We got up a little after 6, after getting a good night's sleep (Justin) and a not nearly as restful night's sleep (Crystal). It wasn't very bright out the window, so we figured we'd woken up before the sunrise or it was cloudy. Turns out it was more than cloudy, it was raining pretty good. There was at least an island visible, so that was good. We got our dry bag and our mesh snorkel bag ready; we hadn't used either since Fakarava, so we needed to ensure they had what we might need for the day, particularly the rain jackets. Once we were packed, we went up to the not so secret front deck on 8, and watched as we sailed into Huahine. There was a narrow pass to get into the lagoon, but the captain didn't have any problems navigating it. We wondered if the massive cruise ships could even fit, or whether they would dock out in the ocean. There was a nice rainbow and clear skies out to the west, and massive storms out to the east, so we really hoped that the prevailing winds were going west to east rather than east to west.

Perhaps because no one had seen any land in two days, the pool/breakfast area on 8 was as busy as we'd seen it, with people everywhere. It had stopped raining, so that may have played a part as well. We sat with 4 others at breakfast, as there were no tables for 2 anywhere to be seen. We were back in the room by 7:45, waiting for the 8:30 tender, excited to finally be off the ship. As usual, we were on the first tender, and met our guide Vaea at the pier. There were several people meeting for Marc's tours, but we were the only two on our particular tour. Between breakfast and landing on the island, the sky had cleared and we had nice sunshine. We first drove to the main town, Fare, where Vaea had to pick up some supplies. We wandered around the town for about 10 minutes, and then hopped back in the car. The next stop was Maeva, where there was an archaeological site - a marae - and a museum. There was this sad little brindle dog outside that caught our attention - we hope he's cared for.

The next stop was a beach east of Maeva, right near the road that connects the island with the northern peninsula. That area had a marae as well, but the beach itself was far more impressive (to us at least). It was a good thing we had our sunglasses, because it was impossible to see without them - that's how bright the beach was. After a couple of minutes wandering around the beach, we went to a vanilla plantation/shop in Faie. It was interesting to see so much vanilla, particularly the huge drying racks they had for all the beans. Because there are no natural pollinators for the vanilla flowers, they have to hand-pollinate everything, which must take a ton of effort. We'll have to do the same when our vanilla plants get bigger and start flowering. The next stop was in a river/creek running through the middle of town. We weren't sure why we were stopping here, but this was the spot where the blue-eyed eels reside. Crystal got down into the creek with Vaea with her Go-Pro, and Justin watched from the ledge. The eels reminded Crystal of the jellyfish in Palau in terms of their texture. They really do have blue eyes, which is kind of crazy.

Vaea then dropped us off at a pier in Faie, where we met Armando and his outrigger. The first outrigger stop was at a pearl farm out in the middle of the lagoon. It was a tourist trap shop, but it was still interesting to see how pearls are "made." It's nowhere near a natural process, but the pearls do look nice when it is all said and done. From the pearl farm we went on a drift snorkel in the lagoon. There were a decent amount of fish, including lots of bright yellow/gold fish that kept swimming up close. The coral was not in good shape at all, presumably from some combination of global warming and all of the activity in the lagoon. The boat ride over to lunch from the snorkel was quite short, and we had a huge downpour just as we were getting off the boat and onto the sand. Thankfully, once on the motu, there were several places with shade.

Marc, who was there manning the grill, had quite the setup with beer, rum punch, lots of food, and picnic tables in the shallow water. They made a poke-like dish with fresh fish, coconut milk, lime, and vegetables that Crystal had. Justin had some chicken. We sat with a nice couple from Italy, and chatted about things to do if we're lucky enough to get to Italy next year. We were at the motu for at least an hour, and after the downpour the sun came out and the weather was quite nice. We lazed around until it was time to get back on the boat. For the boat ride we actually joined up with others from our ship, and took a 45-60 boat ride around the island. We spotted several rays in the lagoon, as with the sandy bottom any dark object is easy to spot, and if it moves it's a ray and not a rock. We also spotted an actual rock on the hillside, one that looked like a giant face sticking up on out of the hillside. We got back to the ship around 3:30, and then got cleaned up and went up to La Palette. It was pouring again, so basically, besides for the 5 minute downpour right before lunch, we had sunshine when on Huahine, with rain immediately before and after.

Because we wanted to see the Santa Rosa show, we showered early (i.e., before 6pm) tonight, then went to grab drinks and watch the show at La Palette. It was packed, and we shared a table with Louise and Paul to talk story. Whilst the show was going on, there was a nice sunset over (left-to-right) Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora - with Bora Bora being the most distant. We went down to the piano bar for pre-dinner drinks, apparently with the rest of the ship. As people started leaving for dinner, we kept waiting, until we were near the last ones at piano bar, then we went to grab dinner aroun 8. After dinner, we went right back to the piano bar for one last drink, then grabbed a (relatively) early bed time.