Huahine Diving & Exploring…..

Dear F&F,

We dinghied outside the reef to dive. Drifting along with a 150 foot tether;
it is always good to get underwater & see the usual suspects.

The second day, the swell was bigger which hurt the visibility. It was
nice to blow bubbles & cool off, but we both agreed it wasn\’t worth
going for a 2nd dive. Several surfers were our enjoying the waves.

In the afternoon we went ashore & discovered a major fish tournament
going on. The fish boats were bringing their catch in to be measured &
weighed. Over 100 fish boats participated. The large marlins, mahi
mahi, wahoo & oho are beautiful, even when dead. We never get to see
these deep ocean fish when diving. We knew our dock neighbor was here
aboard the Shell Va’a mother ship “Embrum”. The owner of the boat
owns the local Shell Oil franchises and sponsors 2 outrigger teams. We
went to say hi to Stanley & wife Ivana. He is the captain of “Embrum”.
They gave us hats & T-shirts so we can show our support for their

We reserved a rental car to explore the island. It is about $130 for 8
hours, including insurance. The entire island is only 8 x 4 miles. We
stopped many times for photos, vanilla farm tour, had lunch & still
circumnavigated Huahine in 5 hours. It is everything you would want
from a tropical island: lush, green foliage, plenty of colorful
flowers along the road. A scattering of simple homes. The lady at the
vanilla farm made sure we bought some vanilla beans before taking us
on the \”free\” tour. I\’d bought vanilla beans in the past that to my
recollection were dried up twiggy things that you had to boil. These
were black, but still soft & moist. Easy to scrape out the gooey paste
of seeds. We have tried them in coffee so far. A bag of 6 seed pods
was $13 so we will continue to buy regular liquid vanilla for daily
use. The plants are grown on stakes, similar looking to green bean
vines. Small plots are covered with fine mesh on all sides to prevent
birds from eating the plants. A French couple also on the tour
thankfully translated for us. It is a tedious process to hand
pollinate each flower bloom. It was interesting to see how it was

Our lunch stop was along a gorgeous stretch of lagoon. Turquoise blue
water with crashing white waves on the outer reef. We shared a salad
with chicken at “Chez Tara”.

Since we were back early from renting the car, we shopped at the well
stocked market & also bought 10 gallons of unleaded for the dinghy.
Tomorrow the race begins and we’re off to Raiatea, Tahaa and will end
in Bora Bora.

Cindy & Scott