Since we live in Tahiti now(justkidding), we’ve had two months (and counting) to sample the island’s many food and drink options. Read on for my recommendations of where and what to eat, plus a guide to eating in Tahiti.
Tips for Eating in Tahiti
First, keep in mind that French Polynesia is on its own timeline. Everything opens and closes early. Think 6am for breakfast and 11am for lunch. We arrived at a restaurant serving Sunday brunch at 8am and the place was packed. So get there early. The good news is, unlike other parts of French Polynesia, everything doesn’t close at lunchtime.
Sunday is another story! Barely anything is open on Sunday besides church and the beach. If you want to eat out on Sunday, reserve at one of the few open restaurants in advance.
Tahiti is an island of bounty: amply stocked stores and restaurants, friendly people, and flocks of chickens and roosters. The street art in Tahiti colors the city of Papeete with beauty.
Enjoying Our Time in Papeete
We thought we’d be in Papeete for a week or so to get some chores done, but boat work is taking longer than expected. At first, we took Papeete on foot, but after a few days we rented bikes which make it easier to cover more territory, run errands, and stop to photograph the street art in Tahiti.
Any way you travel around Papeete, expect to see beautiful murals around most corners. Sometimes you have to duck down alleyways to see the art. I love cities with vibrant street art and it’s one of the unheralded highlights of Papeete!
A trans-Pacific 30 day passage does a lot to a sailboat. Our time in the yard in Tahiti isn’t over! While resolving the known issues, we’ve found more problems with our twenty two year old boat. From sails and rigging to appliances, we’re getting Sava fixed so we can return to the water.
The Reasons We Hauled Out
Sava had water coming in through the stuffing box due to a vibrating engine. So we had to replace the engine mount and stuffing box and realign the prop shaft. We also needed to dry out and rebuild the rudder. After two weeks, we’re making progress on these jobs.
The engine mount is rebuilt and working. The prop shaft was straightened and realigned and is now installed!
The rudder is dried out, refilled with fresh epoxy, and fitted with new rudder shafts. We know everything fits properly and will be reinstalled next week.
Sava has one coat of bottom paint and is waiting until just before she is ready to splash for the final coats.
Sava is out of the water and in the yard in Tahiti. We’ve been having some issues the last few months and sailed to Tahiti a week ago to try to get stuff fixed. It’s taking longer than we thought but it’s okay because Sava’s getting better and we’re in paradise!
Why We’re In The Yard in Tahiti
Initially, we hauled out to replace the stuffing box, which is where the prop shaft enters the boat. The stuffing box has been leaking seawater into the engine bilge whenever the prop moves, basically whenever the boat was moving. The leak began during our Pacific passage, and got worse the last couple months.
The Marquesas are beautiful and fun to explore. Located in one of the most remote regions on earth, tourists are uncommon and supplies are thin. In contrast, the land and seascapes are stunning! Read about cruising in the Marquesas, with some tips for first-timers.
About The Marquesas
The Marquesas archipelago is in the northeasternmost part of French Polynesia. This location makes it a common first stop for sailors crossing the Pacific. Other than sailors, not a lot of tourists visit this part of the world. Which means a lot of unspoiled beauty and some difficulty accessing basic goods.
The Marquesas consists of six occupied islands and we have been to five. Mountainous and green, the land provides ample fruit for its residents and visitors. So much fruit that Marquesan citrus is exported to Tahiti and beyond. The hard part of cruising in the Marquesas is finding internet, fresh veggies, and propane, and if you can get that all in one anchorage with clear water, don’t ever leave!
Sailing in The Marquesas
Sailing between islands in The Marquesas is good in that distances usually allow for daytime trips from one island to another. Here’s an idea of distances between islands (obviously differs depending on departure and arrival bay), from northeast to southwest (our route):
Nuku Hiva to Ua Pou: approximately 22nm
Ua Pou to Tahuata: approximately 60nm
Tahuata to Hiva Oa: around 20nm
Hiva Oa to Fatu Hiva: about 45nm
The island we didn’t visit – yet – is Ua Huka, 30 miles from Nuku Hiva, so would take 6 hours.
It’s nice to have the luxury of jumping between islands without overnight trips, and each island is unique and worth visiting! Sometimes we have to motor sail, or just motor, especially when travelling between Tahuata and Hiva Oa.