9/2019: Moorea, SLC

9/1

Relaxed on the boat most of the day, it was nice and calm and in the afternoon we all went out on kayaks, paddleboards, and a float to check out some areas near the boat and look at the fish.

9/2 – 9/3

Worked all day.

9/4

In the morning we did a tour at the coral gardeners outfit in Cook’s bay. This was interesting, they are collecting broken coral fragments from around the island and then replanting them inside the lagoon. Afterwards we had lunch, and I worked the rest of the day.

9/5

We did a whale snorkeling tour in the morning, picked up at Magic at 7:30 and then heading right out. We visited two cows with their calfs, with several other boats around at both spots. The first time, the whales checked us out but then started moving on (the calf was pretty big, a couple months old, and swimming around easily). The second time, the cow and calf were hanging out in one area: the calf would go down to its mom to nurse, then up to the surface every few minutes. This calf was incredibly interested in people, it seemed to be doing out of its way to approach them at the surface. We watched one group where the calf went right through the middle, just feet away from the people who got out of the way, and a later time the calf approached and came right up to a guy who was freediving a few feet below the surface. Pretty awesome to watch. Right before we headed back to the boat it came up and gave a very close pass to us as well, really cool to see it from less than 10 feet away as it casually swam past all of us. It was a challenging day as it was extremely windy and despite the protection from the island pretty choppy, but really glad we went and a great experience.

9/7

In the morning our guests left, and then we went diving on the outside, having a nice time and listening to whales singing for the first part of the dive. Very cool. It was our anniversary and we went out for lunch at the nearby Hilton, again nice, and then relaxed on the boat and enjoyed it just being the two of us.

9/8

I went surfing at Haapiti in the morning; for the last week and a half there has been a mixture of large swells and strong south winds that made the break unsurfable, and I didn’t try. Conditions were really nice, with light winds and a nice swell level. For the first hour and a half there were just a few other people out, which was nice and gave me the confidence to get further out towards the main lineup and get onto some really nice waves. I ended up with 15 rides and 3 quality starts. After getting back to Magic we hung out the rest of the day.

9/9

We went diving in the morning, having a really nice time with all the critters on the reef we like. Several visits from a lemon shark, lots of turtles, and we checked out a new group of anemones that Lisa found on a dive with her friends last week.

9/10

In the afternoon we went out for lunch and then did the Magic Mountain hike. It was very hot but felt good to get out and exercise.

9/11

I went surfing at Haapiti in the morning for two hours. I was alone until the last 15 minutes when some other people showed up. It was a little spooky being by myself but I felt more comfortable than at other times in the past, and despite some tricky conditions — reflecting waves, texture from a light SE wind — I had a lot of fun, getting 15 rides, with 3 quality starts and several really nice rides. I was feeling that focusing on the quality starts is maybe not the right way to do things. I can just get out to where the waves are nice and ride whatever I can, trying to get onto the shoulder or peak and just avoiding riding waves that have already broken because it’s just not all that much fun. After doing some work on the boat we left for Tahiti in the late morning, motoring and then motor-sailing in pleasant conditions to the Taina anchorage, arriving in the late afternoon.

9/12

Hanging out at Taina.

9/13

In the morning I went boogie boarding at Taapuna for the first time. The swell was a little over 1 m, and some of the swells were pretty powerful, though not crazily so. There were only a few other people out and I spent my time on the inside, catching rides on a peak there. Lots of fun, and this spot at least wasn’t too intimidating.

9/14 – 9/16

Hanging out at Taina, some time spent jogging. We had trouble leaving the boat together for long periods as the anchorage was pretty crowded (including several derelicts) and we had to move the boat several times due to swinging close to one of our neighbors.

9/17

I went boogie boarding at Taapuna soon after sunrise. The swell was larger than last time, around 1.5 m, and there were some good sized waves that seemed to be breaking right as they reached the reef. I was continuing to stay cautious and ride the inside peak, getting some more good rides. It was fun watching the other folks, there were several boogie boarders who repeatedly got into nice tubes, plus one surfer who got tubed. I saw more people riding waves like this than I have in all the times I’ve been to Haapiti, this wave is definitely steeper and much more hollow. A couple people wearing wetsuits and getting great rides made me feel better about wearing a wetsuit myself, it just seems prudent with a wave like this.

9/18

I went boogie boarding again at Taapuna in the early morning. It was gray and drizzly but nice out at the wave, which was at a 0.9 m swell. I was braver and spent most of my time at or just inside the lineup, which started with five or so surfers and dwindled to two by the time I left (a little over an hour, like my previous sessions here). I got several really nice rides on steeper parts of the wave, practicing maneuvers like bailing out by pulling back into the face of the wave. Things were feeling pretty good though I did get tumbled several times and was glad none of the waves were too big. At one point I was paddling out and tried to duck dive a wave that broke right in front of me, but with the boogie board I wasn’t able to get far enough under the surface and got caught and hit the reef several times. I was glad I was wearing my wetsuit and didn’t get any scrapes. Moved Magic into the marina afterwards.

9/19 – 9/21

Hanging out at Taina.

9/22

We went surfing / boogie boarding together at the beach east of Pt Venus. It was pretty windy from the east but with little underlying swell conditions were pretty manageable, a strong side rip and lots of somewhat sloppy but still rideable waves coming in. We both had a lot of fun, and I got 30 rides or so in a couple hours.

9/23

Shopping and getting things for laying Magic up for a few months.

9/24

After preparing the boat much of the day we got it ready for storage and then flew out in the evening.

9/25

We arrived at SFO in the morning and then continued on to SLC.

9/26

Hanging out in SLC.

9/27

We went biking on the wasatch crest trail. It was forecast to snow starting tomorrow so this seemed our only chance, and despite having spent so much time at sea level lately we just went for it. This worked out well, we made our way up to the top of Puke Hill slowly, then enjoyed some great riding on smooth singletrack a couple miles further along the crest before turning around.

9/28 – 9/30

Hanging out in SLC.

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