After what seemed like way too short a time in the Tuamotos, we sailed to Tahiti. We went there to celebrate Jacob’s 30th birthday and to do a crew change. When I say Tahiti most people think of honeymoons. When I think of Tahiti, I think of one long party with great people.
It started soon after we had dropped anchor outside Marina Taina and I went ashore to meet friends from other boats. It was my first time in a proper bar with happy hour since Galapagos. The prospect of 2 for 1 beers put a huge smile on my face.
The first massive party we organized was Jacob’s 30th. We invited every boat we knew, plus friendly neighbors and told them to bring friends. The result was predictable: A TON of people. Actually, assuming most people weight 75 kg we had over 3 tons of people onboard. No wonder the boat was leaning forward when everyone went to the trampoline for the birthday cake.
The party turned out really well, with birthday cake, birthdays songs, dancing, singing and lot’s of drunken debauchery. What more could one ask for?
You know it has been a successful party when no one remembers when the party ended. I have a vague notion that the sun was rising when I passed out on the trampoline. It did however not take long before I was rudely awakened by an airhorn blasted in my face from 30 cm away. It turns out that one of our French neighbors hadn’t appreciated the party and wanted to repay us for keeping him awake, by waking us up at 8:30 am … Thank God I was hung over, because an airhorn from 30 cm would drive even a pacifist to violence. I luckily just rolled over and pointedly ignored him, so after circling the boat, blasting his horn, the pissed off guy dinghied away.
A few days later we were able to experience a solar eclipse. We put on specially designed glasses and stared at the sun. We weren’t in the right location to experience a 100% eclipse, but it got up to 98%, which was eerie enough.
After the solar eclipse, we started having crew change. The first one up, was my brother flying home. I was really sad to see him go, because it had been sensational having him onboard. He was my most valued crew member and now he was the first one to leave, because he had to go home, both to finish his MA and to have a lecture at a big conference. We enjoyed a sundowner when he had finished packing and talked about how awesome the trip had been since Panama.
On Bastille Day, my brother left and Einar and Kjersti, my 2 new crew members arrived from Norway. They will be a welcoming addition to the team. Here’s a group picture the evening Einar and Kjersti arrived.
We had a great Bastille Day party that started at happy hour in the bar on land and continued on my boat. Einar and Kjersti arrived in the middle of happy hour, but they didn’t miss a beat and were soon to be found in the bar. When the bar slowed a lot of people came with us back to AI. Again it was a lot of fun, but not as late as Jacob’s 30th. Unfortunately the next day my French neighbor came back and virtually spat at me when expressed his displeasure at our Bastille Day party. I guess he hadn’t found the Bastille Day spirit. He also called the cops, but they were so hung over from celebrating Bastille Day themselves, so when they showed up, they just muttered something about respecting everyone in the anchorage before they took off.
After 2 sensational parties, we now restrained ourselves and limited our partying to other boats, the bar on land and most importantly the sandbar. The sandbar is a shallow sandbar where a lot of people take their dinghies, drop anchor and wade around in chest high water. There is volleyball nets there and several floats and it is an great time. You basically spend the whole day playing volleyball, frisbee, throwing footballs, swimming, talking and drinking a few beers.
With my Panama crew gone, we re-provisioned and shot off to Moorea as soon as we could. Naturally we had to restock our severely depleted booze stores.
It was time for the journey to continue, but now with 4 of us onboard instead of 5. I was also happy to get away from the parties, because my liver was aching and it was time to explore.