Mon 19 Nov 2012 19:39
Monday 19th of November
After e very slow passage from Gambier Islands we arrived outside the entrance through the reef to Hao at 3.00 early Sunday morning.
Our sailing description said that it was an easy entrance with a reed and green bouy and two leading leading light's. When we got there we saw the red and the green bouy but the leading lights was nowhere to be seen.
After a while the green bouy went out also. we then decided to heave to until morning and daylight.
In daylight it was an easy entrance and we went and anchored outside the village of Otepa.
Sunday morning and we could hear the singing from the churches ashore. They were packed with young people that were playing and singing. On Hao they have a big boarding school for the children from the surrounding islands.
There is a population of 400 people on the island. Not much is going on here nowadays. Hao used to have 1300 inhabitants and more than 2000 military personel. This was when i was the main base for the nuclear testing at Muroroa that is 250 NM away.
We walked around the quiet town in the heat but we soon had to retreat back to the boat and go snorkling instead. The temperatures are getting hot now so you try and stay out of the midday sun. 32C in the air and 29C in the water is the norm now. Thankfully you get a nice breese when you are on the boat.
After shopping on monday morning, mostly lots of bagettes as bread is the only cheap food you can find. Unfortunately they don't seem to have any fresh fruit and vegetables on these islands. We decided to sail across to Amanu only 20NM away.