Saturday, July 16, 2011

Avea Bay, Huahine

We have had a beautiful time here anchored in the SW corner of Huahine. It is just a gorgeous location. We are anchored in about 25' of very clear water, behind a huge sandbank that is only 3' deep, and then there's the reef with the breaking waves on it out ahead of us 1/4 mile. If the sand were just a little bit deeper, we'd be out there with the catamarans, anchored in the aquamarine water.

We got here a couple of days ago. One day we went on the short hike up on the ridge to take pictures of the bay. Unfortunately, the Australian Pines are growing up in the middle of the picture--we had a hard time finding a clear shot. I was disappointed that none of the pics we took really convey what a stunning place this is.

This time of year, there are always 7 or 8 boats anchored here--a couple of charter cats and the rest cruisers. The charter boats usually anchor up ahead in the shallower water, and only stay one night. The cruisers come for a couple of days. But the bay is so huge that we could put 30 boats in here and not feel crowded.

Another day we went exploring in the dinghy, east around the point. We were looking for a good snorkel spot, plus exploring the pass and the town. The pass was breaking across, so we didn't go outside, or even just in the pass. The town is tiny, but we did find an open grocery store and bought a couple of baguettes for lunch. The coral we found was alive but only in about 3' of water. Lots of sand. Lots of clear water. Not what I'd call great snorkeling. The best we found was actually between the 2nd and 3rd stakes that mark the way around from Avea Bay to the town of Pareo.

Yesterday, we took the bikes ashore and ended up riding all the way around Huahini Iti--about 20 miles on good mostly-flat paved roads. Yesterday was 'Bastille Day', basically the 4th of July date for France. So nearly everyone was home in their small houses on the water. The 2 or 3 small 'magasins' (stores) we passed were locked up tight, and traffic was very light A few tourist restaurants and boutiques were open. We enjoyed seeing the variety of homes and waving at the people we passed. Nearly every one had carefully tended gardens--some just ornamental, but most a combination of flowers and food--including taro, yucca, pineapple, banana, coconut, papaya, mango, green beans, melons. And of course, everyone has a few chickens hanging around. Most of the homes had 'million dollar views', even though some were just barely shacks. We envied them their simple lives, and I'm sure they envy us in our big boats and shiny new bikes.

We would like to go to the east side of Huahine, where there are more beautiful behind-the-reef anchorages. But you have to go outside the reef and beat your way around to get there, and enter through the reef on the east side. And the wind forecast in the next few days is for 20+ knots. So we'll skip that. We got a pretty good sampling of that side just riding the bikes around yesterday.

Today we head back up for the big town of Fare in the NW.
Sherry & Dave
In French Polynesia til August, then west toward Tonga

At 7/11/2011 11:46 PM (utc) our position was 16°48.72'S 150°59.63'W

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