Tahiti. For many, just reading the name of this South Pacific island conjures up images of tropical sunsets, fruity umbrella drinks and days spent lounging in the shade of palm trees. But for us, it meant a little something different – grocery stores, marine chandleries, hardware stores, a Laundromat and, of course, lunch at McDonald’s (hey, don’t judge!). This was primarily a business and socializing stop, so I’ll warn you now … you won’t find any idyllic beach pictures in this post (our life isn’t totally about sunsets and pina coladas, after all!).
two-week three-week stay in Papeete, Tahiti was quite productive. We got some much-needed varnishing done, had the alternator fixed (only $30 for a new bearing!), did a crap load of laundry (wash only due to financial constraints), made lots of trips to the French hypermarket Carrefour (overwhelming, amazing and air conditioned) and had many a drink with friends old and new. All of this while on a cheap mooring in a flat-calm lagoon! Score.
Gotta love the French influence at the Carrefour supermarket with entire aisles devoted to chocolate bars … and an amazing assortment of French cheese, pâté, butter and duck (lots and lots of canned duck).
So we had this idea. What if we do a pub crawl around the mooring field, stopping at different boats for food and drinks. We could call it a “mooring ball crawl!” The idea was pure genius. The night was loads of fun, and we have the pictures to prove it. We even stayed up until 1 a.m.! That’s way past “cruiser’s midnight” (which is actually at like 9:00.)
Tahiti is more than just the working harbor of Papeete, though. Before we’d ever laid eyes on the concrete jungle, we found charming Tautira Bay. After a month of being completely off-grid in the Tuamotus, the village here proved to be the perfect segue back into civilization. Our cupboards were practically bare, and the well-stocked little market was a welcome sight (lettuce! tomatoes! baguettes!), and for a (short) time, we even had wi-fi in the bay. The anchorage was fairly calm and absolutely lovely, too, with towering mountains draped in velvety green, black-sand beaches flecked with gold and a small river winding its way through the hills.
And if you were wondering, we absolutely conquered Tahiti. The next conquering opportunity lies just 15 miles across the Sea of the Moon on Moorea. Stay tuned!