7/2017: Raiatea, SLC

7/1

In the morning I started decommissioning, and not long after dawn we went into town to check things out. We walked around, shopped for food, talked to some folks, then headed back to Magic. Later we went in with trash and Lisa stayed behind to use the internet and explore on her own, while I waited on Magic for a few hours, still pretty tired. When I went in to pick Lisa up we walked around, and, drawn to music coming from a recreational center type area we sat it on a practice (I guess) dance with several guys on drums, a ukulele, a conch, and dozens of dancers doing a really long, physical, coordinated dance with each other. We spent about 45 minutes there, with the dance continuing the entire time until when we left. Watching the dance was fascinating, a really cool experience. In the late afternoon I went kiting from the boat, but squalls started coming in soon after I started so I only stayed out for 20 minutes or so.

7/2

We spent several hours on decommissioning, then headed into town to try to have lunch. It was sunday, and all businesses in town were closed, so we walked around a bit and then went back to Magic. There was some wind and I went kiting for an hour or so, and then we went snorkeling together for two hours or so. This was nice, the shelf area to the south of the anchorage was ok with some coral and fishes and two morays living together in the same hole (very unusual), and then we found a better area near a small island west of the anchorage which had sights including lots of frilly, delicate coral, some coral heads with hundreds of juvenile chromis hiding in them, and an anemone with five anemonefish of different sizes and a dozen dascyllus (black with two white/blue spots) living in it.

7/3

We had a nasty fight during the night and in the morning I was pretty distressed. I did a little decommissioning work in the morning, and we went in around lunchtime to try to get to the Gendarme, which was closed, and have lunch, where Lisa left before the food had arrived and didn’t return until I was about to leave the place. We went back to Magic, and I kited while Lisa snorkeled, then we did some decommissioning work. Not a great day.

7/4

It was calm in the morning and we dinghied a few miles to the carenage to see them and talk about the haulout. Afterwards we took the dinghy south of Uturoa and snorkeled in the pass which we’d entered the atoll through, finding surprisingly poor visibility but some good coral and fishes in the shallows, especially an area with many large anemones with resident anemonefish and dascyllus. We cut things short when some weather started threating, and headed back to Magic. The wind came up in the afternoon and I went out kiting for the last time of the season.

7/5

In the morning we moved the boat to the anchorage in front of the carenage. We brought a couple people from the carenage out to the boat to measure it for the haulout, then we waited for them to get ready. Eventually they radioed us and we brought the boat to the ramp, where we floated Magic over a platform they had assembled. It took a few hours, but they were very careful getting the boat ready to be lifted, and pulled the platform out of the water with a tractor. Very interesting procedure, different from and slower using a travelift but definitely less stressful for us. We spent the rest of the day decommissioning.

7/6

After a little decommissioning work, we were picked up by a boat at 9am for a tour that lasted all day. We had a great time visiting several places (pearl farm, snorkeling, great lunch, vanilla plantation) as we circumnavigated Taha’a.

7/7

I woke up early and we spent the day finishing decommissioning the boat. I was in considerable pain most of the day due to REDACTED, which continued as we flew back to the US in the evening.

7/8 – 7/31

We stayed in SLC to unwind from the trip. Did some hiking and biking but that’s about it.

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