It seems I am safe over here in Moorea from the worsening Dengue Fever outbreak in French Polynesia. It’s not like I can be concerned with it anyways since apparently I’m only one of 2.5 billion people living in “at risk” areas. It’s epidemic in over 100 countries. I pulled out my old WHO International Certificate of Verification to see what I’d actually been vaccinated against a few years ago when I had the shots. Hmmm…let’s see Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, and Hepatitis B. Well, I’ve managed not to stab myself with any metal objects while traveling so that’s good. No need for the Tetanus. I’ve hopefully avoided food and water laced with Typhoid infected feces (although I certainly ate some questionable things at Carnival in Salvador, Brazil) so no such need for the Typhoid shot. As for Hepatitis B, I’ve managed to steer clear of whores on my journey, short of one who wasn’t even foreign, so I think I could have done without that one as well. It seems Dengue is the only disease I’ve come close to out here and there isn’t even a vaccine for it! Next time, I’ll skip the shots. After all, you could compare them to insurance and I’m out here without a lick of that (health, boat, or otherwise), so why be concerned with it?
In my opinion, Moorea is the most beautiful of all the Society Islands and so far, this anchorage at the mouth of Opunohu Bay is the best. I’m anchored in 12′ of water so clear it looks like you can reach out and touch the bottom from the bow. The reef is to my left and a small public beach is to my right.
I spent the first night in Cook’s Bay. It’s gorgeous in there and I would have loved to spend a couple more nights but alas, the real world calls and I needed the internet to get some work done.
I planned to come to Moorea first thing on Saturday morning but at 6:30am a massive Va’a race flew past the mooring field at Maeva Beach in Tahiti. Va’a, outrigger canoe racing, is every bit as important to the people of Polynesia as Georgia football is to Athens, Ga. I’d estimate that between 6:30 and 8 o’clock, fifty race boats and 300+ support and cheering boats passed by on their way out the pass to Moorea. The “follower” boats were loaded down with spectators flying the flag of the team they support and cheering them on. I assume they start racing that early in hopes of finishing before the tradewinds kick in sometime between 10am and noon. I left the mooring around nine to cross the Sea of Moons to Moorea, about a ten-mile trip, and by eleven all the boats were passing me on the way back to Tahiti. Those guys are nuts.