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It was only three hours of slow, pleasant motoring within the lagoon that Raiatea and Taha'a share, but it did mean that our exploration had started and the yard work was done. And, Conni's long-held wish to circumnavigate Taha'a, postponed from 2014, might actually happen.
The view from our mooring back toward Raiatea Carenage, our boat's home for the past 10 months, and the sister yard, Carenage Isles Sous le Vent. We spent the first night on the mooring and had a delightful farewell dinner aboard Blue Heeler, a Bavaria 46 from Sydney Australia, with our new friends Carl and Ruth, their sons Django and Quinn, and their crew Tegan (who is from Vancouver BC and may come visit us in Alaska.)
After mooring in Haamene Bay on Taha'a's east coast, we paid the Maire (Mayor's) representative for the use of the commune's (village's) mooring balls. Several communes have put in very sturdy moorings as part of a program to make visiting yachties welcome, called Tourisme Nautique des Isles Sous Le Vent (TN ISLV) or nautical tourism of the Leeward Islands. In typical fashion, while Conni stumbled through my shitty French, our hosts handled Tahitian, French and some English with aplomb.
Bill couldn't stop taking "still life in Haamene" photos of all the stunning scenery. Taha'a is such a quiet, laid-back corner of the Society Islands. It's the antithesis of Bora Bora's over-the-top tourism.
Conni walking along the main road in Haamene. Note the boat sheds over the water. This is the typical way locals store their tenders and small boats out of the water.
A local who just ducked under the road overpass and was switching paddling hands in his outrigger canoe.
Yeah, just try to pronounce the name of the top-most village.
We're not sure if this Eglise (church) is very old, was ruined (perhaps by fire) and is being restored, or is very, very slowly being built. In any event, it's a bit of a ruin.
Bill in the afternoon sun in front of the village's main offices.
We couldn't resist taking this photo of the combination of very interesting and typical Tahitian roof lines.
How Now Brown Cow? Ranching, Taha'a style.
Just another gorgeous shot of the gorgeous scenery . . . Verdant.
We're not quite sure what these little boxes are beside this footpath. Beehives, perhaps?
The front of this lime-green house is even prettier from the water. Not sure I'd pick this color anywhere else, but is sure works here.
Wings on her mooring ball at the head of Haamene Bay, Taha'a.
A small footpath to make the boat sheds accessible on the edge of the village.
Another view of the lime-green house, with another visiting boat on a mooring.
What does one do with millions of coconut husks? When one produces copra, there are a LOT of husks! These enterprising folk grind the husks into chips for gardens.
As we reached the end of the concrete footpath, above, this local approached with his homemade boat for an evening paddle.
I just love to see this! A coconut, nature's finest long-distance seed, has sprouted another generation. Fresh water, that most precious commodity, and all of the oil and starch in the meat are there for the new plant.
A small and typical home for a resident. Some are fancier, and most of those belong to French residents, but the locals have simpler needs.
This is the concrete "malecon" built by the government. It's illuminated by solar panels powering LED lights. Power is very expensive here and LEDs and CFL are all one sees.
Back on the boat, Lovely Conni has created another of her wonderful evening cocktail hours. She's prepared rum and coke, with lime, for us both and a tray of two types of nuts.
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