Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hard to leave Huahine

We've been in Huahine for 9 days now, and with reluctance we are starting to think about moving on. This has been a very relaxing and enjoyable place to stay. The anchorage is convenient to town and has excellent snorkeling - today we saw 6 spotted eagle rays, 4 eels, and a number of unusual fish species within a few hundred yards of the boat. Fare is a laid-back town with an excellent grocery store and plenty of street vendors selling everything from fresh fish to taro to homemade monoi oil in various fragrances. After a couple of days, Cathy decided to switch to "backpacker" mode, so we took her to shore to catch "Le Truck" to a campground at the south end of the island. We would meet her there. We motored south to Avea Bay, with an excellent anchorage where manta rays cruised by the boat each day, as well as an itinerant seal. We enjoyed walking the road to the nearby village of Parea, where we were curious to see that many homes had family graveyards in the front yard. We also visited the ancient ruin of Marae Anini. Unfortunately, the neighboring boat was broken into one evening while the owners were ashore for dinner, and several computers and iPhones were stolen. After 3 days we returned to Fare. We hired scooters one day to tour the island. The marae at Maeva was very interesting, with a restored fare holding many artifacts. The pearl farm was one of the best we have toured, with an excellent explanation of the grafting process by which pearls are cultured. The fresh water eels at Faie were huge and quite curious (or hungry?), but they were hard to photograph in the fading light. About this time the weather turned bad, and we spent most of the rest of the day dodging rain showers. The Europcar people kindly let us trade in our scooters for a car at the Relais Mahana, and we drove back to Fare in relative comfort. The rain has continued intermittently, making it easy to fill our fresh water tanks, but hard to walk some of the back roads! We did find this beautiful view from a neighboring bay, and marveled at a snail that looked like it belonged underwater instead of on land. We'll miss Huahine, but we'll probably sail across the 20 mile channel to Raiatea in the next few days.

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