about 5 minutes to the river. Once at the river, Allen told us that there were some natural slides that we could go down. At first I didn't want to go, thinking that the slides were going to be super tall and freaky, but after some encouragement I followed Daddy and Cole. The first pair of slides were small but fast. The slides were just like water slides at a water-park, but made of rock. The first slide you go down shoots you down from one pool to the next and flips your feet above your head when you meet the next pool. It was really fun! The next slide was a bit longer and shot you into a shallower pool (Daddy liked this slide because if you sat in the small pool right below the slide, you get a shoulder massage). Finally, we got to the biggest slide. 'Yikes!' I thought, 'this slide is straight down and bigger than the other ones!'. After watching a few people go down, it was my turn. I sat at the beginning of the slide looking down and telling myself to let go. All of a sudden, I accidentally slipped and went shooting down the slide...it was so much fun!! I climbed back up with Cole and went again. When I got back down we had to leave, so we all climbed out of the river and got back in the truck. The next place we went to was a hotel in the middle of a inactive volcano called Tahiti-Iti. The view was amazing. It was really cool to be sitting in the middle of a once active volcano while eating steak-frite (steak and french fries). It was a great meal followed with coffee ice cream. So after lunch, we made our final stop at an archaeological site like the one in the Marquises. The difference though, was that at this site, people had recreated what it would have looked like years ago. It was really cool and we got to see the ancient carvings. When we finally got back to the boat it was 11:00. The tour ended at around 5:15, but since we went to a restaurant, we arrived much later. The tour was so much fun!!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't written in a while, but we have been busy! So we are now in Tahiti and are getting used to full on civilization again. There is a really nice marina, a big anchorage and mooring field packed with boats, a busy airport with big planes, a huge grocery store called Carrefour, Internet, laundry, hotels, and tons of restaurants. Crazy huh?! A few days after we arrived, the wind picked up and, since we didn't have a great anchoring spot, had to go to the marina for a few days. It was nice and we were next to Carl Linne. Then, after finding out that you could sail down to another anchorage in Tahiti and watch a Billabong surf competition, we left the dock and headed down to that anchorage. When we left the anchorage, there was close to no wind and we had to motor sail. Then the wind picked up and we could sail with no motors. All of a sudden, like a wall hit us in the face, we had 40 knots of wind on the nose with seas and had to turn around and go back to the first anchorage. Not wanting to go back to the dock, we anchored in a shallow area of the anchorage right behind a hotel. Mommy left a few days ago for Florida because of Nanna. After falling and breaking her hip, Nanna is in the hospital and has taken a turn for the worst. Well, other than that, everything is going well. Our friends on the boat Love Song are here and we might go by their boat today or tomorrow to hang out with the two little boys (3 and 5 years old) and their two dogs. The day before yesterday (the 14th..Mommy left that night) was Cole's birthday and we celebrated with homemade chocolate cake and a huge breakfast. Also, on Mothers' Day, we went out to one of the restaurants at the marina and had some really tasty pizza. Yesterday we went sailing on Carl Linne when they tested out their new spinnaker. It was tons of fun. We got to sit up on the nets on the bow of the boat that are attached to the bow sprit. I think that there are some pictures on my parents blog of us on the nets. For the next week or two Cole and I are doing testing in homeschooling. Thankfully, this is the last group of tests for me for 6th grade. Daddy is ashore getting fuel for the dinghy, and Cole is playing with his new local friends on the dock..I'm the only one on the boat. Well, it looks like it's going to rain so I've got to shut the hatches..bye!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
went to the north to prepare for the passage to Tahiti. (We had fun weaving
our way through the uncharted buoys after going through the amazingly
charted pass.) Once there we met up with a boat called Wayward Wind who we
took pictures of while passing them in the Marquises. After a delicious
dinner of quiche and French fries (I know..they really go together), which
was a treat since we haven't had French fries for a really long time, Daddy
pulled up the weather and realized that this anchorage was about to get
really choppy. So, we changed our plans and decided to leave for Tahiti the
next day. If we didn't, we'd be stuck in Fakarava for another week, which
would not be good because we have a reservation to haul out in Raitea.
Anyways, we left yesterday morning and started praying for wind. During the
beginning of the passage we had no wind, well unless you call 0.2 knots wind
that is. Then last night we were able to put up our sails and cruise along
at around 8 knots before the wind died right before I went to bed. Finally,
when I woke up this morning we were able to turn off the engines and sail at
9 knots using the wind of a squall behind us. Soon we were able to see
Tahiti, a big mountainous island that is a lot like Grenada in terms of
population and commercialism. But unlike Grenada, Tahiti is just a newer
version of the Tuamotus. It has a small reef around it and the mountains, in
millions of years to come, will eventually sink into the ocean, forming an
atoll. So the Marquises are just mountains, the Tuamotus are just reef and
Tahiti, Moorea and Raitea are a mixture of both! Well, right now our plan is
to go and anchor right off a hotel like we did in Antigua and stay there for
a few days to chill, and provision before heading off to meet our friends on
Blue Dawn in some other anchorage. We should be going through the pass
around 5 tonight (1 hour from now) and then anchor down at around 5:30,
6:00. Well, I'm on watch so I've gotta go, bye!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
and last night Yet slept over! It was really fun. The day before, all the
kids went to the beach for an hour or so and then everyone went over to
Bravado for dinner. While on Bravado we played a really fun guessing game
with Yet and her brothers (Hein is 9, Eltjo is 6) until their mom served a
really yummy risotto with chicken. Finally, just as we were about to leave,
Yet and I asked if Yet could sleep over that night, and everyone said yes!
When we got back to the boat it was almost 10, so we went to bed after
laughing while having a pillow fight. The next morning we were all up at 6
and talked about books while Mommy made pancakes for breakfast. After
breakfast everyone had to do school, so Daddy brought Yet back to her boat.
Around 11:30, everyone said that they wanted to snorkel the pass, so we
postponed school for a little while and went over to Bravado to pick up the
kids (the kids, Mommy and Daddy went in our dinghy since it was more
powerful and would carry more people easier than there's) and their parents
followed soon after us. Once at the pass we all put on snorkel gear and
jumped in the water. The first thing I saw was three sharks, one grey and
two black tips circling below me. It was really freaky, but so cool. Soon we
had counted over 10 sharks and there was still more in front of us. When the
sharks became too curious we decided to go back to the boats for lunch. As
we left the current picked up and started to go out so it was a fast and
furious ride back to the boats...lots of fun. Well, we are now just chillin'
on the boat. Cole and Daddy are watching videos that we took on the video
camera and Daddy offered to take us scurfing later...sounds good to me! I'm
going to go watch the videos too..bye!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Tuamotus a few days ago, making our passage 2 days long. The first Tuamotu
that we went to was called Makemo. It was one of the bigger atolls, with a
width of 40 miles. Oh, so if you are wondering, an atoll is basically a reef
that surrounds a big lagoon. A long time ago, there was a big, mountainous
island where the lagoon is now, but slowly, the island sank into the water.
Anyways, we stayed there for a while and met some new people on a boat named
Migration. They were a really nice couple, and the guy, Bruce Balan, is the
writer of one of my favorite books, Buoy! It was so cool to be able to talk
with a children's book writer! Well, they have been in the Tuamotus for a
few seasons now and were heading backwards to the Marquises. A day after
they left, our friends on the boat Tigre, who we met in Grenada, arrived
from the Galapagos. We hung out with the girls for a few days before leaving
yesterday. Now we are motoring to the main atoll called Fakarava. I'm not
sure how big it is, but I know that it is the main port for ships and other
big cargo boats to go. Fakarava is also known for its amazing diving, so
Daddy and I plan to dive there in a few days. Anyways, we left the main
anchorage in Makemo yesterday and motored up the lagoon to an anchorage
closer to the pass. While sailing through the lagoon, though, you have to be
very careful. There are little reefs that will pop up out of nowhere if you
aren't careful. So I got the idea of going up the mast to look for the
'coral heads'. It was really fun. I got out the bosons chair and Daddy
lifted me up just below the spreaders (spreaders are poles that come out of
the mast). Cole wanted to come up too, so he got out the air chair and Daddy
pulled him up right next to me. We had lots of fun looking for coral heads
and swinging around the mast. It felt like flying. So soon we arrived in the
anchorage and decided to stay the night there and then leave the next day at
2 PM. So today at 2 we picked up anchor and headed for the pass. This time I
went up the mast again, but using the air chair which is more comfortable.
Since the sun was directly in our face it was hard to see the coral heads,
but luckily we made it to open water without hitting anything. When we got
to the pass the water was at high slack, meaning it was just hitting the
highest of high tides and there wasn't much of a current. Although there
wasn't big waves, I was moving around more than I was comfortable with up so
high and was glad when Daddy brought me down. The pass was very easy and
followed what the charts said to the inch. What a relief! Well, I'm going to
go to bed so that I can be up early tomorrow morning. Bye!
PS. I heard that it was 90 degrees in RI....that's an easy 10 degrees hotter
than it is here!