Papeete, Tahiti is the Administrative capitol of French Polynesia. It is the economic hub for more than 117 islands that are spread over a marine area the size of Europe and encompasses some of the most remote and stunningly beautiful geography and topography on the planet. The volcanic Marquesas, The Tuamotu Atolls and the reef rimmed Society Islands of Tahiti, Mo'orea, Ra'iatea, Huahine, Taha'a, Bora Bora, Maupiti and Mopelia, Paradise of the South Seas.
Papeete is where you go to provision and also if you need to beg for a Visa Extension and begging is the operative phrase…they do not make it easy or make you feel welcome, quite the opposite, you are clearly a bother.
We checked into Marina Tiana on a mooring ball and for the record these folks were great. The anchorage was conveniently located close to shopping and town.
There is a certain charm resident in the island architecture and native population, the old ships at anchor and the beautiful encompassing reef, but we found the administrative Bureaucrats much less so.
After jumping thru all the hoops, numerous visits, passports photos and questionaires copied ad nauseum, we were begrudgingly and reluctantly allowed an additional 30 days. (I am writing this in RED in honour of all the RED TAPE NEEDED HERE!)
It was a start!
We provisioned up and sailed on to Moorea to wait out a weather system before proceeding on to Raiatea to effect some needed boat maintenance.