We decided it was time to move on after being in Rikitea, the main anchorage in Mangareva, for a week. The winds directed our destination and we headed to a new island (to us) called Ile de Akamaru. It is a short motor of 4.4nm from Rikitea to Akamaru with the wind directly on our nose.
We had to play dodge ball around the pearl farm floats. It would be helpful if they would be white or a bright color, but we came across a lot of black ones which are hard to see in the sea. In this photo I pointed out 3 of the 5. Can you see the other 2?
This island has a small pass that is about 1.5 meters deep. Technically, we could enter the pass and go all the way to shore with the big boat as we only draw 1.3 meters. However, the wind was blowing the wrong way and would have caused our boat to drift close to the corals and seriously, that is way too close for us. We ended up finding a beautiful patch of sand in 2 meters of water. Gorgeous!
Akamaru was discovered in 1797 and is relatively small with a surface area of 1.5 km. It is on the southern side of the Gambiers and not often visited by tourist.
A half mile north of Akamaru is a very small, uninhabited island called Ile Mekiro with a lovely cross at the top ridge. Time to explore. We left the dinghy just off the small beach (top photo) and discovered a bazillion broken oyster and conk shells. Must have been a place to shell at one time?
We could not find an actual trail so we picked a spot and started climbing up. About half-way up the hill we ran across a baby goat who was crying for its mama.
We found the path, once we arrived at the top of the hill. Matt walks ahead toward the cross (upper right) and then we were rewarded with beautiful views of the bay. You can see Sugar Shack just below the cross.
The island must have had a cross facing each direction of the bay, but only one remained standing. Two of the concrete crosses were on the ground. That must have been some strong wind to knock them over.
More views from the top. The first photo is Taravai (left) and Mangareva (right). The second photo is the house boat that is in the center of the lagoon in Akamaru, Sugar Shack on the 3rd pic and Akamaru is the bottom photo.
We stopped by the house boat and met Remy and his wife. They live part time on the boat and part time in their house on Akamaru. They generously provided us with some tasty bananas! I made some banana muffins as a thank you and when we dropped them off, they gave us two huge papayas. So generous.
At shore, we pulled up at the cement dock and were floored by the stunning road leading from the water to the “village.”
We hung a left which led us to the rather large church. It is amazing that such a huge church is on this island with maybe 10-12 locals. However, at one point in time there were probably a few hundred people farming here.
You could walk up to the bell tower and view the interior of the church.
We came across 5 houses that looked inhabited, but only ran into one local. The houses that were lived in were lovely and well maintained.
However, there were many old, abandoned, stone houses along the long, green road. You have to search for them among the trees and bushes, but they are there. Evidently, Akamaru was a bustling town at one time.
The road changes from a gorgeous, green super highway, to a dirt road lined with tall, sweeping trees, and a small path along the river.
Some Cool Photos of Akamaru
Enormous flowers grow on this lovely island.
We found a little pig farm with 3 piggy’s who were super excited to see us.
Near the water is a shady area under a giant tree with a bench. Perfect to pine the day away.
And on the other side of the dock is a beautiful spot to enjoy a nice swing.
A friendly little kitty came out to play with us. So full of love.
Sugar Shack at anchor in front of Ile Mekiro
We had an enormous trevali fish hanging out with us at our shallow anchorage. He would attempt to eat anything we put in the water (bananas, banana peels, egg shells, anything). He was about 2 meters long and super thick! We aptly named him Rover.