Please be patient as this blog entry is being written by Barbara's brother Richard (Soby), who is more used to technical writing and proposal development than the eloquent prose styles you have been used to reading.
First, the luggage arrived and was delivered to the marina – thank you Delta and Air France for that joy. It was like Christmas aboard Astarte when Barbara and Michael received their: engine mounts, prop zincs, flags, TDS tester (by the way the water aboard Astarte is of excellent quality), lures, books and rain gear. First impressions of Tahiti: this is a beautiful tropical island, very mountainous with a ring of flatland along the coast and surrounded by coral reefs. We are moored inside the ring of coral at a marina in Papeete with hundreds of other boats. Astarte's anchorage is at a mooring ball in 16 ft. (5 meters) of water surrounded by coral and rock that pop out at low tide. The way we are moored we are constantly looking at the breaking surf over the reef and amazing to watch 10 ft (3 M)T waves crashing into the reef yet 200 yards inside we are in flat water. The water is so clear we can see the bottom easily and the array of tropical fish surrounding the boat is like being in a tropical aquarium. We just witnessed a large sting ray glide past us. It had a "wing" span of about 4 ft. (3.2 meters).
Wish I knew more French than I do because it is the dominant language, but one can survive with English here. Everything is so expensive in French Polynesia. We went to the Carrefour grocery store yesterday, similar to a mini Walmart where you can get sporting goods, clothing,and food all in one store, and bologna was $9.00 per pound. The store was well stocked with cheese, pates of all kinds, vegetables but no eggs or fresh green beans – things we take for granted in the states.
Barbara cooked a delicious turkey dinner last night with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and carrots. After an afternoon of snorkeling around the boat it was a big hit and was truly a Thanksgiving meal. Today, we do some island exploring, starting with downtown Papeete and ending up at the boat "rendezvous" (it is not a race) meeting for Saturday's event to Moorea. More on that in the next blog.