position S15 49.500 W145 07.000
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Tue 3 Oct 2017 02:00
Monday 2nd October. Kauehi, Tuamotus|
Managed to lower the Jeckells genoa this morning and get the old Hood genoa back on. Quite a relief as I was unsure if we could do it even with the wind down below 20kn for the 1st time for several days. Diana was on the mast a took a bit of a battering from the sail but kept working the winch manfully.
Also managed a trip ashore- a wet ride in the dinghy but kept the right way up. We beached in front of the church next to a small concrete Jetty. A sign near the pontoon indicated a visitor tax to be paid of 55 pcf per person per day (about 50p). The 'city' of Kauehi atually covers a larger area than is apparent from the boat. It occupies a wider lump of sand than most of the atoll and as you walk past the church you arrive at another stretch of green tinged water that wraps round the back of the prominintory. The concrete blockwork church is pleasantly simple with pretty chandeliers made from sea shells and some colourful flowers around the concrete altar. A shop a litte further along served us nescafe and the shopkeeper confirmed that the wind is not usual, even for the late season. The population is around 350 and the big supply boat from Tahiti arrives once a month. We asked about pearls and he made a clandestine arrangement for us to return at 4pm- presumably for black market pearl shopping. The island is extremely photogenic, every view a classic pacific island vista with palm trees framing white coral sandy beaches and azure blue sea.
Further along another shop sold Diana some pretty printed material and he said that they get only a one yacht every couple of weeks at this time of year- In high season (april-June) the lagoon is apparently thick with yachts that then move onto Tahiti for the festivals. While Diana was looking at cloth with his wife he described how the men like to oggle the Hula girls in their grass skirts, getting quite excited as he developed the theme (him not me).
As we wandered up to the end of the road a young uniformed security guy cycled up and asked us if we had paid our tax to the Mairie. He was as friendly as everyone we met and told us where to find the town hall (should have turned left at the church instead of right). Some people were attending to their coconuts- splitting them with an axe with amazing accuracy every blow hitting dead centre, piling the halves in neat rows to dry before the de-husking and breaking into fragments to mature under corrugated tin or tarpaulins. Others were sorting and cleaning the oyster lines. I couldn't understand how the seeding process works, but the fisherman found some empty small shells in the
fringes of the line and presented them to us to admire the mother of pearl linings. We returned to pay our tax to a lady in the Mayors office-paperwork here is very easy. Just boat name required, no forms to complete or passports to verify. The modern school was in session- 6 small bikes parked outside the school gates and a couple of busy workers sweeping the street in front.
A walk across to the sea shore reminded how the ocean will not be kindly when we return to it, waves crashing impressively on the coral reefs and the palms bending uniformly with due defference to the persistent pressure.
Back for lunch aboard as there are no snack bars here and a siesta.