The Economics of Paradise
Now we were light winded and then becalmed when trying to make big passages. Now were tied to a buoy with 20, frequently gusting higher wind and lots of rainy squalls. Shame fabulous bay this. Funnels the wind a bit more than we'd like.
Got soaked going ashore in the dinghy, misjudged a gap in the squalls. Lovely bar the Hibiscus family hotel/pension. We were the only folks in it. This is getting to be a habit. This ocean is painful quiet at present.
French Polynesia has always been fabulously expensive. Guess people can't afford to come, last time I was here I was technically. All right defiantly in cyclone season. Even so the place yacht is surprisingly on the slim side this trip. Less busy than out of yacht season last time.
Cross pacific round the world travels aren't spur of the moment things and they take a while to prepare for/get going. And once you leave the Windwards/Leewards in the Caribbean there's no where to sell your boat till Australia. This years UK pacific crossers at the left England a year ago. Preparing the boat for a good while before hand in many cases. Many will not have done so in the current climate. French Polynesia is an expensive holiday destination, many cheaper alternatives exist. Guess its bad news for the Polynesians.
The French military garrison on Tahiti is to be halved. Not good for the housing market. Maybe the prices over here will drop?
Three things are produced here, copra - coconut, used in a wide variety of products, particularly the cosmetics industry. Noni fruit, a foul tasting and ridiculously easy to grow fruit that's full of anti oxidants and pearls. Black pearls. The girls on rally have taken to them with a vengeance. However they are also a luxury commodity.
I guess I'm saying now might be the time, if your still solvent to look for that paradise trip. All the hotels are mostly empty. Restaurants frequently closed. Don't get me wrong, its not served by easyjet. But.. maybe just maybe, they'll be deals out there. You can get to see some of the most Paradise islands there are, and believe me. They're great.
Obviously the weather is inclement today, I'm taking this philosophically. I know that while I may be rained on here, and when it rains it doesn't mess about. Tomorrow or at least next week it will be fabulous again.
What I guess I'm saying is if you do come here try and book a 2 week trip...... Just in case.
One of our more philosophical tour guides said, "if the French and the tourists left, the Polynesians would probably go back to growing fruit, fishing and sitting under a tree all day." I'm not sure he's right, and he was at least partly Polynesian, Hawaiian originally. But here fruit grows easily, fish abound, reefs protect the islands, and the tree's are lovely and shady. Apparently you get a year of roofing out of palm leaves. 5 out of a different sort of thatch. I've been to Melanesian islands somewhat like that. All thatched huts, fruit, fish and pigs. Deep inside a part of me yearns for a life like that. God I wish I wasn't a geek some time's pretty sure I couldn't live like that. Shame really.
The Polynesian Triangle
For non students of the Pacific, Polynesia, as opposed the "French Polynesia" is a triangle. The top of which is Hawaii the south eastern corner is Easter Island, the South Western corner is New Zealand. Not the most populous, but in terms of area. Fucking massive.
Tonga, Fiji Vanuatu etc are Melanesian. The other islands up towards asia are Micronesia.