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Getting to Raiatea and Wings
After ten months of planning, we're FINALLY on our way back to Wings. How we've missed her, I can tell you. For those ten months, we've been concentrating on buying and thinking of boat things. For reasons outlined in our blog, we bought a new outboard in Tahiti, but everything else we bought in AK and have carried with us to the boat.
In the LA airport, lovely Conni awaits the opeing of the Air France desk. It was a relief to rid ourselves of the bags. We have two "Blue Boxes", our trusty traveling friends, my red "Bill Bag" (the product name), and Conni's black duffle. Air France's computer system crashed as they opened, so the customers had to wait for hours while their ticket information was laboriously entered by hand.
We are serenaded as we await customs in Tahiti. Note the woman's instrument: a stick and string connected to a large plastic tub. It was a surprisingly effective instrument. The man had that typical Polynesian tenor voice. He was strumming the ukulele, of course.
Tahiti's Immigration entry.
And the Tahiti International Airport, named Fa'a, is all open air as you can see to the right..
This is the commuter aircraft, complete with awaiting passengers, that flew us to Raiatea. Passengers were dropped off at several islands.
The ENORMOUS Boeing 777-400 that carried us to Tahiti in 8 hours. Compare that to our 23-1/2 day crossing from Mexico!
Fa'a, the Tahitian International Airport is lovely, all open air, and very functional.
On the small commuter that hauled us from Papeete to Raiatea, we were intrigued by this tiny "leg" that obviously was meant to prevent the tail from accidently hitting the ground. Presumably, it was removed before take-off
Our gear resting in Raiatea's airport, also open-air.
Our turboprop aircraft awaits the return leg to Papeete. Bora-bora looms behind, while the larger and closer island is Taha'a.
Another view of the Raiatea airport.
Cathy Brie and Conni pose in beside Wings. Cathy was the caretaker for us during the 10-month layover. She kept the boat spotless and air-out. She saved us days and days of cleaning.
She kept the boat clean and Cathy also left a flowered lei for Conni.
Clean boat, flower lei, and fruit and water! Now, how nice is that?
Raiatea Carenage, home to Wings for 10 months.
WINGS! Here she is, in her cradle.
One of my first great sailing heroes was a French sailor named Bernard Moitessier. A purist and one of the great solo sailors, he fell in love with and lived in the South Pacific. Amazingly, this is his boat: steel hulled, simple galvanized cable for stays, cable clamps rather than crimped fittings: he did everything himself. His wife still returns to sail the boat.
In our bungalow, this is the ceiling. It shows a sophisticated understanding of building materials.
Home sweet home while the boat is in disarray. It's primitive but clean and NOT on the boat! The kitchen is down the walkway.
From our bungalow's porch, this is the view of our compound and the island.
Outside the kitchen is a banana tree, just like Alaska! (That's a joke, by the way.) Do note the gap between the top of the door and the door jamb. Open air, indeed!
We also have what looks like a breadfruit tree. The leaves are very different from other breadfruit that I've seen, but the fruit itself looks identical.
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