Friday, March 18, 2022
Because of the late lunch on the tour, neither of us were interested in a main dining room meal. We relaxed on the Sea View deck enjoying the sunset and then watching the full moon rise over the island.
We finally got a bite to eat at the Lido. It was the first time this trip that we have had dinner in the Lido. The nice thing about the Lido is that they will offer some of the main course items that they serve in the dining room. Chuck was able to get the St. Patrick’s Day corned beef special. I just got some tempura shrimp.
After dinner, we went to the first set of the BB King band. HAL was showing the Tom Hank’s movie Cast Away on the main stage. I don’t think I will ever forget the scene of him calling for “Wilson!” as it floated away.
The long day in the sun and water finally caught up with me and I called it a night. Chuck went to the Casino for some 3-card poker. Typically, when we are in port, the port does not allow the Casinos or Shops to be open as they want to encourage guests to get off the ship and spend money on shore. However, I guess Raiatea doesn’t care because all are open on the ship.
Chuck said the HAL-sponsored St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl group came through to the Casino bar and were having a large time. I did remember to wear green.
I set no alarm this morning but still woke up at 6:00. After we got a Lido breakfast, we got off the ship to look around at the shops.
I loved the market with so many unusual flowers and produce. Many guests were buying lovely floral arrangements for their rooms. They must have suites because we do not have the counter space to hold arrangements that big in our cabin.
I found a suitable Christmas ornament. The heat and humidity were getting to us so we got back on the ship.
It was not easy to get on and off the ship. The tide was such that the gangway was very steep from the ship to the dock. Some people were really having a tough time negotiating it even with help from the crew. I heard it took 4 crew members to push a person in a wheelchair up the ramp.
We spent the rest of the day in the pool. Today has been the first day of the trip that the pool water has been warm enough for me to swim. Chuck can stand it colder but I cannot.
On a sad note, while in the pool, I did hear a rumor that a passenger had a heart attack while on an island tour yesterday. Had to be life-flighted to Tahiti. Scary. Hoping for the passenger’s full and complete recovery.
Uturoa, Raiatea, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Raiatea pronounced: rah-yuh-tay-yuh
As the first Polynesian island to be populated, Raiatea shelters the most spectacular and first international marae (pronounced: merry), a communal or sacred place, of the Polynesian triangle, called Taputapuatea (pronunced: Tah-pew-tay-pway-tah). This place is where inauguration ceremonies, political alliances and international meetings would take place in ancient times. The site was taboo and was the headquarters of religious and political powers of the Polynesian region. These days, communities of Hawaii, New Zealand and Cook Islands still meet at this pilgrimage venue.
Historians believe that the organized migrations to the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand and other parts of East Polynesia started at Raiatea.
Raiatea means “bright sky.”
The island economy is mainly agricultural with exports of vanilla, pineapple and coconut but pearl farming is an important industry. Mount Temehani shelters the tiare ‘apetahi, a flower found nowhere else in the world. It has become the symbol for Raiatea. This half-circle white and delicate flower only blooms at dawn.
*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and Holland America documents