Thu 28 Jun 2012 21:34
Ohh it's ever so pretty Maupiti, and not only that, it's an atoll full to bursting with Rays, Frollicing eagle rays, cruising Greys and enormous Mantas. It was really worth the effort for us to stop here as its a lovely mix between the mountains of the Marquesas and the lagoons of the Tuamotos, without the commercialism of Bora. It's also means we're leaving Polynesia still very much in love and on a high.
The Pass into Maupiti is a little treacherous, it's not wide and on either side there are evil looking waves crashing on to the reef. But with the aid of leading lines and a relatively benign sea it's fine though still feels as if we are surfing in on Hawaiis big wave, Jaws.The only thing about Maupiti is, it's a well enclosed atoll so there's always an outward current so the engines are on full throtal, and if the weather changes we could get stuck inside as the pass becomes very dangerous.
Colin, always keen on a remote shallow anchorage, always puts my nerves on high alert. But, he always gets it right and as a result we in an wonderfully shallow azure blue spot that transpires to be an eagle and grey ray playground. Actually eagle ray fornicating ground - quite a noise as they flop around, Colin says I'm obsessed...
The weather isn't that wonderful but we go in search for our friend Alfred from Morea property on one of the motu's, and here we meet a rather lovely couple, Mita and Imi. They have decided to opt out of the pressures and strains of Tahiti and now live in a traditional woven home without electricity or stress. They make enough money each month by farming copra and growing veg for the pensions, and a kinder couple you couldn't wish to find. Especially as they invite us to join with them for some homemade Grapefruit Vodka, the best homemade hooch we're ever come across.
Cosmo's message in the sand to us "I het yu" - Well the poor lad was in a strop
After our mad frantic sorting in Tahiti and then flitting thus far through the Societies we are pretty shattered, so with the lure of internet connection onboard when moored off the village and the incoming of unsettled weather we leave the blue without a visit to the alleged Manta Ray Rock. We're boat bound for a few days whilst waiting for pearls to arrive by plane from our friends in Apataki - too long and boring a story for this missive.
Thinking we're rather intrepid we take the bikes on to shore for a last circumnavigation of an French Polynesian Island. It's a little less challenging than the 26km around Mangarava, we're back at the dock in a couple of hours. Whilst on our exercise burst we climb the Mauptiti mountain having to use a rope to scale the last bit all good and challenging - Z not in the mood for reaching the peak, so Cosmo and Colin make up the two man climbing team on the extreme face. Back down in time for tuna cappacio and steak fritte at the local 'snack bar'.
'beut view from the top
Back into the blue and with the addition of lots of sunshine this time it's almost blinding. Finally, we make a post breakfast pre school visit to see if we can see any Manta's. Ohh my goodness it's the most incredible sight yet. We have now swam with a fair few of these magnificant creatures, but this for some reason just blows the reast to ablivion. These guys are massive and are sitting on a cleaning station getting a once over by the fish hygienists. They lie motionless over a coral head and all the neccessary fish emerge to do the job. One would be exciting but there are 4 queing up for there appointment. Getting Z out of the water proves to be rather difficult. Goodness knows why we haven't been here every day since arriviing. The day is spent tooing an froing from this spot. It's about one of the most Spiritual experiences I've ever had.
Back to see Mita and Imi for a lesson on ramming (paddling), actually we can't really understand why it's taken a year to have a go. It's an instant hit with everyone a wonderful workout for Colin, so there are now plans afoot to bring 'ramming' back to Bosham. Sad old lady that I'm becoming, I suspect the other ladies of Bosham will not be complaining about the wonderful physical specimens of young men, this activity produces, it's a feast to the eye.
Georgous M & I miraculously provide us with more delicious Grapefruit Vodka, Coconuts for Drinking and green beans. Z gets a lesson on weaving house pannels. Cosmo make an exchange for an old Red ensign which is going to replace the rather worn out Bob Marley flag that would have been more appropriate in the Caribbean.
Designer house by the pass.