Monday, July 30, 2007

July 29, Moorea

This is what you would call paradise. We are back on Moorea at a beautiful anchorage with a sandy beach, palm trees, great snorkeling, a quiet paved road and mountains rising up right behind it. We arrived Tuesday afternoon and celebrated our first move west (the right direction) and the resumption of life with refrigeration (which we haven’t had since leaving Seattle). Hooray!
We spent a day touring the island with our friends Beth and Dave, here on their honeymoon. We took them out for a day sail on the ocean. Yesterday we frolicked with a fleet of tame stingrays. When you feed them they come running, push their snouts against your body, and insistently ask for more. We then had an idyllic leisurely lunch at a restaurant on a little island on the reef. And we have been enjoying all of this with delightful fellow cruisers, mostly from the west coast of the US.
We are happy to be out of metropolitan Papeete. The anchorage there was definitely urban – big marine thoroughfares, people coming and going in their dinghies to shop, go to school (families lived there and ferried the kids into school every morning) and do business, boats packed cheek by jowl. Not a lot of friendliness.
As for six weeks without refrigeration in 90 degrees heat day in day out, we were saving energy to nurse along the house battery bank, which is down two batteries of a size we can’t replace here. We will be fine being careful, running the engine and the wind generator more than usual to recharge. In any event we survived without ice, ice cream, cold beer or pop. We learned to appreciate canned goods of every kind. Every canned French pate you can imagine, we tried..goose liver, pork liver, duck, mushroom, canned mackerel, sardines, spam. We polished off cans of green beans and peas that had been sitting around on the boat gathering dust since 2004. We tried the exotic sounding cassoulet (which turned out to be franks and beans). In town we managed by shopping every day (at times charming but mostly very inconvenient) buying the smallest portions available and eating everything until it was gone. (We got really tired of black olives which only came in a big can.) It was kind of like a big science experiment. What cheese survives the best? Reggiano parmesan, hands down. How long can an open jar of pickles go without refrigeration? (Don’t know yet and we will toss it before we find out). We plan to return to the Leeward side of the Society Islands this week for some island hopping. Then off to Tonga via the Cook Islands in mid-August.


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