Day 93 – Tahiti, French Polynesia – August 22nd, 2015

Tahiti – 08:00 to 19:00

Due to the weather, adverse current and I also suspect one engine not being online at times, our 07:00 arrival was delayed by an hour, but the Captain also delayed the departure by an equal amount. Today is the first of two days in French Polynesia, with Tahiti being most definitely the bigger of the two islands. Our tour today consists of a circumnavigation of the island with a number of stops at various points of interest. While eagerly awaiting the South Pacific islands, having now completed the tour, in our opinion, Tahiti is like any of the other many highly over developed tropical islands.

Temperature: High 27C/81F, Low 22C/70F

Wind/Weather: Strong winds, overcast and heavy rain on Eastern side. Partly cloudy and humid on the north and west sides

Sunrise/Sunset: 06:12/17:59

Clox: Z-10 (clox back 1 hr last evening)

 

Navigation

Sea Princess maintained a WNW’ly course at about 20 Knots, until 06:00, when landfall was made at the northern end of Tahiti. Course was altered to a WSW’ly heading along the coast towards Papeete. The local pilot embarked about 07:00, at which time various courses and speeds were made good until secured alongside the berth by 08:00.

About 19:00, the Captain let go the lines and thrust Sea Princess off the berth, before navigating out of the harbour. Course was set for Boro Bora at a very sedate 13 kts, as the distance is only 150 miles.

 

Tahiti

A high volcanic island comprising two islands joined together, with the larger northwest portion known as Tahiti Nui and the smaller one Tahiti Iti. Located within the Society Islands Archipelago, Tahiti is a French Overseas Territory and is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia. The current population of the island is about 200,000 and the capital is Papeete.

 

Activities

Almost at the date line, the English Premier matches were very early, so with the games already completed, I checked out the scores before heading down for breakfast, when the dining room opened at 07:00. Not expecting too many pax, they assigned everybody at a table for 2. Needless to say we were in and out in a flash, even with sending my porridge back for being cold. When ordering, I requested the porridge be re-heater, as it’s always cold. Guess the waiter didn’t believe me, since he brought the usual plate of lukewarm porridge.

We headed down to the Theatre about 08:30 and shortly thereafter our tour was called and off we went to the gangway. On clearing the dock we anticipated seeing a ramshackle old bus, called “Le Truck”, but fortunately, it was actually a real bus, with air conditioning. The guide was a local lady, with French obviously her first language. She talked almost continuously, but due to a poor P/A system and her accent, we understood virtually nothing of what she said. We drove around the entire island, approximately 50 miles, making a number of stops at viewpoints, a restaurant for lunch and the museum. In our opinion, Tahiti is just another highly over developed and populated tropical island. The restaurant was right on the waterfront, with spectacular views, but unfortunately the food quality was sadly lacking. The entire hot selections were cold and the fish and chicken grossly over-cooked. Both were cooked until dried out.

On return to the port, I initially thought of walking around, but changed my mind when remembering about the local Polynesian Show in the Princess Theatre. We both headed back to the cabin, with Judi lying down to relax her back, while I grabbed the Kindle and headed down to the theatre, planning to read while awaiting the show. Heading through the Wheelhouse Bar I noted the theatre doors closed and a queue on both sides. Just happened to be standing beside Faye and Vonnie, the ladies from our dinner table, who were enjoying Happy Hour. They mentioned the queue started about 15:00, a full hour before the show. Yet again, way too many passengers aboard this vessel do not seem to understand the mechanics of a queue. One couple sitting in the middle of the lounge, when the queue started moving, got up and rather than going to the back tried to push into the front. The chap that arrived behind me tried to push ahead of me and the group ahead of me, then he also invited a lady (not his wife) to join him. About 15:45, the grumbling must have got to the Cruise Director, as he made an announcement about how the performers were late and they had to complete sound checks. Interesting to note, the performers were already waiting on the dock when we arrived back at the ship about 15:00, a full hour before the performance.

Once the show started it was most enjoyable. As I expected, very similar to the Hawaiian Polynesian Dancing we see during our frequent visits to Maui. Since Judi had to rest her back, I recorded most of the show, so she could also enjoy the show. After the show I downloaded all photographs and film clips taken throughout the day and started work on the photographs until time for dinner. All aboard time was 18:30, but a number were still missing, with the last straggler wandering down the dock without a care in the world about 18:40. He received a bit of a riding from those out on their balcony. Shortly after he boarded, the gangway was raised and we set sail for Bora Bora.

Dinner was open seating tonight, so we all arranged to meet in the Horizon Court at 19:00. Judi and I made the arrangements, so we headed up early to get one of the large, round tables. I had some potatoes and other than that I stuck to salmon, which I waited and watched him cook on the grill and grabbed a couple of pieces as soon as they were placed in the dish. Yes, they were actually hot. We probably spent over an hour just chatting and laughing, enjoying each others company. We really did luck out with a great table of people, we happily refer to as almost lifelong friends.    

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.She talked almost continuously when the bus moved.

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