Marvelous Mid-Pacific Rendezvous

While local drummers hail his arrival, Kristor Bowman of the San Francisco-based CS 36 Britannia crosses the finish line at the entrance to Opunohu Bay with the aid of his ‘borrowed’ adolescent crewman Harrison Mitgang off the F/P 48 catamaran Watcha Gonna Do. The young sailor had traded places with Kristor’s wife Amanda for the 16-mile crossing to Moorea.

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©2011 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

For some participants in last weekend’s Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous the highlight was the outrigger canoe races. For others it was the Polynesian music and dance shows both Saturday and Sunday at the water’s edge. And for many others it was simply having an opportunity to get together with fellow cruisers to swap tales about their 3,000-mile crossings from the west coast of the Americas — the passage we like to call the Pacific Puddle Jump.

Islanders arrived with baskets full of fresh-cut flowers, then shared the ancient arts of headress making with the visiting sailors.

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© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Now in its sixth year, the annual Rendezvous serves the dual purpose of providing a forum for celebrating the fleet’s safe arrival, and introducing its members to traditional Polynesian cultural arts, including music, dance, handicrafts and sports.

Taking a turn aboard a six-person outrigger canoe was heart-pounding fun.

latitude/Andy
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As you can read in our full report in the August edition of Latitude 38 (downloadable free from our site), the international crews from nearly 50 boats took part in a wide variety of activities, including opening ceremonies at Papeete’s Town Hall, a sailing rally from Tahiti to Moorea’s spectacular Opunohu Bay, a variety of traditional Polynesian sports competitions — and many cruisers even attempted to perform classic Tahitian dances alongside local experts.

Female crew from Dilligaf and Rutea learn some new moves from their Polynesian hosts.

latitude/Andy
©2011 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Needless to say, it was all great fun, and the event provided each participant with an exceedingly warm welcome to these fabled isles.

Everyone loved the traditional dancing, but no one could answer the oft-heard question: “How the heck do they gyrate their hips like that?”

latitude/Andy
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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While the boats in this year’s TransPac are clawing away from the California Coast, the Pacific Cup YC will be hosting the first installment of its biennial seminar schedule — the "Pacific Offshore Academy" — with a revamped, more user-friendly format.