French Polynesian Cruise Days 2 and 3

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Oceania » French Polynesia » Huahine
January 8th 2014
Published: January 9th 2014
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Papeete TuesPapeete TuesPapeete Tues

The pier from our balcony
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013.

I stay in bed almost the whole day coughing until it feels my lungs will come out, while Dee Dee lounges by the pool and explores the town next to the harbor. But I awake intermittently, for a snack at lunch and then again when it is time to pull up anchor. Pretty exciting. Dinner at 6 and our window table looks out over an incredible sunset. The only negative experience on the cruise so far is one of our assigned dinner companions, an aggressive, bossy, know-it-all I’ll call Mad Max who manages to insult at least four of us and call Dee Dee a derogatory term (which later turns out to be not so offensive since he is Jewish too). We are relieved when dinner is over. After dinner Dee Dee and I check out the tiny casino and I sit at the bar with a few people we met our first day out while Dee Dee plays a few feet away in the casino.

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013. Well, it’s 8 am in Los Angeles.

Dee Dee and I awake about the same time. We glance at our clocks and
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Another look at the island just before we lift anchor
jump out of bed thinking we are at or close to our next stop. We sit out on the balcony and wait and wait and wait. But no island. Finally we realize that we had both looked at our cell phones, still on LA time, instead of our watches. We’d been sitting outside since 6 am. But by then Huahine is in sight and it's fun to see it get closer and closer, craggy rock softened by dense foliage, white sand peeking out from underneath the edges of the tree lines, and that famously-beautiful turquoise sea.

I really don’t want to go anywhere, but I’ve already paid for a tour so I force myself to get dressed and head below decks where I pick up a tender to take me to the little pier on the island. Dee Dee stays onboard to roast by the pool. By 10 am it is already hot. And there isn’t a lot of shade. But I stroll up the road stopping to take pictures of flowers and a couple of crabs.

At 11 we load up a small bus and we are off for a two-hour tour of the island. I’m so
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7:43 am First look at the island
glad I take the tour because it turns out to be a fun day. My guide is great. She has a hearty laugh and clearly loves her island, still relatively untouched by tourism. The highlight for me is a stop at a channel filled with perhaps a foot of running water where our guide proceeds to feed these huge blue-eyed eels. From my vantage point they look several feet long and some are at least 20 inches round. We also stop at a vista overlooking the bay where the Ocean Princess is anchored. The water is just so striking, everywhere you look.

When we get back, a quick lunch then nap time for myself and my crispy friend who assures me she will turn brown by tomorrow.

We pull up anchor about 5 and as the ship heads to our next stop, we join our new friends for dinner. Cruise lines do know how to keep you stuffed. On a final positive note, Mad Max and his wife are no where to be seen. We are delighted.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18



7:45 am Movin' right along

7:50 am
Ship's tendersShip's tenders
Ship's tenders

The tenders serve as transportation between the ship and some of the islands

Took a walk just off the pier while waiting for the tour bus.

My first wildlife sighting
Ummm. Bird?Ummm. Bird?
Ummm. Bird?

My 2nd wildlife sighting. He looks a lot cooler than I was feeling. It's humid here.

The flora and fauna make the wait for the tour worthwhile
Group Hut Group Hut
Group Hut

One of the first stops on the tour, this hut is now used as a museum
Fish trapFish trap
Fish trap

Some of them are pretty old and are passed down in families
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Tour guide

Showing off vanilla beans, one of the main crops of French Polynesia
Sand barSand bar
Sand bar

Amazing there are homes here. On a sandbar!

9th January 2014

I think you know I have a timeshare in Tahiti on Moorea. I wish I had known you were going. I\\\'ve been going for 20 years and know some things about the islands and the people. Look forward to all your stories.

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