Tintin is moored up right by the bustling waterfront of central Papeete, the main town of Tahiti and the Society Islands and the administrative capital all of French Polynesia. It's a sharp contrast to the quiet atolls and bays we've been cruising for the last month.
The ARC boats are gathering here a few days earlier than planned due to a forecast for strong winds and high seas. We had a calm day yesterday for our arrival, but boats arriving now describe a "bouncy" time last night en route from the Tuamotus with squally weather.
Its calm here though, despite tropical downpours at regular intervals.
We are enjoying regrouping once more, and making the most of shoreside luxuries. My first onshore shower (ie unlimited warm water) since February in Panama, truly wonderful!
Some members of the crews made the most of our proximity to bars and nightclubs to celebrate our arrival ...buying croissants at 4am on the way home for our breakfast. Thanks Pim!
We are making a gentle start to our to do list. Reprovisioning early this morning in pouring rain at Papeete's central market was unforgettable. So many weird and wonderful colourful fruit and veg. On a Sunday people come with their produce from all over the island, setting up stalls from 4 am, and selling out or closing up by 9 when most people go to church. A whole row of stalls sold lei- fragrant flower garlands, and flower tiaras, worn to church by many.
The coconut doughnuts ....yum.
We aren't going to hurry away, there is an incredible inland landscape to explore here in Tahiti, almost fantasy-like with sharp peaks and steep green valleys. But I'm sure that after a few days we'll be wanting to find an anchorage behind a reef somewhere, as we explore the next island downwind of us: Moorea.