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We Depart Raiatea and Trip's End
After five weeks of work in the yard, and four weeks on the water, we finally departed the Carenage, Raiatea, and French Polynesia and returned home. Here are a few shots of those last few days, several of which I mentioned in our blog.
This is the hull of a sailboat that went aground on a reef, was hauled off by Dominique and his staff, repaired enough for transport, then completely repaired in the yard. This side of the boat was simply gone, so the hull was rebuilt, new plumbing, electrical, and woodwork was installed, and the hull was painted. To me, it looks as good as new!
This is our friend Eho, a master mechanic and jack of all trades. He speaks Tahitian, French, English, and Spanish. If it's mechanics, he can repair it! He owns several boats in the yard, and he and his two kids and French wife live aboard one still on a mooring.
Almost upside down, Conni paints on a last coat of varnish before we depart.
We've posted photos of this church in years past, but we visited again on our drive around the island. It's in a lovely location, but one that historically was the site of an important local shrine. Usurping local religious locations has a long and hallowed history in colonies.
The maintenance of the church building is quite extraordinary. The tile work is lovely and the painting of concrete and rock is quite laborious.
This is the inside wall of the marae, a local religious shrine. Raiatea in its entirety is the central religious site of the Eastern Pacific. Do note the obvious swirl of the coral source in the central block
I know that these steps are difficult to see, but they are the first that we've ever seen anywhere in the Pacific. Perhaps they are not original although they seem to be.
We hope that this photo looks vaguely familiar to you. It was taken from the land side of our pocket lagoon! Wings was on a mooring in the center, we think.
A short distance from our pocket lagoon we found this tiny harbor. Lovely Conni gazes at the Pacific.
From the same tiny harbor/marina, this is a look at the mountainous SW side of Raiatea. It's a gorgeous island.
Lovely Conni descends our ladder on our last day.
Our tiny Fiat Panda rental car and a last blue box of gear, await our departure in the yard.
Back in our bungalow, we're packed and ready to depart. The radar box in the corner is full of the old Raymarine radar, my red Bill Bag next, then our three blue boxes of gear. We don't seem to travel lightly!
We completed our drive around the island and came across the Faaroa Botanical Garden, shown here. It's been under extensive renovation and only recently opened. We took the opportunity to visit: HIGHLY recommended!
I have become an admirer of the flamboyant flowers of the South Pacific Conni tells me that this is a Bird of Paradise species. They grow wild in great profusion, splashing color everywhere.
We are looking back inland, of course, toward the high mountains that make the backbone of the island. Lush...
There are two rivers at the head of Faaroa Bay, and this is the more northern one, navigable past this dock constructed in the park. Those stork legs belong to Bill, alas.
Directly across from the dock is this scene of the mountains across the head of Faaroa Bay. I can imagine any kind of creature walking out of that scene.
Facing downstream, the river takes a sharp turn to the South. We do plan on dropping a hook in Faaroa next year and exploring this by dinghy.
Now it's Conni's turn to pose at the dock.
I can't imagine a more colorful flower than these things. As I wrote in our blog, I had always wondered where the locals acquired their sense of color: the bright and sometimes odd color combinations seem unreasonable. Now I know! They just look in the yard!
This is a bunch of immature bananas. We've never seen this growth stage before and it's quite interesting.
Mape, a chestnut varietal, has these ribbon-like roots. They remind me of cypress in the US.
This palm had a swirl of leaf roots coming from its stem. It was beautiful!
Here is our flight announcement for the Air Tahiti flight to Papeete. We arrived in Papeete, waited for 8 hours, and flew overnight to LAX, then home.
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