Raro Rocks

[] [] [] Party at Raro

Furthur has long become the party boat for the cruisers and we have had grand times with all of our cruising friends. The record of 22 guests from nine countries was shattered last night. For the first time we had the joy of combining our new local friends and the cruisers onboard all to wish a fond adieu to Maggie and Rita who will leave us this weekend.

News of the party spread throughout the wharf and folks began to gather in the mid afternoon. And so the story grew.

When we first arrived I met a local guy, Dave, who has been an extraordinary help and become a great friend. If you are in Raro, find him and invest in a case of Heineken, you will not be sorry. Dave and I have two mutual passions, boats and motorcycles, and OK, talking.

Again, thanks to Dave, two nights ago I was invited to the home of world renowned whale researcher, Nan Hauser, with whom I share many common “whale hugger” friends. She has done amazing work with satellite tracking of Humpbacks—she has recently discovered that the whales use some sort of celestial navigation. You must see her work, www.whaleresearch.org


Nan brought Brown and Ian along with dear Millie, all locals who have strong connections to their heritage. Ian is on the Vaka crew, a large traditional multi hulled canoe (one of the five that I talked about in Papeete). We had long discussions on how they navigate by the stars, using them to give direction and location without sextants or tables, fascinating. We joked about how my ancestors traveled on Furthur with five GPS’s.

Another great local friend, and famed fisherman, Popugi, came with at least one of his seventeen offspring and a few other younger locals, all delightful. Popugi brought over a huge plate of sashimi caught within hours—mmmm and his special sauces. Come to find out he was an Olympic boxer.

Now throw in the “usual suspects” of the Danish crew (9) of Naveren, the Canadian crews of Pequea Mist and Mary Powell and the American crew of Fly Aweigh, along with the mixed crew of Furthur and you get a great a party.

I bounced from one conversation to another as all the decks and some over flow on the docks were filled with laughter and people making new friends; the Dane skipper and Vaka navigator Ian talk about navigating by the stars, kind of a Kon Tiki meats Leif Erickson. Another young Dane mans the BBQ. The cross generational flow is amazing, twenty something European girls quizzing Dave and Grace on local hangouts, muscular young local boys talk tattoos with American Airline pilots. With ages ranging from twenty to sixty, geographical areas around the world and a gamete of life experiences to exchange all under a glowing crescent moon, it was an evening to remember.

When we left Tahiti I was resolved that I had seen the best the trip would offer, just hard to get any better—wrong again! Raro has been a experience I will treasure forever. Since we first landed the locals have dropped by in a parade of warmth and friendship unsurpassed. In just one short week I feel like I have become a part of this wonderful community. I will leave her with a tear in my eye, but know that the next great adventure is just over the horizon.