Oct 7

We’ve been living aboard our 52 ft. sailboat for the last few days. Although both don and i have had some sailing experience, it’s comforting to have a captain to navigate the coral reefs and sandy islands (motus). His name is Alain, and he is French. To listen to our conversation would be entertaining as we flipflop from french to english and back again. For whatever reason it’s easier this way and everyone gets more out of our conversations. We are pleased and surprised by Gwen’s ability to speak French.

The boat is comfortable, has five cabins, three heads, and a large living area with a long galley, stove, and big icebox. We provisioned the boat on Raiatea island, a short flight from Tahiti. The store where we bought our food had Giant hunks of tuna, tenderloin, escargot, an abundance of fresh fruit, and long baguettes; so as you can imagine we are eating well.

Don and I sleep at the bow. It’s larger and has the advantage of a hatch, but on stormy nights it’s rough and loud. A recent night we were anchored off a small island at the west end of Tahaa island. Squalls arrived in waves causing the boat to crash up and down. The achor draging over the coral, the noise of the halliards and loose ropes, and general fear made sleeping nearly impossible. We awoke and it was dead calm. When I asked the children if they had hear anything, they said “what noise?”

Yesterday, Alain brought us into shore to a place called “Riviere de Corail”, which is precisely what it’s name implies. The current was decent, and pulled us along through a maze of shallow coral. I was impressed with Kate and Gwen. Without much fear they were able to swim past giant sea urchins, and anemones and follow each other through narrow passages of sometimes jagged coral. Elles ont beaucoup de courage ces deux.

Today, we are on our way to bora bora.