beautiful Tahitian dancers

Exotic and Erotic Tahiti

From hip thrusting to grocery shopping there is far more to be experienced in Tahiti than we ever expected.

I don’t know about you, but it always seems we arrive to a destination just after something incredible happened.  We get the old, “you should have been here last week, you just missed …” line all the time.

But, not this time!

We dropped the hook in Tahiti just in time to attend the biggest event of the year.  Prepare yourself for some seriously exotic and erotic Polynesian moves.

There are some days we feel completely buried in a preverbal avalanche of never-ending boat projects, and then there are days like these.  Days where we blink hard and then pinch ourselves just to make sure it’s real.

The views alone are worth crossing an ocean for.  Everything else is just gravy.

s/v curiosity at anchor in Tahiti with Jason and Nikki Wynn on deck

drone shot of beautiful tahiti

Heiva, So sexy it was banned

Heiva is a competitive festival that brings together thousands of singers, artists, dancers, and athletes from all five of the archipelagos and the 65 inhabited islands of French Polynesia.

This is not a show put on for tourists, this a festival for the people, by the people.  A time of celebration, remembrance and all-around Polynesian cultural pride.  There’s a whole host of traditional events they compete in.  It goes way beyond the dancing and singing we witnessed.  Canoe racing, javelin throwing, heavy stone lifting, fruit-carrying, and even coconutting.

They compete as individuals and teams for the ultimate bragging rights.  But there’s also prize money on the line.  It’s a big deal for the locals and we felt mighty lucky to witness the opening ceremony.  And, we totally pinched ourselves when they put us in with the ‘media’ and allowed us to film and share the experience.

Jason Wynn on the media floor filming tahitian dancers

polynesian dancers at hieva competition

Tahitian dancers

tahitian men performing cultural dance

tahiti heiva Polynesian dancers

tahiti heiva Polynesian dancers

beautiful tahitian man performing exotic cultural dance

beautiful tahitian woman performing cultural dance

tahiti dancers at hieva

beautiful tahitian man performing cultural dance

Despite the fact that this is indeed a competition, the one thing that really struck us was just how much freaking fun they were having.  In fact, this is my fave photo just because of the sheer joy in these beautiful Polynesian faces.

beautiful Polynesian dancers smiling

Our video was only a brief taste of the event.  We captured so much footage it took days to edit this video.  Soooo, if you want to see more of the booty shakin’, hip thrusting goodness or the musical jam sessions let us know, maybe we can post some more of our favorite moments.


There aren’t set dates, but it does run for around three weeks in July.  They announce schedules in April or May here: Maison de la Culture de Tahiti.


For cruisers Tahiti is often referred to as a stopover island.  You stock up on food, fuel and take care of the necessary bureaucracy that comes along with visiting French Polynesia by sailboat.  But, we are learning that there is more to Tahiti than provisions and paperwork.  It’s the big city of French Polynesia and I have a sneaking suspicion there is more to discover if we go looking.  But, so far we can at least say this;

The Veterinarian in Fariipiti has been amazing for helping with import procedures for our two cats, and the government official in charge of Biosecurity for pet imports was equally wonderful.  They really try to make the process as painless as possible.  For those of you with paws on board, we’ll dive more into the pet importation process soon.

We were surprised how well stocked the grocery store is and how it’s generally affordable to buy provisions. We were warned that everything was crazy expensive, but we found that’s not really the case.  Because let’s be honest, what more do you really need besides cheap brie, fresh croissants and local fish?


Camera Gear

Sailing Specific Gear

AWESOME tunes for vids:

  • Artists Used In This Video: Live moments and intro song from Hieva / Giants and Pilgrims, Eldar Kedem, J.A.K.


To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

Tahiti sailing map

  • Dates: July 20-22, 2018
  • Anchorage: Yacht Club de Tahiti in Arue
  • Passage: Tahiti to Moorea
  • Total Nautical Miles of Passage: 14

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (40)

  • Nick Papak

    We spent our honeymoon in french polynesia 1985 before cruise ships went their. We have some cool video to share with you .And spent time there our 5 yr anniversity Love the weather. Love it all . Take care and make sure to always keep two ankers

  • Katie

    great video! quick question.. who did you ask for permission to film the show from ? we are headed there in July and would love to be able to capture some footage. Thanks in advance!

  • Deborah Kerr

    Just WOW!!! 🙂

  • Patrick Burneson

    hi Gang,

    Writing from Columbia, Mo. We have 12-14 inches of snow, watching your video brought warmth to my bones,. Thank You. Stay safe.


  • Catou

    I love your videos sooooo much… you guys rock big time but Saumon is salmon in french… not an hybrid of a tuna and a salmon. Just a saumon

  • Tracy H


  • Keith Stephens

    My wife sailed in a former life, but it was her husbands desire not hers. She sailed the Tomotus and Tahiti area and loved it, so she took me back on a 747. We spent some time in Tahiti before boarding the freighter Aranui to visit the Marquesas and Tomotus, so I got to see most of the interesting things in Tahiti. But I had no idea that HEIVA even existed. Thank you for the fabulous photos. Beautiful!!!
    I’m sorry you seem to have missed the Marquesas Islands. They have much more of a “rural” taste than Tahiti. Have a wonderful time.

    • Curious Minion

      Hi Keith. There are 10 or 11 videos from the Marquesas. Click on the French Polynesia tab on the sailing page of the blog and hit “load more” until you reach the first video.
      Curious Minion

  • francois jasmin

    Nice video; Merci

  • Helen Russo

    I’ve already commented over on Patreon so I won’t repeat myself, however I have to say those still shots are stunning, and Jason, I agree, that singing is so emotive. It gave me goosebumps. Wow. Your footage was the next best thing to being there… thanks to Niki and you for dragging, er, carrying us along on so many adventures.

  • Helen Russo

    I did too, and noticed the camera…lingering…just a wee bit longer than necessary… (hmm).

    • Helen Russo

      Replying to comment about graffiti on bus stop after bus blowing by… (ugh…).

  • Alan Solomon

    Great video, I was looking forward to seeing you last week but, you were enjoying New Years Eve in Tahiti. Pretty cool.
    The water around Moorea looks awesome and perfect. I would expect the coral to be lively and colorful.
    Huge grocery store but, I cannot fathom the price of Ben n’ Jerry’s.

    Be safe and enjoy,

  • Laurence Phillips

    LOL: “Moorea is supposed to be lovely” — hard to imagine a time it was a question!
    BTW, that you kept recording while running through the city chasing buses is a great credit to your commitment and I really appreciate it.

  • Terry Blanchard

    We were there in November and saw the Tahitian Dance Competition at the hotel we stayed at, the Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort. I agree with you on the costs of renting a car and food. We rented a car for 6 days for $450 from the airport. We also took the ferry to Morea. We had great snorkeling there. Enjoy watching your videos.

  • Mary Van

    I’m so glad WE did not miss the Heiva! Fun night, thanks for sharing!

  • Tim Bowman

    We recently spent 3 weeks in Tahiti cruising and it became one of favorite places in the world. Enjoy it!!

  • Michael Magill

    Good Morning J &N and the two cats for company. What an extraordinary video showing off parts of the Island the the drone video was amazing. Would love to see the show you saw, it must have been well worth seeing. Found them taking a school bus very cute with the nice lady taking pity on them Always a great video grocery shopping was fun and it was close to the okace they dicked the dingy, always nice to have that. This was a short laid back comfy video and I loved it ty so much ..Safe seas and quiet sailing ….….

  • Pam McClure

    A top favorite video. Loved the Heiva and hope you do more videos of that experience. Brought back a few memories of when I lived in Hawaii as a kid. I took hula lessons but didn’t get to take Tahitian dancing. Probably too young and pudgy. Thank you.

  • Misha

    Hi Guys Love the comment from Nikki that she used to shake her hips like that in high school , that must have been one wild school you went to. Lovely vidio that shows off the area so well & must comment about the Ladys, they show a natural happyness so lost in western culture & the long natural black hair just made me want to be young again, Breath taking area you are in thank for recording & showing it some of us oldies will never see this in real life.

  • Rick Wunn

    Very nice, thanks as we sit in Roseville Calif ( Sacramento area) while its raining and wind is blowing. Rick and Linda

  • Roeh

    Love these videos.

  • John

    Just an FYI. Note the words on the bus stop at 5:16.

  • Roger B

    Now we know what the event looks like as we have friends that have visited Tahiti several times to watch the competition. Great videos and explanation of what we were viewing. Thank you.

  • dyanne

    You guys make it look easy (although I know it’s not). Thanks for another great video can’t wait to follow all your 2019 adventures.

  • Sallie McKenna

    Loved your video today!!! What fun you two are having,

  • Carol McCarty

    Great video! I’m green with envy but thanks to you both my hub & I took the leap & bought a small travel trailer. He was doubtful until I threatened to go without him. Nikki if you’re still baking a few cookies at a time, form your dough into a roll, refrigerate for about 30 minutes, remove, cut into slices & wrap individually for freezing. Much easier than trying to cut through a whole frozen loaf of dough. And madeleines should be kept refrigerated as you’re working with them especially in the heat you’re experiencing. Hope those help your baking. Thanks tons for the encouragement to get out there and just do it! Blessings to you both!

  • Bernard Schaer

    Great video guys, thank you very much!!

  • Maria

    Absolutely stunning! The YT video is beautiful, but those pictures above! wow! I’m in awe. *Standing Ovation*

  • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

    Wow! That Heiva was fantastic! I can’t imagine how terrific it was in person. Thank God, one island has cat litter-eh? That grocery store looked well stocked and very clean. It looks like you guys are having so much fun!! Can the French actually move there? Seems like a lot of houses in the hills. Best video yet!

  • Jane Sloger

    What was the outcome to your rashes? Did you see a Dermatologist in Tahiti?

    • Curious Minion

      Saw an answer to this on YouTube so will chime in. The rash improved so much by the time they got to Tahiti that she didn’t need to go. I guess the cortisone just needed more time to work. Anyway, she’s been avoiding mango skin since then and is good.
      Curious Minion

  • Sean

    Hello guys , we are from cold upstate NY, Love to be cruising with you guys😁. Our boating season is pretty short , about 5 months. We love the crystal clear blue water. You guys are a attractive couple, she is very hot 😎


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