position S15 49.500 W145 07.000

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Tue 3 Oct 2017 06:36
 Monday 2nd  October. Kauehi, Tuamotus

Returned ashore for my 4pm apointment with the pearl dealing shopkeeper. He produced a big clear plastic bag of pearls- must have weighed several kilos and spread a pound or so out on a cloth on his special pearl inspecting table out back, 1st having closed the shop so as not to be disturbed. 

The variety of shapes, sizes, shades of grey and stripes or plain, shiny or matt was a surprise. I assumed all  pearls were basically round but some of these were pear shaped, some ringed and some really odd winkles.Little ones were a dollar, medium 2 and the biggest 3, the precise border between sizes subject to debate.

I chose what I thought amounted to about $25 worth but unfortunately he didn't have any change (so he said- although as a shop keeper that may have been a clever ploy) so I had to keep going untll my $50 note was all used up. Then he scooped an extra small handful into my pot for a bonus.

I asked him how many pearl farmers there are on the island having spotted several structures dotted around the lagoon. However there is just the one -his farm over by the airport is the only one still going, all others having packed up. I should have followed up to find out why but was too flumoxed -what were  the  men doing sorting their lines out-maybe just growing clams for food or mother of pearl? The pearls take 18 months to grow, are harvested September and he employs technicians to seed the oysters. We can see a large building in the distance on the shore off to the west which may well be his centre of operations. He sells to chinese and other far eastern dealers apart from the occasional passing victim like me. I also failed to ask about gobal warming and if they have an exit plan.

We aim to leave 1st light tomorrow, aiming for low tide at the pass which I estimate at around 6-7am. Probably no blog now for the next couple of days untill Tahiti.