Friday, May 8, 2015

Tuamotu: Makemo Atoll

Hello Everyone,

We are now anchored off the village in the Atoll of Makemo, it is sunset and I am having a nice little sunset drink. Amaia and Alina are playing their new favorite game... chess on the computer. Chris, Tristan and Alexia are scub diving around the boat... Life is all GOOD!

It is really nice here with a great anchorage in mostly sandy bottom and water visibility for about 60 feet.. We were so excited to get back into the crystal clear waters again. The Marquesas Islands are amazing in their own way but crystal clear water and white sandy beaches are hard to find... in fact we only found two that worked for us. One on Hiva Oa and one on Tuahata... So you can imagine the kids amazement when we came into the atoll and we could see all the coral heads and sandy spots below us.

As soon as we dropped anchor Chris, Tristan and Alexia jumped into the water to see what was below the boat. Chris always goes to double check the anchor but the other 2 kids couldn't stay out of the water... they were so excited to go swimming and looking for fish... then we needed to get into town to check things out before the stores closed... we finally all got it together (for some reason this is always a feet on its own... about 30 minute process) and into the "car" (dinghy) and headed into shore with Amaia and Alina half hanging over the boat looking at all the fish swimming out of our way. We walked around town and found 2 stores open... we didn't know it was a french holiday and most of the village was closed for business. As we were walking around town we noticed that all the kids were out playing, fishing, swimming, riding bikes and most of the adults were hanging out laying in hammocks and relaxing... it should have been our first clue since it was noon on Friday... Never the less we found a store that was provisioned with a lot of the stuff we would normally buy and in addition they had the Hawaiian Icees that Pifa gave us on Hiva oa.. the grandma that ran the store made them and sold them out of the freezer.. The kids were ecstatic and I found chicken and rice that she had made... my new favorite plate lunch... so good.. so we all sat on the curb outside the store and shared the chicken and rice before we went to discover more... There isn't much to this village but from what we could see they are impressively modern with their houses, rain catching systems, gardens and satellite dishes... The roads are all paved and cement fences line the streets for all the homes... The town is having organized sports game in the arena right next to the dock in front of us... they have a pretty good turn out with all ages, music playing, barbequeing, and games. I am hoping that tomorrow we can find some wifi in order to upload some pictures... I never imagined how hard it would be to find wifi, and when you do to have the wifi strong enough to handle uploading a picture or two. This has been a really big disappointment and I feel so spoiled in saying that but I am so excited in everything that we are seeing I really want to share all the pictures so that you can see what I am talking about... for now you will have to do your best in imagining off of my feeble attempt of describing things.

After walking through town we came back to the boat and we all went swimming again... the bigger kids did school work so that they could go scuba diving with Chris, but the little girls and Kaela and I jumped into the water... Alina has taken a liking to swimming in the buff so it is really cute when she has her little pink mask on and goes bottoms up to see the fish below... she is so not shy and loving the freedom... Okay I am a little jealous.. Both Amaia and Alina have taken a real liking to using the mask and going on a search to find fish... they are loving being in the water (especially the clear water) and are often in there for hours... The water temp is 84.2 degrees so it is easy to stay in there and play for awhile. I think they are both turning into H2O Mermaids...

We just had our first visitors from the village... 3 boys came up to the boat ages 13 (George), 16 (Sedrick) and 17 (An Island name I didn't quite catch... He was the shy one that stayed in his boat and chased down Kaela and Chris), they were all brothers and had 2 younger brothers at home.... they were just hanging out trying to talk to Kaela and I... With my lack of French and their little English we didn't get very far until Chris surfaced from below with the scuba gear.... they were really cute... they spoke just a little English and finally we figured out that they were asking if we wanted to try to use their single man outrigger canoes ... so Mykaela and Chris jumped in and had a blast with them while the 3rd boy chased them around and helped them to right the canoe when they tipped it over. These canoes as they discovered are very light, fast and very tippy.. thankfully they are easy to right when upside down.. The boys were so cute hanging out on the boat and laughing when Mykaela and Chris tipped over... the first time Mykaela tipped over the 2 boys dove off the boat and swam after her... After Chris was done Tristan got to have a turn... He loved it and was a proven pro just like Chris and Kaela... It was so fun to watch them racing in the sunset.... what a great way to end an evening... I gave them a big bag of candy to share... One boy wouldn't take it but the other brother said... Yes! I love chocolate... Merci!
























They may come back tomorrow and if they do I would love to try one myself.... It was too cold for me tonight. I think we will stay here one more night and then move along the coast up to the exit passage in the next few days and off to the another Atoll.... I am still in search for my Black Pearl... I am hoping that Chris will find one in one of the abandoned Pearl Farms... We will see...

Hugs and Love to everyone...

Heath

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