(Downtown Papeete Marina, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia)
While Gregory is at home in the water, I tend to find better footing on land. He excels with the fishes, while my strengths involve terra firma. Not to say that we both don’t enjoy the other, it’s just that we have our preferences. So as we’ve been a little more land based lately, staying in the downtown marina, I’ve really enjoyed stretching my legs. With beautiful parks and a running track essentially in our back yard, I’ve been able to get out for a morning jog on a regular basis. A real throwback to my life before Boat Life began.
This new running development is enjoyed by Gregory just as much as it is by me. He has no qualms telling me I’m nicer if I’ve gone for a run. His positive way of telling me I’m not-so-nice when not running? Ha. Pfft, who needs the sugar-coating! Isn’t everyone nicer after some physical activity? Endorphins are up and you’re feeling good! Besides, every little bit of running makes room for that much more ice-cream, and that my friends, is reason enough to put anyone in a good mood.
So for a day that started off with an endorphin-induced good time, it closed out with an entertainment filled showcase. All week-long a Polynesian dance competition has been going on in conjunction with holiday festivities here in Tahiti, and earlier this week we bought tickets to the 2nd and 3rd place finishers show tonight.
Now we’ve had parties for far less exciting reasons, so this was an excuse for a girl to wear some flowers in her hair! And I can’t possibly continue without mentioning the snack we brought to the dock party – tuna poke. The Tuna Poke is notable for two reasons; one, it’s beyond delicious, and two, it’s the very first fish we’ve bought in the near year and a half that we’ve been cruising. A real sore spot for Gregory. So sore in fact, that I had to go by myself to the fish market to purchase it.
You see we’ve been having quite a dry spell in the fishing department lately. Besides the jobfish that we caught on the inside of Makemo atoll, we have not had a single bite on our trolling rods since the quadruple strike of tuna we hooked up with outside of Tahuata back in the Marquesas. That’s well over 800 nautical miles ago! With no less than four lines continuously trailing Oceanna whenever she is underway, that’s some sad statistics.
Back to happier occasions, the dancing we saw was truly fantastic. No cameras were allowed, though I doubt a picture would do much to convey the pure spectacle of the evening. Each group performed a routine that kept you entertained for more than half an hour. It consisted of multiple different elements tied together in a dazzling display of choreography and stunning costumes. The enormous square stage was brought to life with near to a hundred dancers at a time. Flowers, feathers, and flames brought an overall feeling of lavishness to the show. Between the group performances, the prize-winning soloists took to the stage and it was impressive the way one dancer’s exceptional technique could fill the stage that a hundred so recently occupied.
It was an extravagant evening well worth waiting out the rain delay. I will not soon forget those costumes! I mean, I remember packing my costumes for dance festivals and it was work enough to remember every piece. These tights for that number and those gloves for the next. And we only had one outfit per dance! These Polynesian dancers bring the costume game to a whole nother level! How – I mean how! – do you pack a two foot tall headdress, let alone four of them! And the skirts, the size of those skirts! Where do those go? And don’t even get me started on all the fresh flowers. Where do they all come from?!