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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hanamoenoa, Tahuata - Day 12 & 13

Hanamoenoa, Tahuata
Day 12 & 13

It rained... and rained some more through the night and into the morning. The enclosed cockpit side and back panels are fantastic water-keeper-outers, yet still allow the cool breeze to flow through the open companionway. We were enveloped in a mass of thick gray cloud and opted to leave our private secret anchorage to check out what might be interesting elsewhere.

Five boats were already anchored in Hanamoenoa and we almost passed it by, although there's loads of room in the bay. Carolyne cast her vote to no longer play the recluse family, so we motored in and found a spot. The sun appeared. We dropped the anchor just seconds before a dinghy piled high with little children on its pontoons roared through the anchorage, past our boat, turned around and sped past us again – little waving hands and joyous squeals.
"That guy is scoping us out for kids", Carolyne said waving back.
Not 5 minutes later, same dinghy approached us with one lovely 15 y/o teenage girl in tow, Cassidy.
Captain Courage introduced himself to us and his wife Shannon on sv Lil' Explorers and said, "Yep we've got kids – lots of them – what age do you want? Take your pick." Hilarious! And they are not joking. They have 6 children on board ages 1-15 years old. Carolyne and Cassidy spent all day together, walking the beach, snorkeling, Carolyne paddling her surf board while Cassidy kayaked. She also enjoyed a movie night aboard their 53' catamaran. So, we will be staying here a bit longer.

Great holding here.
Lots of reefs to snorkel; the water is superb. Temp is perfect!
Fish are bright and colorful and I saw an octopus!
No bugs (Charlie's Charts mentions no-nos 10 years ago, but they have buzzed off elsewhere).

We had a very sucky dinghy exit again from the beach... except this time there was an audience. Carolyne and Cassidy, wading in the water, were privy to my stupidity.
(Carolyne later told me she turned to Cassidy before we attempted to launch and whispered "Watch this!"... and I made sure not to disappoint.)
I gunned the outboard to get us out of the surf but couldn't straighten the tender out. The dinghy kept sliding sideways and back towards the beach as I made three - yes, THREE - 360* round-abouts with whirling blades of death moving perilously close towards the two alarmed teen girls. Thank God for the kill switch! Jim, hanging on for dear life on the starboard pontoon, finally got inside the dinghy, started it again and took us away from the surf line.
We did not yell and scream this time.
I did not topple backwards even once.
There was no water or sand inside the dinghy.
I think we're getting the hang of it... but apparently I need to take a Valium before attempting this – ever again – as my propensity to freak-out in a stressful situation seem to make matters much worse.

Five more boats came in and anchored for the night. Jim likes being nestled between the two Swiss boats with the young women – they like to swim and run around the cockpit nude.
As for me, a nice calm swim around the boat and, afterward, a couple glasses of red wine ceased my whole body from shaking. Yes, my tremors are most certainly the result of DT's... Dinghy Terror!

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