It has been fun and rewarding to sail a small boat across the ocean and to visit remote islands that few people have even heard of. I enjoy a childlike anticipation as we plan for the next adventure and giddy excitement as we arrive someplace new. And I have cherished the special joy of sharing all of this with close friends and family. But for the past couple of weeks, we have turned down the pace and have been just chillin’ in Tahiti.
We’re not trying to sail hard against the wind to get to a new place the we heard is interesting. We’re not underway for days at a time, sleeping in 4-hour shifts. We’re not trying to get just one more dive in before the sun sets. We have taken a vacation from our vacation and it feels good.
Since January 1st , we have been pushing hard to prepare the boat, sail from place to place, and keep busy with activities and work. We had a couple of weeks with unplanned activities after Tony, Jacque, and Larry flew home from Tahiti and before we meet Laura and Charlie in Bora Bora. So, we caught up on some things (food, laundry, fuel, water, propane, and engine maintenance) and took it easy for a while.
Mind you, these simple tasks that take no time at home can take a full day. To get diesel fuel, we had to go to a dock on the other side of the island. It took half a day to get there and half of the next day to get back. To refill the propane tank, I carried the empty tank over a mile through downtown Pape’ete in a wheelbarrow to a filling station. I picked it up 2 days later (with the borrowed wheelbarrow) and paid 5000 FPC ($50). We stayed at a dock for a few days where we had unlimited water. I filled the water tanks and washed all the rugs and towels in a bucket and hung them to dry. Since it rains frequently, I was always on laundry watch, trying to bring in the towels before they get an unwanted added rinse cycle. I also carried 2 loads of dirty clothes to a laundromat where they will wash and dry a small load for 2000 FPC ($20). When we were at the dock, we could get fresh produce at the farmers market, just a couple blocks away. But most of our time has been anchored out where a run to the store will take well over an hour.
But I had plenty of time to do nothing, and I really enjoyed it. I swam whenever I felt like it, listened to music, read books, cleaned things that were already clean, and just sat and enjoyed the views thinking that yes, life is good.
While I was content with this time as a floating recluse, Max took the opportunity for more activity in Tahiti. He has made friends with locals and has enjoyed spending time with people of his generation. He has toured, visited, surfed, and partied. Max had a couple dates with Hiri, an awesome Polynesian lady from the island of Takapoto. Her sister, Torea, took him surfing for a day. We were able to reciprocate by inviting Torea, her mom, and three daughters to join us for a day of sailing and swimming.
As I write this, we are underway to Bora Bora and we can’t wait to see Laura and Charlie. Max and I both look forward to returning to Tahiti afterwards. The Polynesian Heiva festival goes through the month of July and we want to see some of the dancing and sports. Max wants to reconnect with his friends. Best of all, Laura may be changing her travel plans so we can spend 2 weeks chillin’ in Tahiti together!