Thursday, June 24, 2010

Informational "pearls" of Papeete

French Polynesia
Huahine Island, Society Islands
16 45.86S/150 57.56W

We have left Tahiti and Moorea, the Windward Islands in the Society Group. After an 0500 morning departure, we made a light air 82 nm motor/daysail to the east coast of Huahine - the first of the Leeward Islands . We are anchored between the island and Motu Murimahura in the midst of a long plateau of 17 foot of sand - a lovely spot. We put fishing lines out and brought in a 25 lb. Bonita Tuna early in the passage, and shared ceviche with friends on Curious and Rhiann Marie yesterday evening. Weather has changed and today is another beautiful day.

For cruisers - here are some informational "pearls" about Papeete:

Generalities and Approach: Call Port Captain on CH 12 10-15 minutes from Pass de Papeete. There is a large amount of ferry traffic in and out. If you wish to proceed south to Marina Taina, you will need permission to pass by the airport, and radio back when you are clear. Otherwise, you will turn left towards the town quay.

Marina Taina is the more upscale marina, excellent and helpful staff. Med moor bow or stern to the dock and divers will tie your outside lines to moorings. Very clean, good (cold) showers, nice nautical ambience. Best provisioning around is walkable at Carrefours grocery - take a cart back with goods. Many boats anchor or moor off Taina. There are 21 balls just south of marina labeled with letter "C", first come first served. Anchoring nearby can be tight if crowded.

Papeete town quay now has floating piers for med moor tie up - no longer tie to the wharf. Locked gates provide security and overall seems to be a good improvement. Blvd quiets down at night. Much less costly then Taina, but no shower or facilities,electric is limited to 15 Amps. Most downtown shopping is easier from here, but decks will get a coat of city grime.

WIFI:Iorananet and Manaspot as well as Hotspot-WDG. Most locations have at least one of these available.

Customs and Arrival: Agent will do all, or you need to visit Port Captain 1/2 mile north of town quay. Busses travel reqularly during the day from Taina to town of Papeete, R/T about 200 fr.

Fuel: Agent can arrange for duty free fuel. I am not certain if it ca be done on your own. Duty Free cost was $3.40 US June 2010.

Boat Supplies: We used Sin Tung Hing marine for general supplies. Phone is 54 94 53. They have a downtown store, and a satellite at Marina Taina. A great enthusiastic and english speaking contact is Sebastion, who is at Taina Mondays and Tuesdays, otherwise he is downtown. Sebastion cell is 73 72 96. Items can be brought to Satellite from downtown. Location is in Vaininiore, just across the canal (Riviere Papeava) from Fare Ute on the waterfront.

Yune Tung is on Voie O around the corner from Kim Fah (see below) and has an excellent supply of batteries, and some electrical parts. We bought a battery duty free. A great contact is Isabel who speaks english and was very helpful.

Nautisport is another well know downtown marine supplier.

Tahiti Yacht Accessories, located at Marina Taina, is another option for marine supplies. Michelle is the owner, cell 74 10 02. They have a good supply of Victron battery chargers, inverters, etc.

Provisioning: Carrefours is awesome. Exit Taina and go left. Excellent cheese, meats, produce at USA prices or better for most! Otherwise, Champion is a decent market located downtown, and around. ATm's are all over downtown. You can find an ATM machine by gas station south of Taina - exit and go right.

There is a mini Costco type shop named "Cost and Company" that has bulk packaging of some special items such as fruits and nuts, cereals, coffees, paper towels, olives artichoke hearts, pastas and sauces...things you do not find everyday. Their stock is hit and miss, and are located on Avenue Pomare on block east of the large Intersport shop (Corner of Pomare & Rue des Remparts) at the corner of R. Ph. Bernadi No. Phone is 45 54 40.

We also found Kim Fa, a downtown duty free wine/Heinekin/alc bev supplier 1/2 way to SIn Tung Hing (located on Rue des Remparts, 1.5 blocks north of Avenue Pomare). Least expensive wine bottle would cost 1400 francs retail, but 460 fr duty free. Phone number is 54 56 00 and contact person is Joanne. They wish you to buy 2-3 days before your departure, and will deliver to town quay. You must then leave FP, or "lock" the beverages.

Overall, provisioning was much better than expected. Enjoy!

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