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Moorea

By Chelsea McBroom

March 19th, 2014

The Picton Castle arrived in Moorea in the early afternoon, just hours after sailing away from Papeete, and anchored in Cooks Bay. The water was brown with sediment and the current strong. Moorea is another very green lush island but with many peaks and the full sky of clouds passed mistily over the tops. I had heard many of the crew describe the island as a place they imagined dinosaurs still existed or that Godzilla lived. The trees were tall and ancient and we saw large groups of bamboo sticks growing. As we passed into the bay more than one waterfall could be seen, one falling higher than another in the distance, towering over the ship.

Port watch was given that evening off to go ashore – the Mate returned from his quick trip ashore to check out what was there and told the crew what was open on a Sunday (very little). The following day starboard was given the day off, the day after was port’s day off again and the crew took the opportunity to rent vehicles to drive around the island. The Captain and his wife Deborah told us the majority of shops were at the outermost areas of the bay, a decent walking distance from where the ship was anchored and so for some, having a bike or car made sense. People seemed to be most interested in visiting a waterfall or the fresh juice shop which gave tours and samples.

Alex, Pania, Lily, Nolan and I had lunch at the nearby pizza place (which was an outdoor bar and sitting at a bar stool you could watch them make and bake the pizza that was ordered) and drove around the island before the evening, having stopped to swim in the bluest water and the whitest beach, to walk as close to the waterfall as the signs would allow, and to pick up some fresh produce for the ship.

When we returned to the bay area we had a craving for fish and chips, a dish I thought we would have been sick of from eating nearly every day in New Zealand. We found a kind man who ran a restaurant which was normally was closed on a Tuesday for dinner. But he seemed to be familiar with the ship (and came out wearing a Picton Castle hat and a grin on his face) and decided he would make us all fish and chips and serve us himself on the patio. Teis and Averil joined us just in time and we were the only customers. The gentleman spoke little English but didn’t let it stop him from teasing us at every moment – just when dinner was ready he came out with four very small saucers with little bites of fish and lettuce on each and said “bon appetit”. We pretended to be too full when he brought out the actual plates, heaping with bread fruit chips, salad with avocado and fried fish. At the end of the meal he brought around a plate of flower heads for us to put behind our ears and gave us a kiss on each cheek.

getting ready to sail the monomoy

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