Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 35 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Thursday 10th May 2018 - Maupiti

We were up at 0600 to see Jean off, the Pamplemouse Queen. Who will slice up the pamplemouse now of a morning? One thing is for certain, my buttocks are aching this morning after yesterday's exertions!

By 0700 we were heading out towards the exit channel and westwards towards Maupiti, the most west of the Society islands and reportedly the prettiest, with its various shades of blue waters and the fact that it is home to a Manta Ray breeding area, and extensive coral gardens. It was still raining, or in-between rain showers and what wind there was was on the nose so we motored the whole 30 miles.

The entrance channel to Maupiti is both narrow and shallow but well marked. There were large breaking surf waves on either side as we tentatively made our way inside the lagoon through the narrow confines. This can be a very difficult exit as the tide only ever streams out here due to the water flows over the surrounding reef and should there be a southerly wind creating wind over tide it is impassable. In fact, two or three ARC boats were planning to come here but decided against in case the wind changed, and they were trapped for a week or two. We have taken that chance.

Once anchored just off the small village, we took the dinghy ashore to have a look around and, as usual, everything was shut - it was 4pm and suspiciously like yet another election day with political flags draped everywhere. We were looking particularly for somewhere to hire a glass-bottomed kayak for Wendy to see some of the coral but didn't come across anywhere. However, the people were really friendly, everyone saying 'hello' in local language (sounds like 'Jo-arn-na'), indeed one young lad came over to us as we stepped off the dinghy, introduced himself and shook our hands!

On the way back to the boat Dave saw a manta leap out of the water, I only saw the considerable splash, then we saw the outline of another under the water a little way off - we were thinking maybe to snorkel off here tomorrow and see the Rays.

Back to shore for dinner - pizza but getting back to the boat was a bit choppy as the wind had come up and Wendy took a wave over her so got a soaking as, more importantly, did the left-over pizza! She was none too pleased on either count.

Friday 11th May 2018 - Maupiti

It is I! I am the new Pamplemouse Queen! There is no end to this man's talent.

Wendy needed to do some washing as we have new crew members coming on board when we return to Bora Bora so Dave and I got the snorkel gear out and took the dinghy over to the shallows to go manta ray spotting. Unfortunately, the sky was overcast and the sandy bottom was a bit churned up so visibility was not great. Indeed, being mostly sand there were very few fish about but I did manage to spy a Sting Ray, not very big but a very long tail. These guys stick to the bottom feeding on things on the sand, so they are difficult to spot sometimes. No mantas to be seen though today, here anyway.

During a break in the laundry cycle we went on foot to 'the place' on the island, Tierra Plage. It was quite a trek and ended up us taking directions from a chap on a scooter who told us to walk along the beach around a peninsular and we'll find it there, and so we did albeit it was pouring with rain again. Well, what a waste of time that was! One snack bar and a shallow sand bar that seemingly went out for 100 meters or so with absolutely nothing to see with the snorkels at all, very disappointing. So we cut our losses and walked back along the road this time over a hill but at least we passed by some lime trees from which Dave borrowed some fruit, and a pamplemouse tree with a fruit sat on the floor with our name on it.

Back on board, we upped anchor and headed back to re-anchor near the manta ray breeding area, marked off with a series of buoys. Dave and I then got the snorkels out again and went in search as the sun had come out making visibility a bit better; I saw some quite large tropical fish in the deeper water around the coral and Dave saw a Sting Ray, but the mantas were very elusive. But it was starting to get choppy and there was a bit of a tide running so we did not stay in for too long.

We had bacon hot-pot for tea which was good, but during which the mother of all rain storms came in. It got so hot down below when we shut the hatches that Dave treated us to air-conditioning! As we were sat there cooling down we decided to have a gin and tonic using the gin we had acquired in Moorea which at the time seemed such a bargain at $18 a bottle compared to the usual $80. Now we know why: it is absolutely disgusting!! The tasting notes may suggest a background nose of aniseed or liquorice with heaps of industrial alcohol and a hint of diesel maybe? Yuk. Most of it found its way into the drain I'm afraid - where is Trevor when you need him?

It is only 8pm and as it's so cool down here now with the air-con, I'm taking advantage and going to bed - Good night!