The Elkins Round-the-World Voyage

July 9, 2000



Hi Friends, in Raiatea we moved down to the Carenage (the boat haul-out and fix it place). Dan found the bow roller was worn out, so we had another one made. Cost us 14000 ctf, about $140 less 20%.  We met some other boats Tulanaise and Zeeotter. We had a 5:00 happy hour for three nights in a row,  it lasted till 9:00. We had a good time visiting and ate some finger food.  I got some new recipes too.  The mountains here are high and lush green.  There are some pine trees, but they're on the south side so we didn't see them.

Went snorkelling by the pass.  It was great.  There was a wall that was very deep and then it sloped up.  We saw coral and lots of small fish. There were some natives swimming there,  they are good swimmers. Some were spear fishing so we stayed away from them. Dan saw a big moray eel going in his hole, in and out. I was in front of Dan and two others were in front of me, when I saw a great big Napolean fish.

I had fun learning to dive down under the water with the snorkel. Some people can dive 30-50 feet with the snorkel, otherwise free dive. Some of our friends were getting the bottom of their boat painted. They were from Belgium (To Skouliki Pierrot and Joanna & son Pierre) We met them in Hiva Oa. Tulanaise (Astra and Victor) is from Australia and her husband from California.  They have been coming here for 4 years. They just leave their boat here. They have made friends here and were invited to a celebration of their native friend's daughter.  She just finished nursing school so they were going to slaughter a lamb and have a feast.

July 10, 2000
We motored over to Taha'a to the Vanilla Tour but it was full so motored back and made reservations for Wednesday. We had a tea party at our boat that night.

July 11, 2000
Motored back to Taha'a and anchored on a reef and snorkelled. The current was strong and gave you a work out to swim in it. But it was fun. Dan dove down to check out the anchor and saw a shark. He thinks a grey reef shark! It was stalking him and following him. Dan turned and swam toward him and the shark came at him. So he jumped in the dinghy and was worried about getting back in the water. Our friends Zeeotter were swimming and didn't see a thing, so we joined them. We feel better in a group. More to lunch on.Watched a movie and had popcorn with Zeeotter at our boat.

July 12, 2000
Went on a vanilla tour at 8:00 am.  There were 6 adults and 2 children. Grey Hawk (Shane, Sue and Natalie (4yr & Trever 2yr) Zeeotter and us. We went in a 4x4 Ranger with benches built in the rear. We went all over the island and saw four bays at the top - it was beautiful. We saw every plant they grow there and vanilla too. We also saw a bread truck and bought some fresh bagettes.  The kids were very good and fun to watch,  just like watching our grand kids.

Then we went to a Motu to anchor for the night. We snorkelled around the boat and took a dinghy ride around the Motu (island) and hit a few coral heads along the way. We got high centered a couple of times too. But Dan is good, we got off OK.  Thank Heavens!   The water is 81 degrees and the humidity has been 90-98. 

Some of our friends went back to Hawaii and the states - it only took 17 days to reach Hawaii for the first boat. The second one got hit with strong winds, so don't know how long it took him. There are 3 more out there - we are listening to ssb as they cruise along and keeping in touch. Dan is torn is two directions to Hawaii and to Australia (new direction again), but so far on to Australia.

July 13, 2000
Plan to leave and go to Bora Bora. Till Later Dan & Sandy

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Eel.jpg (26509 bytes) Their skin is thick, smooth, and scaleless, while the mouth is wide and the jaws are equipped with strong, sharp teeth, which enable them to seize and hold their prey (chiefly other fishes) but also to inflict serious wounds on their enemies, including humans. They are apt to attack humans only when disturbed, but then they can be quite vicious.










Vanilla.jpg (17219 bytes) TAHAA, The Vanilla Island, produces about 80% of all the vanilla in French Polynesia. Tahaa is accessible only by boat.  Here you can explore the reef and the beauty of its multicolored lagoon, enjoy a picnic on a deserted motu or go hiking in the mountains and through the vanilla plantations.