Opanuhu Bay, Moorea
We left Tahiti around 5:00 AM for the short sail to Moorea, approaching the island shortly after sunrise. Moorea has two large bays parallel to each other: Cook’s Bay & Opanuhu Bay. We had been told, right up to bedtime the night before that we would be anchored in Cook Bay this time but as we emerged on deck for the sail in we discovered it was Opanuhu Bay, the same as last time. It is an amazingly beautiful spot, but we (and others) had been hoping for something new.
In 2016 we enjoyed a 4X4 excursion through the mountains & pineapple groves of Moorea, and you can see that here:
So this time we decided to take it easy by tendering ashore and hiking down the road toward the bay. So, after breakfast in the dining room we boarded a tender to go ashore. We sat by the rear windows during breakfast where a crew member was hanging on a rope outside washing the windows. We were glad to be on the inside.
We walked out of the little village at the tender port, which seems to be named Papetoa, then turned left toward the bay. They have recently upgraded the road so that it is paved & fairly smooth going. It was a very nice day & there was a lot of great scenery every way you turned . . . mountains, palm trees, etc.
We passed bananas, breadfruit, mangoes & coconuts growing on trees. There was also a fruit stand in front of someone’s driveway, but no one was manning it. Maybe it’s an honor system.
As we neared the bay we had views of the ship and of the pointed peak in the middle of the bay shore.
We saw a lot of flowers along the road to the bay. Here are a few of them.
We were walking along the road on our way back to the port when suddenly a horse stepped out of the brush right in front of us. She wasn’t the least bit afraid, and a moment later her two foals followed her out. They grazed by the road as we continued on. We also passed a goat, working hard at keeping the grass short in someone’s yard. A bird hopped up on the goat’s back, but the goat didn’t seem to notice. We also walked past the local school before reaching the tender port.
In Papetoa (if that is the right name for the tender port village) is a small octagonal church with a bright orange roof. We were hoping to go inside this time (it was locked in 2016), but no dice. We were told that this was the first church in Polynesia, originally built in the first half of the 19th century. We saw a tile mural that centered on this church. There was a market set up at the pier, about the best place we have seen to buy nice black diamond jewelry, as well as tee shirts & other items.
Waiting on deck for the sailaway, we saw a number of outrigger canoes in the water near the ship. There was also a resort hotel nearby with cabanas over the water. These are available for visits (for a whole lot of money) on several of the Polynesian islands we visited.
We sailed away well before sunset. As we did so we saw another ship, a small Europa vessel, sailing out of Cook’s Bay. Apparently they were given the port position there that Amsterdam had anticipated using. Moorea is probably the most beautiful island we have seen, lush green craggy mountains & a calm blue lagoon surrounded by a reef where the surf breaks. As we sailed away in the evening we appreciated the view once again.
It was too early for a real sunset, but the sun did dip dramatically behind some clouds. And after dinner a towel animal was waiting for us as we hit the sack to prepare for an early morning arrival at Bora Bora, the last of our four consecutive port days.