Papeete – Marina Taina Anchorage…..

Dear F&F,

Moored outside Marina Taina

We had a good day/night/half day sail to Tahiti. I had a sky full of stars with no moon on my first night shift. Then a nice 3 quarter moon to light the way for my 2nd night shift. The mountains of Tahiti are stunning & surrounded by a coral reef. To get to the anchorage area, we came inside the reef, easy entry. We radioed to Port Control for permission to enter. Then we had to radio the airport traffic control to get approval to pass very close to the runway due to the height of our mast. They gave us the ok, but a small jet seemed to begin its descent not so far above our mast.

We spoke to the marina manager, notifying her of our arrival. They did not expect us until Monday at the earliest. There is not yet a slip for us at a dock. There are many boats anchored and on moorings in the lagoon outside of the marina. It is a little tight, but we were able to get on a mooring. This island is so populated & metropolitan compared to all the little Tuamotu atolls we have been. I am ready for some civilization. We took the dinghy to meet our 2 closest neighbors. One a French guy doing work on a charter boat. He will be here one more month then plans to sail back to Europe. Our other neighbors are American, have been here 2 weeks & gave thumbs up on the grocery store & local boat workers.

We went ashore, met Constance & Florant who run the marina. We saw our future slip which should be vacated & ready for us within a week. We had lunch at a lovely bustling open air pizza place. I had a green salad with delicious dijon vinagrette, savoring every crunchy bite! We shared a four fromage (cheese) pizza that was super yum too. Then we walked to Carrefours, the closest, big store which has dry goods as well as groceries. Sort of like K-Mart & a very nice large grocery store combined. We have so much more variety here & the prices less than the other islands. Fantastic.

Todays finds:
kiwi, peaches, apples, grapes, papaya, oranges, a bag of pre-washed spinach, broccoli, green beans, walnuts, dried apricots, brown rice, oats, large assortment of French wines, Sensodyne toothpaste and Plax. I was like a kid in the candy store. Many items are imported from the US, New Zealand & Australia. Anything locally grown is indicated. I am so happy that it is close & I can go nearly every day if I wish. Slowly filling up our stores and eating more to my liking with lots of fresh produce.

At the store we bought a sim-card so we can use our cell phone for local calls. Calling to the US is crazy expensive, but we can use Skype if the internet is good enough. Scott called our agent & he is coming in the morning to deliver our mast track and get our documents so he can check us in with the gendarmerie (police). He will also give us exact instructions for checking in with immigration to renew our long stay visa.

Sleep deprivation caught up with us as we stood in the check out aisle. We had each taken 4 hour shifts for the 30 hour crossing. We were pretty exhausted by the time we pushed the cart back to the marina, loaded all into our dinghy & got it inside \”Beach House\”. But we were motivated to get WiFi working in order to do Skype, so radioed Matthew the tech guy for the WiFi. He sold us an omni-directional antenna booster which works great. He also helped Scott figure out some things on his media laptop that crashed last week. Hence, delays in postings and photos!

Everyone so far has been friendly & helpful. We are happy to be here. I think being on the mooring for a week will be a good transition from the isolated atoll life, to this big city marina.

Cindy & Scott