[090806, 0311 UTC, Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia; 1734.97'S / 14937.08W]

Dear Friends;

We owe you an update of our wonderful stay at Fakarava in the Tuamotu archipelago and our 2 1/2 day passage to the Society Islands. In the interim, please enjoy our latest photos which we have posted to the www.sv-carina.org website. We are always adding material so feel free to visit regularly.

We are now in Tahiti. Yes, Tahiti(!); the place name that generates so many images of tropical paradise and reminders of the exploits of the likes of Captains Cook and Bligh. We can tell you that from 50 miles away, the evening before we made landfall, we spied the silhouette of its majestic mountains and got a bit giddy. The amazing sight, we realized, was most probably the same sight Captain James Cook saw from the deck of the Endeavor in 1769.

Unfortunately, all we'll see of this gorgeous island is Papeete, a bustling city where seemingly everything carries an astounding price tag (how 'bout $60 per kilo - about 2.2 pounds - for large prawns!). Soon, we'll have to move on downwind as our visas in French Polynesia are expiring and the powers who could have extended them here in Papeete chose not to - accompanied by a warm smile - despite our asking and despite our delay due to the accident. Sometimes it does not pay to be an American; Europeans are welcomed to stay. C'est la vie.

Warmly,

Vos amis du bateau Carina,

Philip, Leslie et le beau chat, Jake

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At 8/2/2009 and 16:23 UTC (GMT) our position was: 1734.97'S / 14937.08'W