Today I moved over to the west side of the airport to the huge anchoring and mooring area surrounding Marina Taina. I think it’s called the Maeva Beach anchorage although from where I am, I can’t see any beach and I don’t know technically where that anchorage begins and ends. There’s A LOT of boats around here ranging from ultra elegant 100’+ yachts to the rusting, hard-chine steel hulls that seem to form a some sort of niche with French sailors. I’ve seen them along the whole trip, through the Caribbean and Latin America, but the number of these homemade-looking boats around here is staggering. This anchorage is like the Coral Bay of the west; it’s filled with boats you can barely believe made it this far. I don’t mind it here all that much. It does get rolly on a monohull and I find myself staring out the window at the catarmans with a wanton desire. The bar at the marina has bands on the weekends and you can hear the music out across the water which I love. It’s especially handy right now since I was unsucessful at cranking the outboard. With the wind, current, and traffic here, rowing a RIB dinghy single-handed with one working oar lock is more likely to send me in circles than anywhere close to my intended destination.
I decided to grab a mooring since it’s so crowded over here and this area does have a reputation for getting nasty when a big stanky westerly wind blows through. It’s not that I don’t trust my anchor but I figure the last place I want to be is up on the bow in the middle of the night, butt naked, wrestling with the anchor as Dosia drifts through a crowded anchorage in 50 kt winds. Some things are just plain easier when your by yourself! There’s probably fifty moorings out here but all the ones up close to the actual marina are taken by Frenchies who came here and never left. I tied up to one of those when I first got here but within an hour I had a guy in a “mankini” on a Beneteau hovering over me explaining in French it was his mooring. So I moved down to another which also has lines on it and certainly belongs to another boat but no one’s come yet so hopefully I can stay the night. I plan on moving back over to the quay tomorrow where I can begin the official “Margie Cleanup” before she gets here on Thursday morning.
Tomorrow is Sunday. Perhaps the worst day to be alone in the South Pacific. As Paul Theroux wrote, “there is nothing more pacific than a Pacific Sunday” and there is no better description. Business stops, the radio goes quiet, and the people disappear into their churches and homes. Tahiti is the one island where you can expect a little more action on Sunday and even here it still feels like a ghost town. Once I get the watermaker pulled out and ready to ship, I’ll probably spend my Sunday looking into our passage west. I want to learn more about the islands in our path. I’ve realized my eyes were a bigger than my wallet in planning our time in French Polyneisa so we won’t end up using the full six months of our extended stay visas. Everything is too expensive here. We’ll hang out as long as we can but with similar, cheaper islands on the horizon, it’s hard not to think about following the sunset sooner than later.