This is part 2 describing our trip to Raiatea of a 3 part blog on our trip to Tahiti. To recap, we were setting off on a two week journey that would include a week on a 60 foot catamaran from Raiatea with a captain and cook. We started on the island of Tahiti, (Read Part 1 here) then ended our journey with a stay in an overwater bungalow at the prestigious St. Regis Bora Bora.
As a recap, we traveled during the rainy season that occurs from December through March, which is a less expensive time to travel. See average weather chart here – http://www.tahiti.islands-travel.com/weather.html
We arrived at the airport too early forgetting that all of the local flights only require a 30 minute check in. However we were able to pack our bottles of duty free rum onboard and no one seemed to care what else we had. The inter-island flights do have a strict luggage weight limit and my carry on needed to be checked because it was too large for the tiny overhead bin…oops. Rose was able to make our flight instead of the later one she was confirmed on having made it through customs in record time.
An hour later we were all dropped by our taxi at Apooiti marina where we were told our boat would be moored, it was not there but we did find the company director who agreed to drive our luggage down the road into town where our boat was actually docked. We elect to walk in a light drizzle the ½ mile or so into town and once there head to the Champion Grocery Store to stock up on wine, juice, and other mixers which are the only things not included in the cruise fare.
Introducing the Crew
Boarding of our yacht Mata Fenua, an Eleuthera 60’ catamaran was at noon and as soon as we have been shown our cabins a delicious lunch of poisson cru, a specialty of raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk that was served with rice and a French baguette. This is a very typical lunch there. Although if someone did not like the uncooked fish Julie, our cook and hostess, would be able to accommodate with something else that would be just as tasty.
The rest of our crew for the voyage consisted of Wynn our captain and Alene, a 19 year old intern, who was learning the ropes of the hostess position. The other passengers joining us were Thomas & Vicki a French couple on their honeymoon and Christina from Switzerland.
After lunch we motored a few miles inside the Raiatea lagoon and anchored near a small building set on pilings about a half mile from the shore. We were shortly picked up by one of the owner’s of Anapaperles in her dingy. We took a short ride to the deep water near the edge of the reef and jumped in with our snorkeling gear. The owner’s assistant dove down and brought up a string of oysters from the depths for our pearl demonstration.
Michael, Thomas, and I swam back to the building while the others rode in the boat. Once on the deck we were shown the different grades of pearls and the way the oysters are coerced into producing the black pearls by the introduction of a special shell bead and a small piece of tissue from a “pretty oyster” which is the only fatality in the operation. Each of these donor oysters can produce up to 60 implanted cultured pearls of various size, color, and quality. One of the pearls we witnessed being removed from its host was a vivid golden hue which I instantly wanted to possess. Unfortunately it was a very expensive pearl and I must depart without it.
After the pearl lesson we pulled anchor and moved another mile or so in the lagoon. We anchored for the night and Tomas opened a bottle of French champagne. This will be one of many New Years toasts for the evening! Our first dinner is leg of veal with polenta, a green salad, and bottles of French wine purchased in Raiatea. Every meal onboard will be accompanied by crusty baguette picked up along the way. The rest of our night was spent dancing on the bow but we decided at 10pm to hit the pillows as the New Year had already happened in California.
Stay tuned for part 3 of our exciting adventures in Bora Bora!
Did you know that I am a Tahiti Specialist? So, contact me toll free 877-775-6252, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a Tahitian trip to be remembered for a lifetime!
About the Author, Lisa Theodoratus, CTC, The Luxury Travel Expert:
Lisa Theodoratus is a Certified Travel Consultant, as well as a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor, and enjoys traveling as a host on her Ensemble Escorted Cruises where she can interact with guests and ensure that all their wants and needs are met so their trip is remembered for a lifetime!
While Lisa loves all things travel, her favorite vacations are taking cruises because it gives a person the ability to visit many obscure and mysterious places one may miss taking a land excursion. Some of her favorite trips have been on small luxury vessels or riverboats in exotic locales!
Lisa has many favorite destinations — whether she is designing her clients an elegant trip to Italy, Tahiti or a cruise in Europe or Alaska – creating a personalized luxury trip that they will remember for the rest of their lives is her passion!
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