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Old 15-05-2020, 07:56   #16
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Location: French Polynesia
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Re: French Polynesia Questionnaire. For all sailors that are in or have been in FP

Just to clarify a few things

The AVP "French Polynesia Yachting Association" is trying to turn the tide on local and government attitude towards cruisers and secondly creating a document that yachties would sign up to which details recommended behavior while in FP.

The request to complete the survey was a google translate directly from AVP (don't shoot the messenger).

The mention of rallies has come up a number of times in this feed. NOTHING was said about rallies. The ARC was turned away/canceled this year. Only a few ARC boats arrived.

95% of the local displeasure with the yachties is happening in the Societies (Tahiti, Mo'orea, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora)

The issue of locals not wanting cruisers in their bays has NOTHING to do with money. I repeat nothing to do with $$. They don't want boats in their view. Mayors have been known to encourage this behavior which had led to boats being accosted by locals wielding machetes and bolt cutters (to cut anchor chains). BUT now that tourism has stopped maybe the $$ spent by cruisers will have an effect on FP government to realize that cruisers do bring $$ into the economy. The questionnaire is being requested to have $$ information to speak directly to the government ministers not the locals

We have spent 5 years in FP and have only been met with love and friendship 99.9% of the time. It saddens us that a few locals are disgruntled but completely understand their feelings.

Lastly in FP Respect is HUGE thing. Respect for nature, local rules, culture, etc etc. Sometimes cruisers arrive with no previous knowledge of the place and think if they see fruit on trees they can just pick it or walk thru peoples yards without asking, leave trash on shore or burn their trash on motus and not come back and pick up...... I could go on and on. We are guests in their country and not all of the cruisers act like good house guests.

We try and live by the motto of leaving a clean wake as those behind you will have to pay the price for bad behavior.

Kind regards


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Old 15-05-2020, 10:06   #17
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Location: San Antonio, TX/Port Aransas, TX
Boat: 1990 Macintosh 47, "Merlin"
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Re: French Polynesia Questionnaire. For all sailors that are in or have been in FP

Not a cruiser (yet). Did 2-1/2 weeks in FP back in October on a charter. Polynesians are the happiest people in the world. And they just don't care (much) about money. Most of them. They LOVE to share country with visitors. We found them to be among the friendliest people we've ever encountered.
HOWEVER. All it takes is one "rich b******" or one careless cruiser to screw the whole thing up. Rodney Dangerfield (from Caddyshack) throwing $$ around doesn't help. And a cruiser dumping trash, tearing up coral, taking fruit, etc. gives the ENTIRE community a bad name.

The solution tends to be "let's make it hard and expensive for them to stay".

Bill Streep
San Antonio/Port Aransas, TX
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Old 15-05-2020, 13:57   #18
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Re: French Polynesia Questionnaire. For all sailors that are in or have been in FP

Cruisers who think they contribute substantially to the economic well-being of an island nation, or a state simply need to get over themselves.

For example, the 199,000 tourists in FP contributed about 400 million USD. So, on average that's about $2000 per tourist. That's just cash out of pocket. The tourism industry also employs about 17% of the local populace. Yes, some of the monies leave to feed major corporation accounts, but a lot of that money stays in the local economy via taxes and employee pay, etc.

Let's say half the 400 million leaves the country. Even if 1000 boats spent 200K each in the local economy during that year it does little to nothing regarding overall employment, especially in the service sector. (And, I don't know any long-term cruiser that spends 200K per year.)

Bill Streep nailed it. Many people I've met on remote islands don't measure a person's wealth by the dollars in their pockets. But, spend some time mending nets, building a house, volunteering in a school, delivering mail or packages to outer islands, showing up in church on Sundays, or simply talking with elders means more to the community than the money you spend at a store or restaurant or for a tour or for a tank of fuel.

It is unfortunate that the rally rats who descend upon these islands like a plague of locusts arrive with the idea that they should be treated like royalty because they paid money and arrive with expectations that may not be satisfied. (Also note, the fees paid for rallies don't go 100% to the islands on the rally route.) But it is an attitude of "I'm better than you, and you should treat me well because I am spending money in your little store" that leads to disdain.

So, I applaud Chuck for his efforts to strike a balance between long-term cruising vessels and the local populations.

I also hope he can help the local populations differentiate between long-term cruisers and rally rats who simply race from island to island.

(Perhaps a requirement for each person onboard a cruising boat volunteer for some service level project on the islands or local community at least 1 day for every 5 days in country.)
S/V Discovery 15797 (
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Old 24-06-2020, 09:02   #19
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Re: French Polynesia Questionnaire. For all sailors that are in or have been in FP

"...It is unfortunate that the rally rats who descend upon these islands like a plague of locusts..."
do you personally know a sufficiently large number of these "rats" to make such a sweeping denigrating statement? I presume that you alone are privileged because of (yes, because of what?) to cruise the oceans your way, & "damn the rats!" (fyi: 3&1/3 rtw to our "credit" & not a mile in a rally, but I still feel strongly, that everybody should be allowed to cruise "in their own fashion"! & btw: the rallies sweep through a few places, leaving the others to the "true, rightful explorers" like you - so you should be grateful!)

...not all who wander are lost!
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