We left our mooring in Fare on Tuesday, August 9 after first stopping at the main village dock to top up our water tanks. The dock is in reasonably good shape but lacks cleats, bollards or bull rails – anything easy to tie a line to. You have to take a round turn or two through the decking, which makes it interesting when there’s a strong wind blowing off the dock, as there was for us that morning.
We enjoyed our stay off of Fare; we liked the slow, quiet pace of the village. But more secluded anchorages beckoned.
A short motor south inside the lagoon brought us to a spot near Point Teapara. This was on Huahine Iti and close to the southwestern opening to Port Bourayne, one of the two large bays that separate Huahine Iti and Huahine Nui islands. Our anchorage was off a small, fine sand beach surrounded by lush vegetation. There was evidence of abandoned buildings upland from the beach, broken concrete walls and foundations. We later read this was all that remained of a resort swept away by a major tropical storm that struck Huahine almost two decades earlier. We walked the beach, then sat in the cool shade looking out at the turquoise lagoon.
After two nights off Point Teapara, we dropped the mooring and took a tour around Port Bourayne bay before continuing south inside the lagoon to Avea Bay. Avea Bay is near the south tip of Huahine Iti, Point Tiva. The wide anchorage of Avea Bay is bounded by an expanse of shoal water created by a vast sand bank inside the coral reef. More than a mile wide in places, it stretches outward from the deeper anchorage to the coral reef itself. This shoal water is too shallow for any but small craft. You could probably walk most of it out to the reef. Deep water between the shore and the sand bank provide safe and comfortable anchorage. It makes a good water playground for tourists staying at the Relais Mahana, a small resort of beach bungalows with a very good restaurant.
During one of the days we were anchored in Avea Bay, we rowed ashore to explore a large marae right on Point Tiva. It was quite impressive, although most of the surrounding wall has disappeared the main raised platform on the beach is still intact. The site is a public park and, while we were there, the “park techs” were busy raking up leaves and debris, keeping the grounds neat and tidy.
Another day, we followed a trail up the hills opposite the marae to a view point overlooking both Avea Bay and the bay around the other side of Point Tiva, where there is a small village.
Exploring around the resort, we found that the restaurant next door, Chez Tara, was offering a traditional Polynesian buffet feast the next day (Sunday). Of course, we had to stay for that! Sunday noon we enjoyed a very filling and delicious buffet that included taro, breadfruit, tapioca, and red bananas as well as roast fish, marinated pork, and a couple of chicken dishes. All accompanied by local musicians who were clearly enjoying themselves. We sat at a communal table and talked with a French couple enjoying a three-week holiday – celebrating his 60th birthday and their 30th anniversary. It was fun sharing stories about travels and grownup kids. He had lived for a time in the Bay Area and had vacationed in the Redwoods and on the Olympic Peninsula, so they at least knew where Portland was – not the usual case!
Today (Monday) we are back at Fare. We’ll stay here one night before sailing over to Raiatea and exploring both Raiatea and Tahaa over the next couple of weeks.
Some miscellaneous photos: