Iles de Gambier

It's been a week now since we got here. Can't believe it's already that long. What happened since?
On the arrival day we did nothing but walk through town once, check the internet at the post office and go back on board. In the evening we came back to land to get Pizza. We had seen the pizzeria and liked the idea of having a pizza after that long trip. As it turned out, the whole island gets Pizza there on sundays. Ok, this place is only open friday-sunday. We sat there 1,5 hrs and waited for our Pizza. Everybody calls before and then picks up the Pizza. How could we have known? And we have no phone. The have only one table, usually the people just sit and wait and then leave with the Pizza. WE did not get bored waiting for the Pizza because this way we got to know most people of the island. That was fun.

On the second day, monday, we did the official part first: immigration. That was the easiest immigration ever. Just fill out the customs form, two stamps in the passport and then off to the post office to mail the customs form to Tahiti. How did they make a letter out of the customs form? Fold it, tack it, done. No envelope. Fun. From the post office Marcus and I went to the Transocean Club (a German sailing club with worldwide representatives, usually old people) where we met Regina, the lady from "Anouca", the German boat - she travels with Michael (Pensionist). The owner of the location had to go to hospital and is supposed to return on the 7th, meanwhile Regina runs the place for him. There is a sailor's WIFI (a bit more expensive than the post office one), free showers for everyone, a washing machine which can also wash HOT, free water and some tables to party up. Almost all the sailors meet up there every day. When we left the town yesterday for a short excursion to the other islands there were a Dutch, a Swedish, a Swiss, two German (including us), two Norwegian, 2 Belgian and many French boats. We chatted with Regina for a while and then passed by their boat to meet Michael, who has studies mechanical engineering, to talk about our motor problem - after having already talked about it via Satellite phone with my brother, who knows motors inside out. Their ideas fit together, first check if it's really a motor / motor pump problem or not maybe just the switch. I had heard no strange noise from the motor, which was a good sign, so we tried the switch first. Bingo. Just a bad contact. Thank god. That day was good, we were happy and Alita clean and back in functioning mode.

Tuesday I went hiking up the highest mountain the way down being more a slide down than a walk. It was a very interesting hike- which I only found by chance. But that was exactly where I had wished to go. It took me through a rainforest first, where I was able to pick some Guayaba fruits. Yummy. Then up through a forest of strange needle trees, like pine trees but different. Very long needles. The mountain is around 570m high, the view was quite nice although it was an overcast day. You could see the whole atoll, most of the islands. All green, the water around the island more or less turquoise, but not so beautiful. A bit disappointing for me, I had imagined the south sea to be more beautiful, more water to go swimming. From there I saw nothing like that. Back down I uploaded the pictures which you saw. IN the evening we had Regina and Michael over for dinner.

Wednesday was a rainy day, perfect to finish my taxes for 2012....Great, so that's done.

Thursday was my "polynesian shopping" day - and Marcus' washing and gas filling day. I had longed for fruits, you can see them on trees everywhere, but you can't buy anything. That's hard. So I grabbed my backpack and two bags and started walking around, trying to find people in those gardens to ask for some fruits. I was VERY successful. My dream was to get a Papaya and Banana, and maybe on top a Coconut, we already had 7 grapefruits (Pampelmouse). After a long walk of many miles I came back with: 2 Coconuts, 4 Papaya, 40 (small) bananas (still green), a dragon fruit, 5 lemons. I found a paradise garden, where Gastón wanted to give me lots and lots and asked me to come back to get more fruit - but I should bring bigger bags with me!! Isn't that sweet? I was the happiest girl with my shopping success. Oh, no one takes money for that. If I don't collect the fruits, it goes bad on the ground. They don't collect / eat it anymore....And let me tell you: these fruits have the best taste!!!! OH MY GOD.

Yesterday, friday, we left to find "catalogue Island". I won't say much, you'll in the pix soon. But we've found the south sea I was looking for and had a beautiful snorkling trip yesterday and will tomorrow. More about that in the next post....

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com


Pictures online in Photogallery

I just managed to upload pictures into the photogallery.

All Easter Island pix follow this link:

Pictures from the sailing trip (just ocean and weather)

Pictures from Pitcairn

Pictures from Ducie Island

Trip to here: in the background: Pitcairn
 Some rain coming
 Arriving at Gambier Islands (you see Mangareva in the background) with sunrise- picture taken just as we could not start motor
 Waves (already small) wanting to break over deck...
Ducie Island - wonder why we were not able to enter? Look at the waves!
 We would have had to drive through this wave and then hope it's deep enough therafter....

 Entrnace from behind. Would you want to steer through that?

Pitcairn - check out this beautiful pacific blue water. The first time I was able to kind of catch it in a picture....


We safely arrived in Mangareva

Hi, just a short notice: this morning we safely arrived at Mangareva. Gut god decided to give us a challenge. At the entry of the huge atoll of the Gambier islands, just about 7nm south of our anchorage, we wanted to take the genoa down and started the engine. The engine however decided not wanting to work, so we had no choice: we had to enter this place, across the reef and around all the little reef rocks under sail against the wind!. In the end it was not so bad, we had to tack (wenden) only three times and did a perfect anchorage manouever under sail. Puh, Marcus and I both were a bit tight. Marcus overlooking all and giving orders, Gyuri at the anchorage and me on the steering wheel. BUT: we made it!!! See for yourself in the following pictures, a proof we're here.
Now we're sitting at the local post office where we had bought internet acces and are doing some online work. Of course my first and most important act is to inform you about our safe arrival.
Tomorrow, instead of relaxing, Marcus and I will try to fix the motor, also I will clean the boat. That's it for now, here are some pix. Enjoy!

Waves (already pretty small) on our way to here:

 View from our anchorage: