The Yacht Week x The Monsoon Diaries: French Polynesia Day 1 – Tahiti to Raiatea

by | Apr 24, 2022 | April 2022: French Polynesia, Fit for Foodies, French Polynesia | 0 comments


We’re now a far cry from Iraq a month ago: I finally journey westwards to the French Polynesia this week for our next monsoon with 13 other beautiful people.



Along the way I took advantage of well timed omakase at Sushi Kashiba in Seattle (happy birthday Y-“noon-chi”!) before heading onwards to LA.



From LAX I boarded the 8 hour, 4:30pm Air Tahiti TN 7 flight direct from LAX to PPT in Tahiti, the largest of the islands in the French Polynesia. Got upgraded to premium economy at the last minute!



Along with a tad more space with a better recline and feet support, their food was a surprising highlight.



I tried to get as much sleep as I could on the flight, but forget it, I decided save it for when I would arrive. Live music everywhere when you arrive into a French Polynesian airport!



Mihaela and I then crashed at 11pm at my lodgings at TOMO MAI. Thank you for picking us up from the airport Ingrid (and your doggo Gaspar)!



After 7 hours of sleeping in, we then drove back over to the airport for an 8:05am island hop from PPT to RFP airport on Raiatea, where we rendezvous’ed with Bruce, Jay, Gina, and Amelia.



Not even less than an hour later we landed in Raiatea.



Maeva to the Society Islands!



After arrivals, we made the mistake of ironically not rushing to the cabs waiting outside earlier. If you wait even 10 minutes after picking up your luggage from baggage claims, there might be no cab drivers there to pick you up until the next arriving flight. No touts hanging around asking if you need a driver here.

Luckily I was able to get a driver bringing passengers back to make 2 round trips for our group of 6 waiting to check into our lodgings at Chez Moeava in Uturoa. We then dropped off our stuff and had lunch across the street while waiting for Daniel and Jenny to fly in.

I immediately opted for the local delicacy of raw fish with coconut milk:



I’m beginning to enjoy arriving into destinations a few days early to get ourselves acclimated. This is the quaint marina town of Uturoa:



The next morning we took it slow with a late checkout at 11am; then it was a 10 minute walk over to Uturoa marina to drop off our luggage as our yachts were being cleaned from last week’s route.



When we arrived, we were greeted by the TYW team and claimed our wristbands. So much chiller and relaxed than our check-in process in Sardinia 6 months ago.



While still waiting for our yachts to be readied, we sorted through and grabbed some recycled floaties from last week’s excursions. First come first served!



With a few more hours to spare, we then returned for lunch back at the town.



While some of us headed afterwards to the local Champion supermarket for our week of provisions thanks to our on-board hostess and chef Megan guiding us along the way, others returned to the marina where our yachts were ready to board at 4pm.



Flags up by popular vote!



After picking our rooms on our yacht, we had a quick safety briefing marinated with tequila . . .



. . . before we freshened up at the marina for our last on-land showers for at least the next 48 hours. I couldn’t bother to wait as we were all dripping sweat from the 90F weather all day.



By 7pm we boarded a shuttle bus for a nearby glorious buffet dinner spread by live music at Snack Tanöi.



One of our skippers from our yacht week 6 months ago in Sardinia, Florian, even came by for a quick hello before sending us off on our trip!



We then returned at 10pm where an intense rainstorm prevented any post-dinner festivities on the docks and mostly everyone turned in by 11pm. This is definitely not your typical Yacht Week and I LOVE IT.




- At time of posting in Raiatea, it was 25 °C - Humidity: 80% | Wind Speed: 23km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy


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