Mutiny, bile, popcorn and a regatta

Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
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Trip End Dec 24, 2008


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Flag of French Polynesia  ,
Tuesday, May 22, 2007



What an entertaining four days the Tahiti Pearl Regatta turned out to be. We should have guessed there would be some problems on the horizon when I asked our captain Borat what sort of racing he had done before and the answer was none. "I liiiike to sail only for the fun" he confirmed several times before the regatta, then come the first race day, a mere five hour sail around the island of Ra'iatea and Borat announces that there will be no talking allowed during the race. Woah, that sounds like great fun!

To get to Ra'iatea we sailed the previous afternoon from Tahiti. We filled up with Gas, petrol, food and beer then three other French Polynesians joined us as crew for the regatta. There was Olivier a reporter for the French news channel LFO. His girlfriend Marie, who had lots of sailing experience and mooned at the other boats. And Patricia, 47 year old mother of two who enjoyed techno and appeared to have forgotten her bikini because she spent most of the four days in her knickers and bra, then just the knickers. The French.



It took 19 hours to sail over and involved a night crossing. The sea was very rough with some impressive swell of 4 - 6 meters to keep us on our toes. Kat and I put on a good show for the others managing to be sick a total of 6 times. 10 out of 10 for effort from the English couple.



At Ra'iatea Olivier left the boat to return to work and Borats friend Phillipe joined us. Phillipe looked just like Azamat Bagatov, Borats driver in the film: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and only cemented in our minds that we were actually stuck in the film. In fact, the whole regatta started to weirdly resemble the film. On the boat next to us was the drunk American college boys. They were on the beers at the start of the race, 8:30am, and by the time the race finished they motored around the other boats, shouting, yelling, screaming, parading and whistling at any females in sight. The one in the dress, check out the pictures, loudly claimed to everyone he will sleep with any women and he doesn't mind the odd STD. 

Back to the sailing, the race on Day 1 was amazing sailing, good wind, weather and calm sea because we sailed inside the lagoon. There were a few language problems on board. We don't speak French, the others don't know the English sailing terms and Borat, who has never raced before, is getting stressed and shouting in Turkish. Finishing third last was quite good considering.

Day 2 we raced over to the honeymoon retreat island of Bora Bora, one of the most beautiful and expensive islands in the world. After another spectacularly bad start, we crossed the starting line in last place five minutes after the horn went off. The racing was good and we actually overtook several boats finishing in a more respectable place. The ladies on board wanted to give the orders during the race because they had the experience and there were a few arguments with Borat. I think they wanted to mutiny but instead they left the boat the next morning and so did Azamat. We had an entertaining party that evening. The food was traditional Polynesian, a whole pig and vegetables are cooked in a pit of hot rocks, served along with loads of raw fish dishes. Plenty of free drinks and laughs with the American college boys.



We didn't race on Day 3 because half the crew jumped ship in the morning but we were woken by some of Olivier's camera crew friends who wanted to film us and the boat for a feature on the regatta. Check out the French news channel LFO on Monday 28 May to see us! All together it was a great three day regatta, we only pay Borat 13 quid a day for both of us to live and eat on the boat, amazing value for money. Next stop should be the Southern Cook islands, a four day blue water sail away.



Lastly if you sail across a big stretch of water with no land in sight its always a good practice for someone on land to know when you should arrive, just in-case the ship goes down and you're stuck in the life raft munching on a raw fish, gollum style. So I sent the parents an email to let them know the plan, and here is the reply from my dad:

.....in case you get captured by Pirates and in the event of them seeking baksheesh to let you go I've put 50 squid in your account - I'm not sure how many pieces of 8 this may equate to but it might help out!....

Good ol' dad.

Cooper Out

Love Dan & Kat

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