First Leg of Susan's Next Big Adventure

Sunset over MiriMiri Motu

Sunset over MiriMiri Motu

It’s the start of the next big adventure!

There are so many components that go into one of these trips and on top of getting ready for Tahiti, I also had to take into account that I go on from there to Australia and New Zealand.

What to keep and what to discard?

I know I will regret getting rid of some of what went out the door but I was determined to get it down to just one suitcase. It took me a week of cogitating over things and down to the last minute practically, before I left. But I did it, and weighed in at exactly 50 pounds! But I cheated with a backpack and a very large “purse” that has both my laptop and iPad in it!

Betsy, Jane and I met up at LAX for the red-eye to Tahiti. The flight was jammed but I got lucky as the seat next to me was empty! The only one on the plane so it didn’t feel so confining.

Raiatea flight delayed

Raiatea flight delayed

Our connecting flight to Raiatea was scheduled for 8:40 but after a long 3-hour delay, that found us really dragging, we headed out to our first island, Raiatea.

When I first landed in Uturoa in 1968, the town was tiny with dirt streets and the waterfront lined with copra sheds, where we, the crew aboard Vadura, danced to a Tahitian band on Bastille Day! I even remember what I was wearing – a tiny silver sliver of a mini dress and silver sandals!

Our Airbnb host, Manarii, a young Air Tahiti pilot met us at the airport and transported us to our bit of paradise! Right on the water, it is such a magic place. He was so kind and took Jane and I, after a quick swim, into town to get some groceries before he rushed off to work.

Although the town has grown up a lot, there is a still much of the old charm. Of course, it’s modernized even from my last visit which was way too long ago. It crowded and noisy and colorful and I loved it. We did a quick shop, bought the last three chocolate croissants from the bakery and headed back to the house for a much-needed drink.

Relaxing on the veranda, surrounded by all the tropical vegetation and bathed in the warm air, I was in heaven. We watched a brilliant sunset over Miri Motu as outrigger canoes raced back and forth.

Taking in the view

With wifi at the house, we were able to catch up with emails but by 7, we were all ready for bed. I woke at 3 this morning to bright moonlight and roosters crowing (it was so bright out they must have been confused!) and went out to watch the moon set over MiriMiri and enjoy the solitude of an early, tropical morning.

Today the work starts – provisioning and chart briefing in preparation for the start of the trip tomorrow.