June 2000 - Dancing in the Pacific
Posted on Friday 2 June
We sailed to Moorea. Just as we were coming out of the space we were in, our anchor chain got wrapped round Christina’s (our next door neighbour) anchor chain, so Dad had to jump into the most foulest water you could imagine and untangle it!
It took four hours to get to Moorea, and it was very rough because the sea was confused by the wind squall above. At last we got there. It was PARADISE!! Absolute paradise. It was amazing! We snorkelled around the boat and saw all the things in my picture called Moorea coral fish 1. The next day we snorkelled again. But this time we took the dinghy to a reef far out. We saw all the things in my picture called Moorea coral fish 2. It was fantastic and the sting ray was HUGE!
Description of landscape: Palm trees and flowers on the beach, white and sandy. Wonderful mountains in the background, with extraordinary shapes and sizes. The bay is flat calm and wonderfully clear (apart from, now and again, a carpet of plants appear).
We are now moving to Captain Cook’s Bay. A whole load of dolphins were showing their fins. We got into the water, but they weren’t playful today. So here we are, with the sunlight dancing daintily on the surface of the smooth glass-like sea. I can’t wait to get to Captain Cook’s Bay. It’ll take about an hour. Right now I am listening to the Hobbit tape. (I have read the book but I like to listen to the tape every now and then).
SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS
We arrived in Cook’s Bay. We went ashore to have drinks and met up with Keith and Lorna. Keith was on the boat Alphabet and Lorna on Friars Goose. Dad told me that Captain Cook didn’t anchor in Cook’s Bay. He anchored in the bay round the corner which was called Opunohu. Very weird! So we booked cars for the next day to drive round town, and went to the edge of Cook’s Bay by the reef. We had lunch in a Chinese restaurant. Me and Hannah learnt how to use Chinese chopsticks. We are still out of practise though! In the middle of lunch Dad’s tooth chipped! Half came off! YOUCH!! Mum and Dad went to the dentist. Tress, Mark, Hannah and I went snorkelling. Tress saw a moray eel. (Jolly unfair!) We stayed the night there. Then we went to go driving around. First we had lunch. We played on the beach for a while. The water was baby blue. Lovely colours. Then I had a fish burger. I loved it. Then (here comes a big one!) WE WENT TO A DOLPHIN CENTRE, SWIMMING, LISTENING, TOUCHING, AND PLAYING WITH THEM!!!! (phew!) We had a dolphin of a time!!! (ha ha) Then Mum and Dad went for a massage while me and Hannah went to a children centre. We had a whale of a time there too! Drawing, colouring, basket balling, going on the swings .... we had a great time!
We sailed back to Tahiti. We said a very sad goodbye to Tress and Mark, and met up with Sarah and Nick. We drove round the island in two cars. We went to the Gauguin Museum. Right next door there was the Botanical Gardens. They were lovely. We found a star fruit to take back to the boat and the museum was beautiful. To get there, we thought we had lost the other car that Sarah, Nick and Mark were in. They went into the wrong turning. After a while of waiting we set off to investigate. We passed a restaurant called ‘The Gauguin Restaurant’. We guessed (and guessed right too) that they had mistaken it for the Gauguin Museum. So we turned round and came back. In that time we turned round in, they had come out and found the real museum. So they obviously weren’t where we looked. So we went 10km back to retrace out steps and couldn’t find them. So we came back and found them in the museum! Then we went back after having lunch in a hotel by a pool, and there were dancing, and singing going on so that was fun. We sailed to Bora Bora. About three hours into the sailing a 77 knot wind hit us! We were stuck under a howling wind! After that it was very rocky and I threw up in the loo yuck! At last we got to Bora Bora. If you call Moorea ‘paradise’ you should see it here! Cloud white sands, blue blue water with amazing colours and textures. We had a quick drink in the yaught club bar and then had supper on board. Mum said she would eat her hat if Hannah finished supper first, and she did! So Mum instead cut up her hat (which I thought quite nice, but Dad seemed to despise it) and threw it away after she took a mouthful of it.
We went to a restaurant to have supper. After supper we went down to the beach to watch the dancing. The girls wiggled their bottoms and the men flapped their knees in and out. At one stage all the dancers took one of the audience. (A Polynesian lady taking a man out of the audience and a Polynesian man taking a lady out of the audience). A Polynesian boy about my age who was dancing asked me to dance as well!!! A few ladys did that to Dad and Mark too! I had to wiggle my bottom slowly at first, and then faster and faster with the music! It was immbarissing but fun! Dad was just vibrating his knees and flapping his hands. It was so funny! The grand finale was three men throwing fire and licking it. One man kept dropping his fire torch so he wasn’t as immpresive. After the dancing Nick called the boy my boyfriend! (Ha ha!)
We went to a tiny island which took 30 minutes to get there. It was quite hard coming in because the reefs weren’t marked by buoys. Then we went to the beach on it. The island was so tiny, that to get from one end of the island to the other (lengthwise) it would take 5 minutes. If you went from one end of the island to the other (breadthwise) it would take 3 minutes. Me, Sarah and Hannah sun-bathed while the others snorkelled. Sarah got out her paint set and started painting. It was a painting of me and Hannah playing in the sand, with the beautifully coloured water in the background. That evening we went for a drink in the hotel. After that we headed back for the dinghy dock. When we arrived we saw three manta rays doing backwards somersaults!!! They were very big and very beautiful. It was very hard to tear out eyes away from the fascinating sight. It was lovely!
DRIVING ROUND THE ISLAND
We all hired a car to go driving round the island. We stopped and climbed up to a canon. It was an American gun left after the 2nd World War and the Americans used Bora Bora as a base to fight the Japanese. Then we went to the restaurant ‘Bloody Marys’. I had fish and chips. Then we went to the shops and bought some sarongs. I had to ride in the boot of the car and that was quite fun because it was only meant for baggage and I guess no one in Bora Bora rides in the boot that was only meant for luggage! Mum called me a packing case and that was a good expresion because I had to fold up like a packing case so that I could fit!
Posted on 12 June
We went to have supper at Bloody Mary’s. I had yellow fin tuna. It was delicious. I was very tired and nearly fell asleep on the most uncomfortable thing I’ve lain on in my time: the stones! Next day, we set off for Tonga! Luckily the bad weather had subsided and we had a swell just right for all of us. This is the second day of sailing. Like all Brian Jacques’ books, I can’t keep my nose out of my book for more than an hour.
We caught a 1.75m marlin! Unfortunately I was asleep but I saw the tail, the fillet and the blood! We had it for supper and lunch. It was delicious! We have been having no wind whatsoever. So we stopped at Raratonga (a Cook Island) to get some deisel for the engine. We went ashore for lunch and I had yellow fin tuna in Hollandaise sauce. It was wonderful! Unfortunately we have to leave soon. When I say soon, I mean before dark.
We left Raratonga after a freezing hose shower. In the middle of it a lady came along and said there are real showers round the corner! But was ok after you got used to the tempreture. At about tea time we were again on the waves. All that day, I read my book. Felt a bit queasy. The next day I listened to my walkman. I threw up, but Dad gave me a toffe so that the taste would go away. At tea time we had the famous chocolate brownies a la mum! It was all gooey and delicious. The next day I finished my book and started a new one called THE BORROWERS. So far it’s quite good!
Posted on 21 June
Nick had his birthday. I made him a friendship braclett. It was three different shades of blue and white. It was zig-zaggy in the middle. Hannah gave him a crocheted glasses case. Big Sarah gave him a painting and Mum and Dad gave him an oyster shell and some colouring pens. At tea we had scrummy choclate cake, and I made a paper candel. Mum made letters saying: NICK 34. She placed them one by one on the cake. Then she sprinkled flour on top, so when we took away the paper, the lettering showed clearly. The problem was that the flour sank into the chocolate icing so that it could only just be seen by the time Nick cut the cake. It was DELICIOUS!!!!! (Me and Hannah even had second helpings). That evening we had a sweep stake. I said we were going to arrive on Tuesday at 6 o’ clock. The next day we saw a whale. His spout was HUGE!! He jumped out of the water! Well, he came half-way out anyway. That’s how we knew it was a humpback whale.
COUSINS, AUNT AND UNCLE
We arrived in Tonga. It is amazing! So green and lush! We went alongside. Then we saw Andrew and the children coming on the wharf. They were shopping and saw us come in. Stephie was in the carving shop and we saw her later. We said hello to them. Stephie and Andrew kindly said that me and Hannah could stay in their hotel for the afternoon, and that they would look after us. We played snap, happy families and swam in the pool. The next day we had a small race. We came third out of ten boats to beat! For our prize we got a dinner in a really nice restaurant for two. That night we had a dinner of quite spicy beef, pork where you could see the whole body, feet and even the head! We had to have this disgusting spinnage and some lovely pasta. All this we chose ourselves because you had to pick out which food you like on a long table. I shared it with Hannah. Our cousins and aunt and uncle moved from the hotel to the boat. Mark went to the hotel to give space, and Sarah and Nick went as well.
On Saturday it just rained and rained and rained. It was a really rainy misery. Dan, Marc and I went to the swimming pool. We like swimming in the rain you see. That night the grown-ups sewed the sail because it ripped in the race. They sewed and sewed all the way up to midnight. On Sunday we went to church. The singing was lovely. I tried to pick up the words but I ended up going OOOO instead of AAAAH and AAAAH instead of OOOOO! Around the end a man stood up and started shouting. He was crying a bit too. I didn’t understand but I really felt a bit uncomfortable. Then we met up with Tania and Robert. We went to another island with them. It was called Kapa. It was raining again but we still swam to the beach. That night we moved to the Tongan Beach Resort. We met up with Tania and Robert again (because they went before we moved) and Sarah and Nick too. We had a few drinks then we went back. In the morning we had breakfast in the restaurant. We saw Sarah and Nick there too. We saw a sea snake after breakfast! It was black and white and stripey. It was extremely venomous! Then we said a very sad goodbye to Sarah and Nick. Sarah was crying. Then we went to another little island.
We went to coral garden and snorkelled there. It was simply amazing! The colourful fishes swimming in and out of the coral. You could see every spot and stripe on every single fish because the water was so clear. Some of the coral looked like lots of different coloured chewing gum splatted on the sand. Some looked like sticky squashy balls stuck together. Some just looked so different and rare, that you’d never even dream that they existed! The fish came in all different sizes: small, big, fat, thin, colourful, plain, long, short, wide and slim. Some shy, some bold, some fast, some slow. We gaped through our masks at the variety. To get to this paradise you had to go over a VERY shallow part. You had to be careful not to touch the coral going over because it is poisonous. There are big waves crashing over us as we do this. My favourite fish are the tiny, electric blue ones.