Last night in Gambier

After three weeks in Gambier, it was time to say farewell. The storm was forecast to clear tonight. We should head north to the Marquesas, and make the best use of the strong SE “maramu” wind.

We took the SUPs to the beach in the morning. Onemea Bay, on the west side of Taravai, has an incredible variety of plants growing right up to the waters edge. The light drizzle continued but we were keen to exercise and explore; then we secured the boat for our 7 day passage to Fatu Hiva.

Dinner was “burrito potluck” at Tom & Sonja’s catamaran, “Pakia Tea”. It is a 53ft Wharram catamaran, a Polynesian style open air boat with an enclosed navigation station. Their living quarters are accessed through hatches in the spacious outriggers. At anchor, they use well-designed biminis for wind & rain protection around their huge outdoor table.

The last gasps of the storm blew with 30 knot squalls, flogging the tough bimini above us. When the homemade tortillas ran out, we shared Ecuadorian rum and heard their stories of wild anchorages in the Indian Ocean (they had sailed the boat west from Thailand, where they purchased and fixed it up).

We have been buddy boating with Pakia Tea for a few months since Galapagos, and now we’ll split ways. They plan to be in Tuamotos a few months, so we may see them there after we visit the Marquesas.

Photo: The dinner table at Pakia Tea (pronounced Teh-ah). Keanu, their five year old son, is illuminated at the head of the dinner table; so we called him “King-anu”, to his great delight.

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