We left Atuona in Hiva Oa hoping for a nice secluded beach. We heard the first anchorage around the west side of Tahuata was the third prettiest in the French Polynesian Islands and since it was just an hour or so away, we thought we'd try it out. We were under the illusion that we were unique in being here and we're always surprised when things get crowded. We were shocked to find 6 other boats already in the anchorage. We almost bypassed it because we were really looking forward to finding something to ourselves (as if we haven't had enough alone time), but as I looked through the binoculars, I saw a friendly boat, Phambili. We met this family of 5 from Canada (where else?) in La Cruz during Christmas. They had done the crossing a few weeks ahead of us. They have a young boy, Cameron (11), and two older girls, Naomi(12?), and Anita(15). We cruised by them looking for a parking spot and waved and said some very loud hellos, catching up on each other's passage. Once we had our hook down, we went for a little swim in the BEAUTIFUL water here. You can see the hook and the nice sandy bottom. Tommy, on Phambili came by on his way back from the beach and invited us over for sundowners. Who can say no to that? So we spent last night getting to know them better and with Jake having other kids to play with. They're a bit older, but what you'll hear often in the cruising crowd is that the kids don't really have ages...they're all so happy to see someone else, they get a long great (most of the time). The older kids are always welcoming to the younger ones.
Today, Andy, Tommy and I went diving while Jake stayed with Fiona and the kids on Phambili. It was a beautiful dive with lots of fish none of us had seen before. We didn't see any sharks or manta rays (of which Andy had seen already on a snorkeling excursion), but we did see a big turtle and Andy got some very nice pictures, of which I'll post as soon as possible.
We're finally here...the quintessential French Polynesia. Jake and Andy are out snorkeling as I write and we have a big beach day planned tomorrow. In a few days we may head down to one of the villages and see if we can test out our bartering skills... I'm a little low on fruit :)
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