We are definitely starting to get the hang of this cruising life. After feeling a bit abuzz initially with the workload of getting ourselves and the boat ready, learning how it all works and what the boat should feel like, and then of course how we actually feel onboard a boat in constant motion with water moving all around us, it’s thankfully all starting to feel a little more natural and normal now. Which is nice. Because initially there definitely wasn’t much about it all that seemed cruisey… it was all pretty darn exhausting!
The issues of sorting out the outboard (and fridge, and all the other little standard boaty things that we’ve not even bothered to mention) and the fact it slowed our movements down a little has of course most likely been a blessing in disguise. Not only do we now have a tender we can use reliably in all kinds of current and swell filled passes to scope potential surf and dive spots, but by missing the recent weather window to make it to the Tuamotos (total paradise according to everyone we speak to) by the time we’d planned, we’ve ended up finding ourselves in (another) paradise.
We’ve been at anchor for nearly a week now in toothpaste coloured water on an incredibly beautiful lagoon on the lesser visited west side of Moorea. Its been so unvisited since we’ve been here we’ve had it all to ourselves. There’s a sandy bottom with rays swimming all around us, and coral bombies and their super colourful fishies a short snorkel away. Then there’s the super fun left that breaks in the pass, and the dramatic volcanic mountain peaks that are dripping with vibrant green lushness.
For the first few days there wasn’t a drop of wind and the swell was medium sized and fun. We feasted on surf and SUPing until our shoulders could do no more. As if it knew we needed a rest, the swell then jacked up making surfing impossible and the option of sailing out through the unmarked pass a little more exciting than we were comfortable with.
So up to the peaks we hiked for a land based adventure (in similar preparatory style to our last Moorea hike – see No Problem!). Despite thong blow outs and never quite knowing if we were on the right path, we made it up to Three Palm Trees Pass (there’s not three anymore thanks to a cyclone many years back) to find spectacular panoramic views of the ancient crater shaped island and its peaks. Our supplies of 1L of water and three muesli bars were clearly a little light on for the 6+ hour hike in tropical heat (although in keeping with our choice of footwear), but… we’re getting good at life in the tropics now, and we supplemented our thirst along the way by drinking fresh coconuts and gorging on delicious wild passion fruits - not even a little bit dehydrated.
Having swapped sore shoulders for sore legs, and with the swell dropping to a more surfable size, we lapped up another few idyllic aquatic filled days of surfing, SUPping, snorkeling, and snoozing.
But nothing lasts forever, and with the wind forecast to change ahead of a brewing maraamu (Tahitian for the strong south easterly trade winds that blow between 25-35knots for around a week or so) we decided it was time to move on… to find our next paradise, which I don’t think should be too hard in this part of the world.