Monday, September 5, 2011

Thieving Locals

So, long story short, we were robbed in Moorea.

At one in the morning at least two people paddled up to Galactic in outrigger canoes.  They took Eric's swim diaper, rashy and board shorts from the lifeline where they were drying.  They took our fishing rod and they cut the American flag off of our stern rail.

And they took our outboard right off the inflatable, which had been hanging out of the water on the spinnaker halyard.

And after that, brazen scoundrels that they were, they paddled over to Pacific Bliss, anchored behind us, and took a camera and the family's shoes and snorkelling gear from the cockpit.  Then they tried to jimmy the lock on Pacific Bliss's outboard and woke Colin in the process.  Nonplussed to find two men with t-shirts wrapped around their heads in the process of robbing him, Colin screamed loud enough to wake us up.

He and I gave sleepy chase, but the rascals got away.

So a trip back to Papeete to buy a new outboard was in the cards.  We returned to the crowded anchorage at Maeva beach.

I started the hot and dusty work of venturing into town to check out prices at the various outboard shops, and researching the mysterious procedure for claiming back the tax on the purchase, our right as a yacht in transit, and then entering the bureaucratic maze to actually get the tax back.

We really weren't all that keen to be back in Tahiti.  But, as always, there were compensations to make up for the shortcomings of the place.  For one thing, we were anchored right next to Silver Lining, the only other Noble 451 ever built.  She's the staysail schooner on the right, and that's Galactic on the left.

We had a great time meeting her convivial crew and comparing notes on the boat.  Frank and Margo have gotten a lot of Pacific miles out of Silver Lining over the last 18 months, including two visits to the Austral Islands, and it was great to see that our sister ship had been such an able travelling boat for them.

And we had the company of our good mates on Pacific Bliss, who came to Tahiti to take care of various chores before they head back east to the Tuamotus and Marquesas.

Who wouldn't enjoy the company of this lot?

Elias loved playing with their kids.  He had his first-ever sleep over on their boat, and in return played host for a sleepover for the first time himself.

We ended up visiting with these guys for weeks - in Tahanea, Moorea and Tahiti.  When we finally said goodbye to them, Elias cried and cried and cried.  Sigh - this is a new dynamic for our travelling life, watching our growing boy coming to grips with the transience of friendship.  He got over it quickly, but the poor little guy doesn't have the ability to hold himself back the way we adults do.  Towards the end of our visit, Cosmo and Zinnia were his best mates in the whole world, which makes for quite a difficult farewell.

So now Alisa has cried when saying goodbye to Yolene in Nuku Hiva, and Elias has cried when saying goodbye to Pacific Bliss in Tahiti.  I guess my turn is next.

The overnight passage to Huahine, in the leeward Society Islands, gave us the traveller's great gift of a change of scene.

This is the view of Huahine that greeted us at sunrise.

And that's where we are now.


  1. What a bummer. You sound so stoic about this nasty piece of work - perhaps just for the public record. Good news from us - Enki finally has her official papers for occupying French soil as of today! Gotta love that French red tape (as you know). Wishing you happy birthday, and seriously wonderful sailing, with much love to the crew, especially those who cry easily xxx

  2. Ohh, sorry about the robbery. FYI Cruising World has plans for security bars for hatches in the September issue. Do you have access to CW?
    Wishing you smooth sailing in the coming weeks.

  3. Even got wankers in paradise, eh?