Cruisers: All Hands on Deck in Ua Pou

The mountains are full of lots of goats.  Most of the time you can hear them but not see them.  When you do see them, they are precariously walking along the edge of a cliff or rock hundreds of meters in the sky.  They are the Ua Pou dare devils.  Occasionally, they will come down to the flat lands and grace us with their presence.  Check out the large, meaty one on the right.

Goats on Ua Pou

Goats on Ua Pou

The main anchorage in Ua Pou has one very beautiful Catholic church which I had the pleasure of visiting. The service was in Tahitian so I did not understand a single word other than “Amen.”  They did have some of the songs projected on the ceiling giving me a chance to try to sing along.  Super amusing as I don’t know the words or pronunciations, but I did my best and nobody tossed me out.

Catholic Church in Ua Pou

Catholic Church in Ua Pou

Cruisers Helping Cruisers

It is always amazing to witness the beauty of cruisers coming together to help one another out.  Being in a super tight anchorage presented a lot of different problems.  Everyone had to put out a stern anchor in addition to the bow anchor to try to minimize movement. “Try” being the operative word.

As we arrived, a French catamaran called Peneque waved us over and told us to anchor near them.  After we set the bow anchor, Matt jumped into Sweetie to set the stern anchor.  Rolan on Peneque, jumped in with him.  This allowed Matt to drive the dinghy while Rolan set the stern anchor (I was on the big boat ensuring she did not hit another boat).  See “How did we do that in Hakahau” for more details on getting here.

When Alrisha and Easy came to the anchorage, we hopped in the dinghy to help them with their stern anchors.

Alrisha Had Some Tough Times

Our friends Bridget and Ferry had a rough few weeks at Ua Pou. On a particularly windy and swelly day all hell broke loose.  Alrisha decided to stay onboard because of the severe weather conditions.  Well, to be honest, most of us stayed onboard for safety reasons.  Around mid-morning, we heard a commotion and saw Alrisha floating toward the reef and learned that she broke her stainless steel 10mm anchor chain.

The folks on Garfulo jumped in their dingy and helped them with the stern anchor, while Matt jumped in Sweetie to meet Alrisha at the dock.  The plan was to tie her to the main dock, use the stern anchor as a bow anchor and then try to find the broken chain (and anchor) for reattachment.  Within several hours, Alrisha was set to head back to the anchorage and Mike (Easy) found their broken chain.  They reattached their chain with a shorter scope and reset the stern anchor.  Later we sold them our old stainless chain which happened to also be 10mm and fit their windlass!  Talk about a blessing!

More Troubles for Alrisha

After the festival was over, Alrisha was in their dinghy heading to the dock when their outboard broke free and went for a swim.  Several local kids swam down and retrieved it using our painter from Sweetie.  They had to flush it and replace some seals, but got her running again the next day.

When we helped Mike (Easy) with his stern anchor, we leant him our old spinnaker line and 10 meters of chain to hold the line down.  Always, help someone when you can as you never know when you will need help in return.

The great thing about our cruiser friends is that they just go and help, they don’t wait to be asked and they don’t expect anything in return. Everyone helping everyone was more prevalent in Ua Pou because of the poor conditions and tight quarters.  However, it’s not just here in Ua Pou, but everywhere. 

Sorry no photos of the tough times as it was all hands-on deck.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.