Stof and I have been adopted by the Sete Mares.* We first met John and Marie-A when we invited ourselves to a party on their boat in the Bay of Virgin Penises. Given that Stof and I met when I invited myself to a party at his house, it seems that some of my best relationships are struck up after a touch of gate-crashing.
Our first stop in the Tuamotos was the atoll of Tahanea. One of the reasons we finally decided to head for this atoll (besides a vigorous recommendation) was that we knew that there was only one other boat in the anchorage and that one other boat houses our friends. Sete Mares is unlike most other boats we have encountered while cruising. She is a sleek, dark blue, 62 foot, custom built, luxury catamaran. She is probably more akin to a smaller mega-yacht and one
would expect the people aboard to comprise a mixture of wealthy charter guests and uber-efficient staff. Instead, she is host to the loveliest Canadian couple who delight in sharing their “real estate” (John’s words, not ours) with others. In particular, they like sharing Sete Mares with us! John has lived a rather extraordinary life** that has left him with a serious case of ants-in-pants. My husband has a similar aversion to sitting still. So John and Stof have struck up an activity partnership: diving, kayaking, exploring. In quieter moments, John and I battle each other at Scrabble (he beats me frustratingly often) and Stof and Marie-A teach each other card games.
So for four days in Tahanea the Laura Takalani and Sete Mares had the most beautiful untouched coral atoll (it’s a nature reserve) to ourselves. While the wind howled and the Pacific churned on the other side of the palm trees, we enjoyed an anchorage that felt like we were tied to a marina. We explored each of the three passes, snorkeling with
tropical fish, black-tipped reef sharks (amazingly, it becomes normal!) and schools of giant manta rays. We played scrabble, cards and watched a movie or two. We ate so well and drank some delicious wine. To top it all, we’ve been given free reign to enjoy the fruits of Sete Mares’ enormous water-maker: abundant hot fresh water stand-up showers!
John and Marie-A declared that having us around is “just like having the kids, except you bring your own food and drink and go back to your own boat at the end of the day!” We all loveeachotherthemost.
When the wind finally abated a little, our corner of heaven was invaded by a flotilla of boats that had been waiting out the blow in other atolls: eight boats arrived in 24 hours. So Taks and her big blue matey SeteMares set off together for the next adventure.
* Sete Mares = Seven Seas… We quite like the idea of being adopted by the seven seas.
** As has Marie-A, but she’s not quite as hyperactive as her beloved.