|Approaching Ua Pou, the prettiest island from the sea.|
|S/V Sweet Pearl is sailing with us.|
|A view of the anchorage from the top of the hill.|
We are sailing without crew now, so we are tandem sailing with S/V Sweet Pearl owned by Tom and Sandra from Switzerland. They are on the honeymoon! They quit their jobs and bought a boat specifically for this 16 month trip - actually longer because they sail across the Atlantic Ocean with the ARC.
|I loved this house and its front door!|
On our way to find dinner, we asked a man for directions. As it turned out, he was the Mayor. He told us about the barbecue we passed on the beach. It is a celebration for the national championship victory by one of their two football teams. He is serving his third term as Mayor and has been in office since 2001.
|The carved pulpit was beautiful.|
The Mayor is obviously very proud of his town and he should be. It was very clean and well developed with good streets, gutters, lights, etc. This has not always been the case in the islands. We visited the Catholic Church and saw the most beautifully carved pulpit and statues I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I left the boat without my camera so I had Sandra take a few shots for me.
The interesting part was where we ate. Many places are called "snack bars" and they are someone's home with a dining spot on their covered front porch or patio. They cook in their kitchens and serve you at tables like a restaurant. The food has always been good and cooked fresh. In fact, one notable thing is how they serve. Regardless of how many are at the table, they bring out one person's meal at a time as it comes off the stove. So often you are eating while the rest of your table is waiting - and waiting.
|Dennis at the top of the mountain|
where the grotto is located.
Always looking for ways to stretch our legs, we climbed to the top of the hill to see a grotto and cross that overlooks the bay. As with most hikes in these volcanic islands, it was strenuous. And 88 degrees! It was good exercise because we are now sailing 500 miles without a stop to reach Rangiroa in the Tuamotu group. These are all atolls and require careful navigation. It is also our first long double-handling in the Pacific. I am sure we will be tired when we arrive at the atoll.
Our crew member Tom would have had fun with our "run in" with S/V MO jumbo! This is a family from Australia who make quite a spectacle in anchorages. This time they cut us off at the entrance to the harbor even though we were ahead of them. Then they dropped their hook in the middle to establish their territory. Based on previous experiences, there was no way we were going to be close to them! Next while we were trying to anchor, the Skipper (dad) swam right in front of our boat and I had to reverse not to hit him. Not too smart or thoughtful.