After almost one year at Tania marina in Papeete and many attempts to begin our sailing again, we have learned as many that now is not the time to plan too far ahead. Just to get back on board Amanecer is enough for right now. But alas the wind blows and the boat tugs at her lines wanting to carry us off for more adventure, more beauty, and more of this wonderful lifestyle.
So without adding dates and timelines our loose plan is just to get our feet wet literally and shake off the dust in our sails and in ourselves. What better place to re-engage the cruising life than the Society Islands!
Time begins again in Tahiti with the typical evaluation of the boat, systems, and supplies. After many starts, the process is almost by heart from memory. Gives us time to work with our new crew and deal to growing Joshua new tasks as well:-) Depending on the new COVID protocols we should be exploring the island of Tahiti for around three weeks.
Tahiti : Tahiti… Just the word ; The world’s definition of paradise.
Moorea: is the natural second stop a quick sail from Papeete. On the mountainside of Moorea’s sharp landscape eight summits featuring a magnificent ancient volcanic crater which has now become a lush valley. It is the perfect area for hiking, horseback riding, quad biking, or four-wheeling to explore the natural beauty Moorea has to offer. The majesty of its peaks, crystal turquoise waters, great hikes, scuba, kiteboarding will keep us at anchor in Cooks Bay for a week’s time.
Huahine: and Faaroe Bay then awaits as we get further from Tahiti and the Polynesia culture really kicks in. For surfers, the Fitii break on the western shores of Huahine Nui has consistent waves. Jet skis are a great way to explore the lagoon’s vast stretches. Snorkeling is ideal for exploring the underwater world of reef walls, fish caves, and coral gardens. The famous dive sights and culturally rich villages will keep our island-hopping dream alive. Sharing stories with other sailors at the famous Huahine Shack bar.
Raiatea: and Haamene Bay is next and if we are tired of seeing pristine beaches and more blues than BB King we have chosen the wrong boat! Raiatea, meaning “faraway heaven” and “sky with soft light,” was first named Havai’i as is considered the homeland of the ancient Polynesians. Recognized as the most sacred island in the region, the green-carpeted mountains rise to the cloud-capped peak of the celebrated Mt. Temehani.
Tahaa: Just a few klicks and the beautiful Apu Bay is next. Vanilla-scented air wafts on breezes that pour down the hillsides from the island’s many vanilla farms, and those gentle aromas ride the ocean breezes proclaiming the island’s soul long before you can see it on the horizon. Many historical sites and waterfall hikes to be had here. And the island life will be fully kicking in…
Bora Bora: Nothing more to be said Polynesia and Hollywood, in a nutshell.
Maupiti: Magnificent sceneries, endless white sandy beaches both on the island and the motu, legendary rocky peaks, and ancient marae all blend nicely with the friendly and smiling style of the islanders
Monuriki: The Mamanucas have long been considered the most beautiful islands in the Fijian archipelago – and Monuriki is their crowning jewel. The impressive volcanic peaks of this island are covered in lush tropical foliage, which pours down the craggy rock faces and onto the surrounding beaches surrounded by a kaleidoscopic reef. Uninhabited and completely raw in its beauty.
Caqalai: The tiny island of Caqalai is Fiji’s hidden treasure, appearing as a mere speck on the map and thus often overlooked. The islet’s majestic palms and colorful flora arch over the narrow beachfront and into the shallow waters, sheltering the few rustic bures that accommodate the adventurous traveler. At low tide you can wander beyond the island’s shores, exploring the sandbanks and small lagoons left by the receded Pacific Ocean and enjoy magnificent views across the uninterrupted, seemingly infinite blue horizon.
Taveuni: As the third largest island in the archipelago, Taveuni has much to explore. Often referred to as the ‘Garden Island of Fiji,’ Taveuni’s craggy volcanic foundation is swathed in dense rainforest, the depths of which house a number of enchanting lagoons, waterfalls, craters, and coves to discover. Its canopy also shelters a number of Fiji’s indigenous plant and wildlife species – many of which are found exclusively on Taveuni, such as the spectacular Tagimoucia flower.
Nacula: Beach lovers would be hard-pressed to find a more heavenly place on earth than Nacula. An island in the Yasawa chain, Nacula is home to Long Beach, arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Fiji – and quite possibly in the world. A crescent-shaped stretch of pristine sand that holds the serene, turquoise-blue ocean in its arch, Long Beach is picture-perfect, and also boasts some of the best snorkeling and swimming opportunities in the archipelago. Behind the blissful waterfronts, Nacula is hilly and forested, sheltering a few Fijian villages as well as some lovely eco-sensitive resorts.
Lakeba: Few visitors venture as far as the Lau Islands, which are scattered across Fiji’s vast eastern border. For this reason, these islets remain virtually untouched. The rest of this 54-square-kilometer island is home to about 2,000 Fijians who live in the few coastal villages scattered about its perimeter. Lakeba is, therefore, wilder, more rugged in its beauty, and completely authentic in its character.
Kadavu: Kadavu is home to the stunning Great Astrolabe Reef – one of the largest and most abundant coral reefs in the world that teems with unusual marine life. Kadavu is a spectacular diving destination, but there is plenty to explore above sea level too. The island has a distinctive coastline, with several indentations and coves, some of which are so deep as to almost cut the island in two. This makes for some gorgeous bays.
Waya: Waya is a rugged, hilly island most of which is blanketed in the thick, untamed forest. Brave the hike and views at the summit of Waya’s dramatic peaks, out across the ocean and down upon the island’s steep cliff sides, are truly spectacular. Down at sea level, the beaches are stunning, and the surrounding coral reefs abundant with wonderful marine life.
Qamea: The small island of Qamea lies just off the coast of Taveuni. Its rippling perimeter makes for several wonderful bays, coves, and little inlets, some of which are lined with divine sand beaches whilst others are walled by towering, craggy rock faces.
Vatulele: Vatulele is a remarkably flat island in comparison to much of the archipelago’s hilly, volcanic terrain. Due to its rocky foundation, Vatulele has several fascinating geological features – craggy caves, rock pools, and dramatic cliff sides.
Beqa: Beqa lies ten kilometers south of Fiji’s largest and most populated island, Viti Levu, from which Beqa’s striking, mist-veiled peaks are visible from across the water. The Beqa Lagoon is renowned for its scuba-diving – especially due to its abundant and varied shark population. It is also the birthplace of fire-walking, which involves walking barefoot across hot stones or embers – a tradition still practiced by residents of the nine Fijian villages that call Beqa home.