Words by Bryson
Right now I think it is almost 40’C in the cabin, the engine is bellowing and the sun is beating down. Ryan just took a lie down because he is starting to feel the effects of heat exhaustion. Hugh’s face has a constant sheen of beautiful sweat all over it, and I probably look terrible…
Since I flew back to Khulula a little over 3 weeks ago, it has been a pretty up and down journey getting used to boat life again. Landing in Raiatea, after 13 flights in the last month, I was looking forward to sunshine, clean water and a bit of relaxing. Well, we had sun and clear water for about 20 minute in the next five days.
Sure, it rains in Vancouver, but you live in a house, own a dryer and have lots of space. When is rains in the Society Islands, it rains cats, dogs, men and everything in between. Throw in a lot of wind, and living on a soaked boat and that was our life for five days. Andy and Nancy of Sitka Surfboards fame, were aboard to get some waves and enjoy the cruising lifestyle. Well, we got wet, but all managed to get through it.
Numerous snacks of Brie cheese and cashew nuts, naked water filling missions (got to keep the last dry clothes dry), completely soaked dingy missions to check the swell and about 5000 games of scrabble kept us going.
Upon anchoring in one little bay, young Henrick paddled up on his kayak to invite us for drink with his parents later that evening. What a surprise! We all broke out of finest clothing (boardshorts and t-shirts) and headed over. It turns out they are new teachers in the school and college and where eager to entertain and speak English. We all had a great time chatting and learning more about the Polynesian way from life from them. Later that evening, their neighbour dropped by and invited us all for the local delicacy of Poisson cru. Wow! We had the most amazing meal of swordfish Poisson cru. It is raw fish “cooked” in coconut milk and eaten with all sorts of good fresh vegetables and rice. Not to difficult to prepare I am sure it is going to become a Khulula favorite when we catch fresh tuna.
Ryan and I snuck off on several occasions to watch some of the rugby world cup with our new neighbours. The main feature in this part of the world was the England vs. France semi final. Being in French Polynesia, the French supporters were out if full force and we were very mindful to mention to absolutely everyone in our non-existent French, that we were not English. “Yo no englanterre, eh ?”…
One interesting morning we woke up in the pre-dawn to check our anchor and make sure everything was ok, only to find that there was a pick-up truck crashed into the reef only 20 feet from us, one of the surfboards missing and an oar from our dingy missing too. We feel certain, the person in the car, crashed, swam to the boat, took the surfboard and oar and paddled home. Either that or he crashed, walked home, our surfboard blew overboard in the gale during the night and we left our paddle somewhere.
We also discovered that since our massive provisioning in Mexico, where we bought about 220 cans of food, we still had about 104 left. Now all meals are rated on the number of canned food items used in them. One can meals fail to generate much attention or admiration, while the inventive cook who manages to produce an edible meal using 5 cans is something of a hero. (Well, generally only until the food is tasted!)
Next up on the literary was the beautiful Bora Bora. Well, it is beautiful; there are about 5000 honeymoon couples there and some phenomenal snorkeling and scuba diving. The main town is very small considering the number of hotels on the island and most people generally stick to their hotels for the majority of their stay.
Very interestingly, the local municipality employs two people to clean the lagoon. These two drive around the vast lagoon with giant nets, picking up any floating garbage they see. As a result, the lagoon is amazingly beautiful and very little trash is evident on any of the beaches. Bora Bora is also the first place where we have managed to find metal can recycling.