(Continued from previous post… Tahuata, French Polynesia)
As we continued to travel north along the island to our next anchorage, Hanatefau, reportedly the 3rd prettiest in Polynesia, we saw some spectacular waterspouts along the shoreline.
Upon arriving we found that the anchorage was indeed gorgeous. Beautiful living reefs no more than 10 feet below the surface on each side of the anchorage, a pristine white sandy beach, crystal clear water with 30-50 feet of visibility, and gorgeous sunshine. A Manta Ray swam right past our stern. It was amazing. Tiff started off the day helping out a fellow cruiser by free diving 30 feet straight down to get a dropped piece of equipment, which is a rather impressive feat. (Actually, I started it by swimming some banana bread over to Rod and Elisabeth on Proximity, and when I swam back, I saw the Manta Ray fly past our boat! ~Tiff)
As thanks for helping them out, Michael and Gloria of Paikea Mist, a beautiful Beneteau Custom 50, (www.PaikeaMist.com) invited us out to go snorkeling with them. Now, again, I am still learning how to use this camera well underwater. That being said, there are some absolutely amazing parts of sea life just wandering around a few feet below the surface. This is a taste of what I saw:
Unfortunately for us with this much unrestrained beauty below us, perfect warm, clear water all around us and a baking sun above us, it is quite easy to lose track of time. We did just that, much to both of our extreme regret.
Let me tell you, it hurts. It hurts a lot. A LOT! I took a shower, used a wash rag and some warm water by accident two days later and was laid out on the bed for a good hour writhing in pain as it felt like someone was jamming broken glass into my spine. It took two ice packs and not moving much for the rest of the day to bring me back to a degree of normalcy. Needless to say, a bottle of waterproof sunscreen has been permanently added to my ashore backpack. But such are the risks for living in paradise.
Needless to say the tiny island of Tahuata was supremely amazing, well beyond any of our expectations or even our imaginations.