Watersport in French Polynesia

The Polynesians have a long and proud tradition of navigating between the islands and even crossing oceans. Even though much of that knowledge was lost after the Europeans arrived and deprived the locals of much of their culture, watersports seems deeply rooted in the Polynesians.
Here in the anchorage in Arue we hear pirogues (va’a) splashing by as soon as dawn sets in. Single paddlers, but also bigger ones carrying 4 and even 8 people speed by. In between bustle paddlers on surfboards, kneeboards and stand-up paddleboards. Later on pirogues full of school children with a teacher shouting commands from an accompanying power boat show up (maybe part of PE at school?), in the afternoon kids from sailing clubs in hobi cats and optimists zoom recklessly through the anchorfield and after 4 o’clock people show up to do some after-work work-out in pirogues. During mornings, evenings and especially on weekends the high wake of fishing boats ignoring the speed limit of 5 knots within the reef whirls all those crafts and the anchoring yachts around.

Today we got our new dinghy delivered and can again join the round dance of water crafts: it’s a 270 Mercury Dynamic with a rigid fiberglass bottom and hypalon tubes. Only slightly longer and a bit narrower than the old dingsy it should fit nicely in the space between mast and baby stay when we stow it on deck during passages.

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