Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Monday 6th August

Cook’s bay,

17 28.874 S
149 48.922 W

It was a fairly laid back sort of start to the day, not that Gerry wanted it to be that way but he was outnumbered. Once we were up and dressed we loaded the dinghy with the trash bags and plastic shopping bags, clambered into the dinghy ourselves and after rearranging everything so we could all fit in, set off for the dock. After tying up we deposited our trash in the dumpster and then set off walking along the main road heading towards the Carrefour supermarket which was a short distance away from the marina. We had noticed that there were a great deal of supermarket carts lining the marina dock – all from the Carrefour supermarket, so it was obviously OK to “borrow” them in order to transport the groceries back to the marina. They use the coin in the slot and lock to another cart deposit method to control the loss of carts but obviously if there is another cart at the marina then you just have to lock your cart to it to be able to retrieve your 100cpf coin (a little over US$1). Once we reached the supermarket complex we decided that we might as well have breakfast there before doing the shopping and we picked one of the two cafes and ordered ourselves cooked breakfasts, it was OK but quite frankly Gerry cooks a better breakfast than they did. Once we had finished with eating it was time to collect a cart, paying our 100cpf deposit, and begin to load up with groceries. The Carrefour was a large, well stocked supermarket which carried electrical goods and clothing as well as groceries. It didn’t take us too long to fill our cart with all sorts of good things along with a few pairs of new swimmers; it wasn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination but we had to replace the foods that we had thrown out due to the lack of refrigeration whilst the boat was in the boat yard undergoing repairs. Abigail and I hung back whilst Gerry pushed the cart along the road to the marina; it is obviously a regular thing as no one batted an eyelid at the sight of a grown man pushing a cart loaded with groceries into the marina. Our only problem was that by the time we got back to the marina all the carts that had been lined up there were gone, the supermarket had collected them all – it looked as if we were going to loose our deposit! We wheeled the cart as close to the dinghy dock as we could get it and there we found just one single lonely cart, we locked our cart to it and retrieved our deposit after transferring the groceries into the dinghy. We were down quite low in the water by the time the three of us got into the dink with the groceries but we managed to motor back out to our boat without incident, albeit a little slowly. Abigail and I had the job of unloading and stashing away the shopping whilst Gerry hoisted the dinghy on to the davits. As soon as everything was away the engine was turned on and Gerry was itching to get underway. The anchor was hauled in and we began motoring towards Moorea – the island that was just 19 miles away. As we cleared the reef we turned westwards and were going to try to sail except that the wind was coming directly on our nose so we continued to motor for a while. Eventually the wind began to clock around to our beam and we unfurled the jib and slowed the motor. Bear was put in charge of the steering for a while; Gerry can be seen in the photo supervising Bear at the wheel. It took us around 4 hours to get to Moorea and we followed the channel markers into Cooks bay. The views of the bay were quite breathtaking and at times it didn’t look real. There we had a choice as to anchoring – either inside the bay or out near the reef; most of the boats seemed to be out near the reef and we elected to go there too as we wanted to be able to snorkel from the back of the boat. We dropped the anchor and once we were happy that it was set we donned the snorkelling gear and jumped in the water. Abigail and I spent quite some time investigating the small bits of reef close to the boat, gradually working our way outwards to the bigger patches. We saw loads of pretty tropical fish of all shapes and sizes amongst the reef, some of them I had not seen before. The reef itself wasn’t alive with colour but it wasn’t as dead as some we have seen in the Caribbean. When we tired of swimming around we returned to the boat for a shower and an afternoon nap. Dinner was a bar b que on the back end of the boat and then it was time for bed.



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