Monday, July 23, 2007

Friday 20th July

Anse Hakatea (Daniels Bay)

8 56.753 S
140 09.937 W (at Midnight)

A very happy 9th birthday to Max, we are thinking about you today.

Our day started with Gerry doing the bakery run, picking up bread for ourselves, Y Not and JJ Moon who were due to arrive here mid morning. The morning began with rain but it soon cleared up and the sky began to look like it might give us a nice day. We were going to take off today but decided to wait until JJ Moon arrived so that we could at least say hello to them. It was about 10.00hrs when we spotted JJ Moon making their way into the anchorage. Gerry jumped into the dinghy and motored out to greet them. Meanwhile Mags was on the radio asking where we were anchored. They were soon dropping their anchor between Y Not and us; Gerry and Ross helped them to secure a stern anchor. They gave them the fresh bread, had a few words of wisdom and then it was time for Gerry to haul up our Stern anchor whilst I gathered in the extra line. We stowed the stern anchor plus about a ton of mud in the bracket then we took the outboard off the dink and put it away on its bracket and secured the dinghy to the davits. Finally at 100.00hrs we began to motor out of the harbour; we were going to stop first at Daniels Bay which was just a few miles away as that was the place to get fresh water and we needed to fill our tanks before setting off. As the bay was so close we motored all the way, it took jus an hour and we found ourselves entering a completely protected bay which was peaceful, calm and picturesque. Once we had anchored we put the dink back in the water and Gerry went over to one of the other boats at anchor there to ask where the water tap was located. The guy off of the boat, Howard, went with Gerry and the water containers to the place where you can fill up, it was a short distance away up a river which we couldn’t see from the anchorage. After 2 trips we had enough water to last until we reach Tahiti (as long as it isn’t more than a week at sea!) On the first trip Howard introduced Gerry to the locals who live in the house where the water tap is and they invited us all to dinner at their house that night, which was gratefully accepted. It meant of course that we wouldn’t be leaving the bay until the next day but who cares. We weren’t expected to take anything along but I made chocolate brownies as a gesture. Around 17.00hrs we set off in the dink, up the river to the house, Howard and his wife Shira were just a bit ahead of us and we all tied up at the same place and made our way to the house where we were greeted by Maurice and Charlotte – the owners and our hosts. Our hosts pointed out the waterfall at the back of their property which is the 3rd largest in the world; it can be hiked up to but we weren’t going to be doing anything that energetic, and contented ourselves with the distant view we had of it. We chatted and had a couple of drinks and as we waited for dinner more people arrived from the anchorage; soon the whole place was alive with yachties passing the night at Daniels Bay, in total there were 7 boats there for the night and I think the owners of 4 of them plus us had been invited for dinner – it was an epic multi cultural gathering. Everyone had brought something along to share and Charlotte and Maurice had cooked up a feast of Polynesian foods for us to sample. We tried everything and had a wonderful meal of beef in coconut milk, rice, bread fruit, pasta, pawpaw sauce, Polynesian bread, a black bean dish which was fabulous and some mixed vegetables and exchanged stories with the others at the table. Our closest neighbours were an older French couple who spoke about as much English as we did French; between us we managed to carry on a good conversation all evening despite our miss pronunciations. Finally it was time to say good bye, Charlotte invited us again the next day to help ourselves to the fruits on the heavily laden trees in their garden and again for dinner the next night but I had to tell her regretfully that we were going to be leaving in the morning for Papeete as our daughter was flying in there to join us. It was a good job we had taken a torch with us as it was pitch black finding our way back to our dinghy and then back to our boat. This bay was one of the nicest surprises that we have found so far in our travels, the bay it self was lovely and to top it off the people who live there were so generous and friendly to all of us who were total strangers to them – it kind of restores faith in the human race. Once back on the boat we ran the engine to top up the batteries and then turned in for the night.



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