It's July 4th today. I almost didn't notice. We're not doing any kind of
celebration, but I do recognize the importance of this day, especially
when I contrast it with the big event down here upcoming Bastille Day. The
holiday which was celebrated here last week on Tahiti was the equivalent
to "Tahiti Pride Day" or "We Love Tahiti". The French
instituted the celebration, perhaps not many years ago - I don't know
exactly, but I have read no references to it in any of the guide books I
have, which admittedly are several years old. However, the French holiday
of "Bastille Day" is approaching, and is noted as a big event in
the Moon guide book "Handbook to the South Pacific" (which is an
awesome book BTW).
It strikes me that the Tahiti Pride Day (which was put in the schedule 2
weeks BEFORE Bastille Day) to assuage potential (or real) hurt feelings on
the side of the Tahitians that every year for the last 200 odd years they
have been participating in a celebration of the independence of France.
The day the French consider to be the birth of their nation, the way I
understand it. The very day the French were given their freedom. It might
bother me to be celebrating the emancipation date of the nation which has
occupied my country for the last 200 odd years. There isn't even a large
Independence movement here, though they do exist as they do in the
Marquesas and the Tuomotus (we saw many homes flying the ("Free
It seems unlikely the French will ever grant these islands independence as
long as the vast majority of native people enjoy such a high standard of
living. All subsidized by the French Gov't through the French Taxpayers.
When they become tired of the expense, it will all end and the islands
will be freed - but who knows when that might happen, I know nothing about
the mentality of the French taxpaying citizen, his feelings about this
issue. If anyone reading this does (or is French) have any info, I'd be
curious to hear. Are there any organized groups within France who are
fighting to stop funding to the island possessions? I am curious.
I am relieved that I will not have to be IN Papeete for the week long
Bastille Day festivities - too much hustle, bustle and tussle. We will be
in Moorea with Grandpa Jonny and Grandma Barbara spoiling little Jonah
rotten. Hopefully we won't even notice the incredible event.
We have been very productive lately! Our lists are falling one by one. We
have completed several important projects and are taking on provisions
daily (a little at a time). Our washing machine is even working again - it
seems the problem is intermittent power loss at the outlet where the
washer is plugged in. I thought I had tested the outlet for power but I
tested it this morning (with a washing machine repairman who spoke only
French and Chinese) and it had no power. I plugged it into a different
outlet (using an extension cord) and it worked fine. Later I tested the
washer's socket again and it ad power. At least we can do laundry now!
Our new generator end is still not here. In fact, yesterday I received an
email from the dealer in Minnesota who admitted they had failed to ship it
as scheduled (I sent them credit card info and told them where to ship it
about 3 weeks ago). I had phoned them in the US on Monday and he told me
it had shipped already Friday! In his email of yesterday he apologized and
said he would ship it today (yesterday) and pay the freight himself (which
was $250US). So, it may arrive on Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Hopefully not Wednesday.
Right now we have decided to stay in Papeete for a few days more. Local
weather forecasts are calling for a Maramu which is a period of very
strong winds from the South or Southwest. The best place to be is right
where we are. We had hoped to leave tomorrow for the Maeva Beach
anchorage, stop in at the marina there for Diesel and Gasoline and then
head for the South coast by Monday for the week. Now we will be stuck here
- we are kind of getting satiated with city life, eating out, air
pollution (trucks, busses and cars) and dirty water (can't swim in it,
can't run the watermaker). But if its going to blow 30 for 3 days this is
the better spot. The last Maramu found is just arrived in Tahanea. Our
second day there we had 3 foot waves in the anchorage in 28+ knots of wind
from the South. We crossed the lagoon in rain and 25+k wind to get the
shelter behind a motu in the SE corner of the lagoon and man was it worth
it! But we just don't know what conditions will be like in the lagoon on
the South coast of Tahiti during the Maramu. One thing is for certain -
the reef passes which all face South will be hell with breakers galore.
Hopefully the wind will come and go before Monday and we can get the
generator on Tuesday and then go over the Maeva beach to get fuel. By
Wednesday night next week we should be anchored someplace quiet and
beautiful again and get back to living normally. That will give us only
three days before we have to be in Moorea, but its better then