December 2017 – January 25th 2018
Our friends on S/V Southern Comfort arrived the day mum had to leave, it was a pity mum had to go as we had some fun times with them that mum would have enjoyed. We went zip lining with Anne, Tony and their two kids. It was a 2 km walk along a nice green grass and tree lined road surrounded by mountain peaks and pineapple plantations. It was hot …..again. The adults took it in turns on the red and green zip line. The three younger ones had a ball on the children’s course while the boys were on the green course (easiest course), Alex wanted to try the intermediate course (red) so Anne, Stu and I took him with an instructor on the course.
It was not for the faint hearted, I was worried about Alex as I found it scary and high, happy it wasn’t windier. The instructor was behind me so I figured Alex was struggling though I couldn’t see or hear him. I had to go ahead knowing he was in good hands. Stu later said that another instructor came to help as well as Alex was upset as it was very high. Eventually he managed it and there was an exit to the course around 6 trees into the course, so Alex hopped off. Feeling a little deflated, but he came away more confident and happy with himself due to our and the instructor’s encouragement and congratulations. The instructor said he has seen big tough looking men shaking with fear. We all had a great time and that’s thanks to Anne and Tony for inviting us.
In the afternoon our friends Tony, Anne, Sophie and Luke (visiting their parents on S/V Southern Comfort) came to see if the kids wanted to go to the beach. Stu and I had stuff to do so they kindly took them all – wow! Stu swam over there later whilst I went to visit our neighbours on Lilol, Mike and Utah who invited us for a sundowner. On the beach, Anne picked up a pretty cone shell, which Jake explained is a potentially lethal cone shell, she had been holding it for a while. Stu was explaining to them how they fire a dart out of the end of their probiscos. So as he was explaining this, just at that moment the cone shells proboscis came out and aimed at Stu, apparently it was long, as long as the shell itself and turned a 180 degree to aim at him! Well that caused some excitement and Stu promptly threw it into deeper water. Danger dad strikes again!
Hello 2018 – Happy New Year!
This is our second New Years on Neverland! Can’t quite believe it. I spent the day sorting out the cabins, Sienna wanted her room back but it needed a full demolding and re-sorting of both rooms, so it took most of the day. Poor Sienna had an accident hanging out washing, she fell off the outside seat onto her face, her upper lip bashed up, nose bleeding but more worrying was her slightly wobbly new adult front tooth. Hmmmmmmm, we really hope her tooth is not damaged, so quiet gentle play for the next week for Sienna, with no face in the water, no wearing a mask no jumping off the boat and no playing on the bouncy water playground across the way.
This year was a more mellow one. We invited Southern Comfort and their visiting family over, Sienna is in heaven with her friend Sophie. We swam, chatted, drank and ate, they left early (4 year old Luke had passed out) and Rob looked like he was ready for bed. Stu and I stayed up till 2300 then hit the sack. It was a stunning night with a halo around the full moon, a gentle relaxing breeze and an exciting feeling in the air for the year ahead.
New Years day was a relaxing one, with the kids windsurfing and Stu and I swimming and driving the dinghy by them. Sienna is always the keen one, first in and first to get excited, always wanting to do something fun. Jake and Alex do really well when they try.
Our first low pressure system for the hurricane season just passed south of us. We stayed in our Moorea that faces north, so not protected from the NW stong winds. The forecast was for 30 knots, but we were thinking it may be stronger as the centre of the low pressure system was quite low at 1002mmHg. We packed everything away, lengthened our rode (anchor chain length) and kept a close eye on things. It reached a max of 32 knots but it may have been more as Stu turned the wind sensor off. After the worst of the wind, at around 1am when it was still windy and raining, I was woken up by space age looking flying set of lights, dazed and thinking I was dreaming. The chopper was obviously looking for something as it was lighting up the water like it was daytime with 3 incredibly powerful spotlights, there was a police boat and people on the beach with spotlights. We flicked the VHF on to hear boats calling the navy helicopter, they were looking for a particular boat name, with the help of another boat they found the boat they were looking for. The whole boat was lit up, we were wondering what the problem was, as they were speaking in French on the radio – we were just guessing. The next day we learned from other cruisers that an EPIRB was set off, as the boat was not occupied it must have malfunctioned. Well I must say it was a bit of excitement and it was great to see the resources used in the event of an EPIRB being activated. It was a pity all the wasted time and money that would have been spent on that ‘rescue’ operation, all for nothing. I wonder how many false search and rescues they attend.
After some organizing, Tiki Village kindly picked us up from the beach where we left our dinghy. It was an awesome night, it wasn’t cheap but for what we got it was a bargain. The people were super friendly and helpful. We were welcomed by a singing and banjo playing trio and fruit punch. Then a tour after they showed us how to open a coconut with just the sharp end of a stick. We now know how to make coconut milk from the meat. Then a tour of the place. We saw a replica of Gaugan’s art work and house. Also the ship they built and used in the film Mutiny on the Bounty, with Mel Gibson in it which they filmed in Opanahue Bay, where we are anchored.
Next was the yummy banquet dinner, a massive choice and such a treat, not having to cook as there is certainly no takeaway food we can grab for dinner. They opened the hungi before dinner, explained what they do, and showed us the pork and veges they had cooked up. I was asked if I wanted a picture of cutting the pig, ummmmmm no thanks not really something a vegetarian would want to do!
We were seated in front of the small stage. Had some coconut balls that were super yummy, by this stage I was upset we didn’t know about this place when mum was here, she would have enjoyed it. Next minute a man jumped on stage and demonstrated how to tie the sarong into many many different styles- pants, shirts, skirts etc. Stu was made to volunteer to follow in tying a sarong, much to his delight!!!! He he, he did well with the audience watching him. I had an inkling that I would be picked when a lady got up on stage and demonstrated many ways to tie sarongs for ladies, yes it was me up there also trying to follow the ladies dress tying techniques!
At this stage we realized we had only had entrees and the show was starting soon. Off we went to quickly eat and find the yummy dessert. The show was starting and male volunteers were nabbed before they sat down, Stu and Jake (very reluctantly) were on stage with other guys, there was no chance of Alex doing it. Sienna and I enjoyed watching the knee knocking males trying to follow the Tahician dancer, it was hilarious. Then it was Sienna and my turn, Sienna was up in a flash, by the time I got there the Tahician dancer and Sienna were holding hands. I don’t know how those ladies shake their bottoms so quickly, but we tried!
The show was fantastic telling the story of how the first people landed in French Polynesia on a dugout double canoe from Asia. The show was complete with many traditional costume changes, fire dancing, props, fire dancers, fire lickers and it was full of energy and very entertaining. A great night was had by us all.
Our routine here is to do school in the morning, which is not always easy for any of us, though todays school was good. Then lunch then play time which tends to be kids windsurfing, Stu and I have been a few times which works as we launch off the boat and the kids are quite happy to stay on board and we are nearby, snorkelling, going ashore, food shopping. Stu and I have been going for a swim together for some exercise most days then on the trampolines to do a little pilates, Stu can now touch his toes. We found a little snorkel spot with some nice coral, after seeing Sea Beans shell collection and books Stu and the kids were inspired to go shell hunting. Sienna found an amazingly shiny tiger cowrie shell, unfortunately still alive. I must say I was in two minds about keeping this stunning shell, but it has been kept so hopefully we can get rid of the smell! Stu found a nice trocus shell too.
It was great fun hanging with our friends on S/V Sea Bean, they have 2 and 4 year old boys of which Sienna took to the younger one straight away. It is nice to have some company and friends to hang with. I went to a show at the Intercontinental Hotel with Chloe and her mum, it was great and very entertaining. We sat outside while the paying restaurant customers inside were included in the show, some very reluctantly! Chloe’s mum chatted to one of the dancers and she gave her mum her head piece which was a stunning crown made from leaves and flowers, we all ended up with one and the following day we had them all on Neverland, much to Siennas delight.
Much to our disgust we picked up a rat!!!! Yes a stinky, big rat. I found some little poos outside and we suspected an intruder, as the poo was mainly in and around the dinghy and outside saloon area we were keen to keep it outside. Two nights later we saw the culprit, the rat was running along the outside cushions and almost came inside! We were not impressed and wanted it dead, all we could find was sticky traps. I put the bin outside and was hoping it would stay outside by giving it peanut butter Sao biscuits. Needless to say the sticky traps were useless and the rat got stuck a few times and got off. So the next day Stu came back from the shops fully armed with rat death devices. It was a clever little critter, it just licked the peanut butter off the traps, so the next night was rat bait which it ate, but still not dead as we found poo in the dinghy, the following night no dead rat as we again found poo in the dinghy. Stu outsmarted the rat the next night by attaching stale bread with peanut butter to the trap so it had to pull it a little to set it off, and we caught our long skinny rat! Well maybe we had it coming to us as I made a little innocent comment on the VHF radio in St Martin a while ago, to a lady on the VHF radio who was asking other cruisers how to get rid of the rat that swam out to her boat and fell in the overhead hatch on to her bed whilst she slept! I said (which was actually Stus idea, I was so impressed by his comment I coudn’t resist) – “have you tried a flute”! I’m not sure the person who responded got the joke!
It was a relief we got this rat, we were afraid it was pregnant, or it would get in, eat our food, spread disease (our friends on Tika knew of a lady who died from a rat borne disease in Panama), pee and poo everywhere making the place stink, eat through the electrics, live in our pantry, oh and the list goes on. It is dead and we are relieved.
It is not as hot here lately as the trade winds are starting to blow, it is a very welcomed breeze. We have been here in Moorea for almost 6 weeks and are still loving this spot, it has everything – clean shallow water, reef to snorkel nearby, a nice beach to swim too, a local shop ashore, a super U easy to dinghy to, rubbish bins close by ashore, eagle rays everywhere, stingrays we can feed anytime and 2 motos to go and explore, zip lining, hiking and more.
Thanks for reading, from S/V Neverland xxxxx