Goodbye Paradise

22’35.6S 135’55.2 W course 280′ speed 9,3kn

Les Gambiers islands. A place to remember and a place to once return to. We have spend the last few days discovering Le Gambier islands. With hardly a minute to spare to write a logbook entry, so now I will have to try and make up for that…

First day we arrived was spectacular. We had to make our way through a maze of reefs and shallows, follow a path into the atoll and then find a nice anchorage. The town of Rikitea is on the main island. There are several smaller towns and a group of islands around that house over 1400 people. The main island is 400 meters high and everything is extremely green. Two hill tops were smiling at us invitingly and the thought of wandering around the little town got everybody excited.

We cleared into French Polynesia, and within a short time, we were free to go where ever we wanted. This first day was spend organizing or finding things to do the next day. Like the hike to the hill tops etc. That evening we had a bbq on board. Next day, nearly everybody want for the hike up the hills, Gijs and I set of to climb both peaks! This took the better part of the day, and my health. What a climb! But also, what a view!! Spectacular. The drop down from the hill was just superb. It looked a lot like Hornvik on Hornstrandir, Iceland. But without the birds nesting. The second peak was even higher and the view down to the Tecla even better.

Gijs and I met Henri up on the last peak and we climbed down together. The little town was already closed, so we made our way back to the Tecla and took a slightly cooling swim. That afternoon we were visited by some locals and in the evening a stronger wind picked up. Some of the yachts got into trouble when the anchor failed to hold. We were ready to help the yacht out with the Tecla, but in came a local, to pull one vessel of the other one. It then turned into somewhat of a soap show, one yacht still unable to find the right anchor spot, was getting awefully close to some others and they did not like it at all. What a spectacle.

Next day, when the wind calmed down a little, we set off for the island opposite of Rikitea.

Here we met Bernard, the owner of over 200 acres of the island, having lived there most of his life. He invited us on the island, if he could get something in retun. We had to help him pluck the limes of his trees. And so we did! One team went lime gathering, another group went snorkeling and others again, went for a hike.

It was a very special day, which we ended in inviting Bernard and the French couple from a neighboring boat, back on board Tecla for a dinner.

Last morning there was spend snorkeling, walking, swimming etc, before departure just after lunch.

And so here we are, underway again. Right now the course is set for the next adventure.

All well on board, Jet


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