Moorea Day #1 Cooks Bay…..

Dear F&F,

Leaving the dock is no easy feat. We are \”Med moored\” at Marina Taina. This
means our stern (back of the boat) is tied to the dock. Versus side tied
which is the other common way that docks are arranged. Two lines up front
are secured to cement blocks underwater. Four lines are criss-crossed in
back to prevent us from being blown into the neighbor boat on either side.
We walk on & off the stern of the boat via a gangplank-type device called a
\”passerelle\” in French. We keep it raised up a few inches off the dock when
not in use to prevent unwanted critters from boarding and it from smacking
around. Thank God we have not seen any mice or rats.

Rico, a French boat worker happened to be passing by & saw me struggle with
the helm to not hit the other boats as Scott was releasing our lines. The
forward lines have to be walked back to the dock & secured so they are
easier to retrieve when we return. Once unfettered, I was easily able to
maneuver with our two engines out of the slip & out of the marina. It always
feels great to get off the dock. I hadn\’t even been there a full two weeks
but was getting restless. We did a lot of work on the boat since my return
from California. Scott worked non-stop the entire 3 weeks I was away. So we
were due for a vacation. Destination Moorea. It is the nearest island to
Tahiti, just about 16 miles from our dock to Cook\’s Bay anchorage. The wind
was initially calm, but as we reached the center of the channel it blew
sideways creating an uncomfortable sea state: beam (sideways) swell. I ran
for my A.W.Z. (Annoying Wrist Zapper) that I\’ve decided IS effective in
preventing my seasick symptoms (mostly headache, thankfully NOT nausea). if
I remember to put it on soon enough & am willing to tolerate the extremely
irritating sensation on the inside of my wrist. I felt less like a wimp when
we got settled & I read this in the cruising guide:

\”The channel between Tahiti and Moorea is often very choppy without any
pattern, with cross currents of swells from the east and south. These
turbulent seas can continue even when the wind has dropped, making a channel
crossing very uncomfortable.\” They continue: \”The traffic of ferries is
almost continuous throughout the day, which demands great vigilance\”. Only
one of the many ferries seemed determined to play chicken enough to scare
us. Although we had the right of way we altered course well ahead to prevent
a collision.

Cook\’s Bay is 1 1/2 miles deep & very protected. There are about 5 other
boats anchored here & 3 local boats tied up to a small cement landing. The
sky was entirely grey and we weren\’t surprised when it started to rain. The
high jagged mountains are covered in lush green foliage. We can hear an
occasional chicken or dog & a dull swoosh of cars on the wet coast road.
Scott reads & I catch up on my website logs.

When the rain breaks for a while we decide to explore ashore. We lower the
dinghy which happily started right up, even though it\’s been a while since
we used the engine. We ask a guy by the cement landing if it is ok for us to
tie our dinghy there, he give the international \”thumbs up\” sign.

Scott first sailed here on Triad II 33 years ago. We were here together 13
years ago by airplane. It was our vacation after helping friends Larry &
Lillian Fredericksen sail their catamaran \”Sea Rose\” across the Pacific from
Puerto Vallarta to the Marquesas. We reminisce. We have fond memories of an
Italian restaurant with great lasagna & a fun French owner. Not sure
exactly which way to search for it we stop & inquire at a little market. No,
never heard of it. We ask a bus driver who is parked on the side of the
road. He probably didn\’t understand English well enough to comprehend our
question. We take a walk along the beautiful coastal road. I chuckled as we
walked by one of the 2 Catholic churches. The guidebook mentioned that
\”sinful yachties can always go and repent\”. Being that we are devout
non-participatarians, we simply admire the view.

On the return it started to rain again so we ducked into a bigger market to
wait it out. We bought some apples & sausage then asked the guy at the meat
counter if he knew of an Italian restaurant nearby. He immediately said:
\”Alfredo\’s\” which rang as familiar, the correct name for the place we were
seeking. It was just a half mile the other direction. As we waited near the
exit for the rain to subside, a man speaking English to his young daughter
entered the store. We so rarely run across Americans or native English
speakers anymore, our ears perked up. We ask him if he\’s on holiday or lives
here. Hunter is friendly and answers our many questions about where to dive,
hike and eat. He lives part time in Santa Barbara & part time here. He was a
graduate & professor at UC Santa Barbara, now working for UC Berkeley\’s
research center here on Moorea. Who knew? The Gump family (of S.F.) wanted
to donate land owned here to Stanford. But that university said they would
sell it to raise funds. The Gumps wanted the land to be kept & used, not
sold. So instead it was given to U.C. Berkeley who built a research center.
What do they do research on? Apparently many things. Hunter is a marine

We asked him for a ride to Alfredo\’s, and immediately recognized the
building. It was closed between lunch & dinner, but we intend to get there
for a sentimental dinner, hoping that the lasagna is still as delicious as
it was 13 years ago. I will never forget when I asked what the secret was:
\”lots and lots of cream\”.

Hunter pointed out his favorite gift shop & pizza place. We saw the hotel
we\’d stayed at & the dive shop where we dove 13 years ago. My memories are
not as clear as Scott\’s until we see the places, then it comes back to me a

We dinghied back to “Beach House” in a drizzle & I couldn\’t wait to turn on
the computer & write about today\’s events. I had not felt inspired to write
much of anything for a while, so I am happy that this outing rejuvenated me..

Cindy & Scott