Mo’orea and Huahine are my favorite islands in the Societies and close to my favorite in French Polynesia. They both have a laid back air and, as much as any of these heavily visited islands, seem less fatigued by the demands of tourism than I would have expected.
All that being true, what really made these spots shine was the social life. After the Rendevouz lots of boats hung around and made their ways, more or less together, through the remaining islands. In Cooks bay a few of us centered our daily activities around the Bali Hai Club. We sat by the pool while the kids ran and swam, made new friends, and generally took it easy for almost a week. We even got a rental car for an afternoon and toured the island.
Another highlight of Cooks bay was running into our friends Carl and Cristina who we had said goodbye to in Richardson Bay a year and a half ago. It was so much fun to hear about their adventures and spend time talking about what we had learned.
Huahine had an insanely cheap Happy Hour that we suspected they were loosing money on. Nothing draws cruisers together like cheap booze, so every night at 5:00 you could be sure to find 5 or 6 tables drawn together with the merrymaking of a dozen or so cruising friends filling the space with positive vibrations. That this same bar would also do your laundry made it almost magical 🙂
Huahine also distinguished itself with its Heiva dancing and Mexico like vibe. We spent the first two nights at the community center watching the non-dress rehearsals and the next two at the stadium watching the island wide competition. The dancing was amazing but we also felt like we had our own troupe to root for since we had watched their practices.
Almost every place we have been so far has seemed better than the last. What really makes one spot stand out above the rest seems to be the people we meet and the friends we spend time with. So maybe timing, more than other factors, is what made these anchorages so special.