Wednesday, June 27, 2018

French Polynesian Lunch To Go

Sylvia in Raiatea

It's very common here for people to pop into the local supermarket to pick up a prepared lunch to go. The most common are the casse croutes or baguette sandwiches. We're also used to seeing various marinated raw fish lunches. But this one really caused me to do a double take. 

Tartare de Boeuf with all the garnishes.

This was the first time I had seen beautifully packaged Steak Tartare complete with garnishes of raw egg yolk, capers, diced onion and tomato and some sort of sauce or dressing. It's flanked by packages of poisson cru, aka Tahitian fish salad (raw). They had just put them out and people were already jostling to grab one. They eat the Tartare with a baguette. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Missing Captain Coconut

We wanted to do a nice, long post about SHINDIG Rob's visit, but unfortunately we've not had a decent internet connection so a shortie will have to suffice.

After a few weeks of working on CINNABAR we were all itching to take a break from the dreaded boat work. The weather was pretty much agreeable for a sail to Huahine, one of our favorite islands in the Societies. We got out of the anchorage a bit too late for the sail to Huahine so we motored over to Tahaa (another island that shares the same lagoon as Raiatea) and anchored just inside the pass, ready for a morning departure. It was Captain Coconut's birthday so on the way over I baked up a batch of chocolate cupcakes for the celebration later that night.

Shhh...he had two. Don't tell Nancy.

It was an upwind sail to Huahine but the winds and seas were pleasant, Rob drove the whole way, the motor was off for most of the trip, and Rob did an outstanding job of dodging the squalls on the way. Six hours after leaving Raiatea we anchored near the town of Fare in Huahine, ready for a festive Friday night at the Huahine Yacht Club (a bar and restaurant, not really a YC).

Just before Rob managed to convince Tom to turn over the wheel.

That night after Tom and Rob had gone to bed, I heard some frantic whistling outside and popped my head out to see an out-of-control traditional sailing canoe heading toward CINNABAR ready to spear us with the hull and two amas. The guys on board were shouting "Throw us a rope!". I yelled, "Don't hit the boat!" and called for Tom and Rob to come up. The canoe sailed by, sails flapping loudly, and luckily they missed the boat. Tom and Rob dropped the dinghy in the water and managed to help the canoe get to shore. Disaster averted. 

The next day (Saturday) we weighed anchor and headed down to Avea Bay at the south end of the island, hopefully so the guys could find some winds for kiting. Which they did. More about that later from Tom. 

A restaurant in the bay, Chez Tara, is known for its traditional pit-cooked Polynesian Sunday Brunch buffet. The patrons were a combination of tourists and locals and every table was taken. It turned out to be a terrific meal, lots of succulent meats, poisson cru (Polynesian ceviche), and other traditional dishes. One plateful of food was more than enough for me but I saw a couple of local guys go back FOUR TIMES. And then they served up a dessert buffet! Wow, what a meal.

Pulling the various meats and veg out of the fire pit.

Friendly hosts dish up to grub.

Luckily the winds were willing to accommodate a couple of kiters. Tom and Rob got in a day or two of kiting. We also dinghied way out onto the reef for some snorkeling.

Alas, Rob was on a schedule and we had to return to Raiatea so he could fly home. 

In Raiatea you can dinghy straight up to the airport, which has its own dinghy dock. So cool!

Captain Coconut, you were a wonderful guest and you are welcome on CINNABAR any time.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Raiatea Rising

We are anchored in NW Raiatea catching up on boat projects. The weather has been settled and calm (unusual in the tropics), and for the last few days we've enjoyed some beautiful sunsets next to Bora Bora-in-the-distance (about 23 miles west of us). 

With the recent full moon we have also enjoyed some unusually lovely moon-rises as well...

Our Memorial Day full moon rising over Raiatea.

Our internet in this location is terribly slow, so more later on SHINDIG Rob's visit aboard Cinnabar. We had a fabulous time including a sail over to Huahine for a few days. Coming up: Sailing, Traditional Island Feast, Kiting!