Rangiroa Redeuxdeux

by Dane on August 29, 2013

The last month has been a hectic whir of life experiences and boatwork. I am writing from the boatyard in Raiatea (yes, back at the boatyard, but not in it) where we’ve been tied to the dock for almost two weeks, repairing the windvane autopilot and sanding, scraping, Cetol-ing the wood. This evening we depart, bound westward toward Suwarrow and American Samoa, approximately 700 and 1150 nautical miles distant, respectively. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Rangiroa was magnificent, as always. Within minutes of stepping ashore on a random stretch of the main road, our friends Mamia and Evotia drove by and saw us, stumbling around looking for cheeseburgers. The next day Mamia came by in a boat and swooped Boz off to the village for a couple of nights of Tahitian culture re-immersion while I baby-sat the boat on account of the foul weather in the anchorage.

Then cameth Benoit. Our host of hosts, comedian extraordinaire Tahitian pal brought us over to his house where he happened to have a large family of acquaintances over on holiday from Tahiti. Thus ensued a blur of feasts, sleepovers and Tahitian language lessons. Our awesome new friends put on a spectacular dance and haka (war dance) performance as a birthday celebration for me, which was absolutely epic. Boz even participated in the haka, and the whole thing was planned covertly as a surprise and practiced for just one hour before show time.

Our Rangiroa visit was capped by a boat trip to the far side of the lagoon (~30 miles) where we spear-fished, feasted and then sojourned to the fabled “Sable Rose,” or “Pink Sands,” an expanse of pink sand beach which apparently used to be a sight to behold. Used to, because even though tourist brochures still hype it up, all the sand is now under a few feet of water after a storm terraformed the area.

Benoit and all of our new friends were amazing. One of the hardest things about meeting such generous, good-hearted and welcoming people is figuring out any possible way of returning the kindness and showing how much you really appreciate the friendship. Maybe when they make it to the U.S. one day we’ll put on an epic rock concert in the backyard, in their honor…

After all the Rangi shenanegans we said our goodbyes, slipped out of the glassy Tiputa pass (not at all like last time), exchanged a string of bad words and farewells with Benoit on a dive boat nearby, and sailed for Bora Bora. The wind was steady and firm and we arrived less than two days later and just in time for some very expensive but tasty Cheeseburgers at the MaiKai marina.

Here’s a shotgun sampling of pictures. Tahitians love to laugh and my ribs were sore for a week straight. And you’ll likely notice the ‘hang loose’ sign being thrown every other photo. It’s kind of a thing here, and I like it, as is evidenced by my pathological use in every pic:)  When we have decent internet I’ll be taking the time to label them with names, details etc., but for now, the sea calls…

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