The season moves ever on, and the winds are forecast to be favorable starting tomorrow. So, assuming that the good weather-organized boat Venn diagram comes together, we'll make our departure from Ra'ivavae to Rapa.
We've been lucky enough to visit a lot of islands in Polynesia over the last six years. Ra'ivavae has been our favorite of the lot so far.
|Harold Tamaititahio - our great help in Ra'ivavae|
We love meeting fellow sailors, and I love the way that the common experience of people who go to sea in their own boats is a dependable bridge over national differences.
But, when there are lots of boats around, as there are in most of the South Pacific anchorages, sailors tend to assort by nationality, which I find tends to defeat the whole idea of travel. Worse still, when you share no common language with the locals, and little in the way of common outlook, a fleet of anchored boats gives you a pool of people who are easy to interact with, and that in turn makes it harder to get down with the locals, as it were.
So this mix, of one other boat with whom we could compare notes and trade stories (the delightful crew of the Dutch yacht Hera), was just right.
|Marcelle and Eric|
"Thank God for the lunettes," we would say to each other as people pressed gifts on us. When you consider the work that goes into producing food here, and the easy grace with which it is given to strangers, reciprocation with an old t-shirt doesn't feel up to the mark. So the lunettes have finally given us a way to feel that we're reciprocating adequately to Polynesian gift-giving.
(The many people who do the work to collect the old reading glasses and get them to us, while Alisa and Elias get all the fun of handing them out - that's another story.)
But, then, someone from Moorea whom we met here smiled when we said we were going to Rapa and replied, "Rapa? You'll cry when you leave Rapa."
New places ever await.