|Overview||31 Aug 2003|
|1 Apr 2002||6 Apr 2004|
|15 July 2002||2 Dec 2004|
|5 Nov 2002||13 Jan 2005|
|5 Feb 2003||August 2005|
|5 Apr 2003||April 2006|
We flew back to the states two days before school started. Happily for us, we had already planned out who we were staying with and everything, but the next day was very hectic. Talk about last-minute preparation! We didn't have any school supplies or ANYthing.
I really liked being back 'home.' We switched houses almost every week, so weekends were hectic (what with moving, homework, and my soccer games). It was rather weird, the first day there. We were shopping for winter clothes and school supplies and such, and I kept having a backwards look on everything. Surely we were just in a big city down in the tropics somewhere, and my friends were visiting me!!! Not so, Mandy! Nevertheless, it took me a few days to get adjusted.
We extended our stay several times (much like when we were coming down here in the first place!) so that our flight on the first of November turned to December 6th turned to January 17th. Four and a half months, when at first we had planned for two. I was very happy every time the date got pushed back - after all, we weren't really on a time-crunch to get anywhere, we were just going to sit in French Polynesia (albeit a very beautiful place) for about 6 months, and then toodle off west sometime in May. Since we can't leave before May, I think I would have gotten thoroughly sick of beautiful French Polynesia.
And so, despite many good friends threatening to kidnap me, we all returned to Tahiti in January, exactly 25 months after we originally flew to St. Martin (December 17, 2001 - January 17, 2004). I had mixed feelings, coming back down. And now I have mixed feelings about going back up. I had wanted to stay for 9th grade graduation, and for dozens of other things, but I was also anxious to get back to the boat, and Arthur, whom I was missing terribly. Eventually the tropics won - or maybe my parents. :D All they really had to do was say "You're getting on that plane, and you are flying with us down to Tahiti." Well, maybe it also took the initial discussion of some of my friends coming down to the boat.
So here we are, floating around once more in the South Pacific. I would say paradise, except that for about two weeks we had to work work WORK to get the boat ready for our FIRST visitors, who came in early February. Or late January. Or something like that. They stayed for a month, except for a week when they flew to Bora Bora and we had a different guest aboard. For that month, we toodled back and forth between Tahiti and Moorea - the weather never got good (bad?) enough to return to the Tuamotus. But one fun thing that we did a LOT during that month was scuba dive... because our guests were divers, too! Since we had bought two complete sets in the states, we did lots and lots of dives.
Then we had another family on board for 3 weeks, and we actually did an overnight with them - our first overnight sail with people other than our own family on board - from Moorea to Huahine. Huahine's really a beautiful island, except that some of the places we anchored had MAJOR fly problems, but we didn't stay very long and we seemed to be CONSTANTLY moving the boat. We also sailed to Bora Bora (via Raiatea/Tahaa) with them.
THEN we picked up our next guests, who only stayed for a week. I must say, it was the biggest block of guests we've ever had. It was rather fun, looking back on it, though we sort of skipped Raiatea and Tahaa in our haste to get to Bora Bora. Which is why I'm glad that the wind turned around (it's been coming from the west for a week or so now) and we could manage to sail - downwind, too! - back to Raiatea.
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