|Fred on Songline introduced Jake to the surfboard.|
I forsee a new toy on Savannah.
A few nights ago the folks on Rutea organized a bonvoyage party for the sailing vessel Sara Jean II. They were leaving the French Polynesia and heading for the Cooks (the same path we’ll be taking soon). So we all brought an appetizer and bought our drinks from the yacht club here and had a nice night of chatting, catching up for some, and saying goodbye for others. Afterwards, I went into town with a few of the girls to watch the dance competitions that are going on right now. Every July there is a celebration called Heiva where dance groups from all of the different villages come together to compete against each other. They build restaurants and structures in the town here just for this occasion. In 5 weeks time, they’ll all be torn down.
I loved the dancing. It reminded me of the competitions I used to go to when I was a kid. Only this is Polynesian dancing and mine wasn’t. But the concept was the same. A group of people get together and practice and practice and practice. They’re performers. They smile, they move (in quite unforgettable ways), and they do it because they love it. The groups were made up of both men and women. I read on a friends blog how he really enjoyed the women dancing the most. As it should be (and I do agree it’s very beautiful, and boisterous!). But I have a different perspective. The men’s dancing can get kind of savage with a lot of slapping and yelling and it’s absolutely fascinating to me. And here’s the best kept secret of the Polynesian…the men here are better looking than the women. And most men will agree. We’ve had men rowing by in their outrigger canoes for the past few months and I for one have been thoroughly entertained. Whether they’re 17 or 70, the muscles never cease to amaze me. The women on the other hand are either really beautiful, or not so much.
We moved our boat to the other side of the island and found some more stingrays and black tips to snorkel with. These appeared to be more skittish than the ones in Moorea but it was fun all the same. For those following behind us, they’re on the southeastern side of the island past the small sailing club on the motu. There are a few buoys out there but you can’t see them until you get closer to the reef. Much like Moorea, just look for the tourist boats.
|Happy Birthday Fleur!|
Last night we caught up with our friends on s/v Libis again. It was Fleur’s 34th birthday and they were having a little floating pizza party. Fred and Cinda on Songline were there as well and we had a great time just chatting and floating around. We ended the night back on our boat with some additional food and drinks and of course, more stories.
This morning we woke up early, got in the dinghy and made our way to Marama’s Tattoo joint at the southern end of the island. Andy has been wanting to get a Manta Ray and we just haven’t found the time. We were told this guy was the best around and after seeing Andy’s tattoo, I believe it. He totally freehanded the whole thing. No stencils, no drawings on paper first…just a short chat with Andy and what he was all about and about an hour and a half later, an intricate manta on his shoulder with various different Polynesian symbols pertaining to his life….water, waves, stars, the four elements, family, protection, energy.
We’re back at the yacht club now and tomorrow we’ll go to the store one last time and fill up with water, then we’re off. We’ve decided to skip Maupiti since we’re pushing our luck here anyway and head straight to Suwarrow in the Northern Cook Islands. So this may be our last post with pictures for quite some time, but I’ll still keep you all informed as to our shananigans via SSB posts. It should take us 4 days or so to get to Suwarrow and then we'll stay there two weeks (or so) and then head to American Samoa...we'll have plenty of pictures by then!
|Fred and Jake paddling around the boat.|