the journey

Tahiti and the Society Islands

July 2, 2007

Current Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Current Position: Approx. S17° 35', W149 ° 37'

We are so lucky! My parents visited us for 10 days. With their arrival, a new world opened. We left the boat in a marina and we were off to Morea and Bora Bora.

Once we had finished staring at each other and appreciating each other's presence, the stories started rolling out and the laughter and adventures followed. Having them here connected us like nothing else can. Perhaps for them, it was an important reconfirmation that we were well fed (a little more so after they left), still talking to each other, in love and happy. For me, it was so good to simply be with them, to be loved unconditionally, to hear about home, friends, and work, to hold my mom's hand and to connect with dad. Being out of regular physical contact let alone phone range has changed our everyday lives but not our appreciation for each other. Their sweet love still permeates through me as I bathed in it for days.

And their love was not all we bathed in. We were blessed with the luxuries of hotels and living as tourists on land in the Society Islands. I confess I completely appreciate the extravagances in life.

I woke up every morning after an uninterrupted sleep, excited I could eat fruit, crepes, salads, sashimi, almost anything I wanted without having to cook it. When the winds shifted and squalls rolled in we let go, grateful to be comfortably watching the squalls from the dry, cozy couch overlooking the lagoon. Slipping into bed each night, I was delightfully reminded how delicious clean, really clean sheets are. Of course, I took full advantage of hot showers and baths once a day, as they were a more than welcome change from our minute long cold deck showers.

Then all too quickly it was over. Back in the marina, doing loads of laundry in a machine for the first time in three months, I remember the seeing the joy in my parents' eyes, circling Morea by boat, petting stingrays, learning the Polynesian way to make coconut milk, my mom's delight with everything underwater, and my dad and my joy seeing her in the water for the first time in years, our family kayaking adventure, discovering pieces of Polynesian history through a fantastic guide, Hieva dance performances, being mesmerized by mantas attracted to the light off the pier of the hotel... The list goes on.

The things we did together, what we ate, and the weather was all was part of our time together but most importantly, it was our being together, sharing love, time, and space that was essential. This is what fills my soul and keeps us connected until next time when we are no longer separated by an ocean, space and time. We are so lucky.

June 16, 2007

Current Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Current Position: Approx. S17 ° 35', W149 ° 37'

The city has powers greater than our own. The lights of Papetee, Tahiti beckoned us from over 15 miles away. Already we both frantically began making lists. It seems, as always, we are obsessed by the possibilities the city has to offer.

Arriving in Papetee, the only city we've been in since leaving Mexico over three months ago, we drool over the bountiful supply of fresh foods in the open market, hope the marine chandlery has the few but very important items we need, long for the clean, clean, clean sheets and clothes a washing machine will provide, and desire things we never new existed.

It is strange to land in a place knowing it is our only option for many more months to do everything that needs to be done. It is a bit overwhelming but we quickly get our bearings and the lists slowly get smaller.

With the coconut trees replaced by shops lining the waterfront and buses and cars zooming by without a hint of tiare in the air or ukulele floating across the water, it is easy to be disappointed by the lack of romance in Tahiti as many cruisers and travelers are. Yet we are grateful it is there. The everyday conveniences are a blssing and still they are nothing like West Marine, Whole Foods, or wireless in the Bay Area. We may have to go to three marine stores and still not find everything on our list, shop at the Carefour and not find jalapenos, and update our website over a long 3 hour spotty connection but it is all there. And they have shackles, and chocolate and papayas, and wireless even if it is slow and expensive. In some ways Tahiti is still paradise and it's hard to leave.