Tag Archives: gambiers

Baie Onemea Anchorage off Taravai

What a Bay: Baie Onemea

We found a true paradise on the northern tip just off of Totegegie.  A consistent, soft, cool breeze, crystal clear blue waters, abundant fish, and deserted islands.  But it was time to leave.  Matt and I needed to position the boat for a “jump off” point to Hao which meant we had to leave.  We could have gone to a number of bays, but we decided to go to a very isolated bay called Baie Onemea located on the western side of Taravai.

Lucky for us, this was a bay that everyone wanted to see so our friends on Agape and Halcyon followed us over.  It was an easy journey as we followed our old tracks from Totegegie to Mangareva.  From there, we followed the Navionics chart and tracks from a boat called Pitufa which were remarkably accurate.

A beautiful manta ray swam by Sugar Shack as if to say “come, I’ll lead the way.” I wish the photos came out better.

Manta Rays swimming by Sugar Shack

Manta Rays swimming by Sugar Shack

Baie Onemea Anchorage

This is an exquisite bay!  It has two beautiful beaches with golden and reddish sand, a shallow reef with ample fish to entertain the curious human, and lush, green hillsides.

Baie Onemea Anchorage off Taravai

Baie Onemea Anchorage off Taravai

We spent several lazy days exploring what Mother Nature created here in Baie Onemea.  Lots of snorkeling, paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, coconut hunting, and boat yoga.

One day, Matt, Wilky, and I took our dinghy to the other side of the island to find Valerie and Herve.  We had hoped to get some fresh fruits and veggies for our upcoming passage.  However, they were not on island so we visited Marcel whose house sits down island.

We were able to procure 24 pomplemouse, a dozen oranges, a stalk of bananas, and two handfuls of lemons.  Not a bad score.  I found this beautiful, out of commission glass buoy (mooring).   They used to wrap them with line and use them to mark traps and pearl farms.  They’ve resorted to plastic now which is unfortunate.

Marcel's old fashion mooring

Baie Onemea Anchorage off Taravai

On The way back, we passed by Agakauitai which is guarded by a giant gorrilla MOAI.  It is said that he also guards the remains of several kings.  As you can see from the photos below, the coral reef is very shallow but it creates a breathtaking view from the dinghy.

Angakauitai with a large Gorilla MOAI

Angakauitai with a large Gorilla MOAI

Such a magical place.  It made it all the much sweeter sharing it with good friends.

Baie Onemea anchorage in all its beauty

Baie Onemea anchorage in all its beauty

Sugar Shack “See you Soon” Party

Parting is always difficult, but we are positive we will see our friends on Agape and Halcyon in a few months.  Whether it be in the Society or Tuamotu islands we don’t know.  I look forward to that day!

We had our “see you soon” dinner on Sugar Shack where John and Rachel captured some fun photos.  Top: me, Becca, Rianna (Rachel’s sister who was visiting, and Rachel.  Middle right: Josh, Rachel, Wilky, Rianna.  Bottom right: Andrew, Becca, John.

Sugar Shack's Going Away Celebration with Agape and Halcyon

Sugar Shack’s Going Away Celebration with Agape and Halcyon

Me and my sweetie!

Sugar Shack’s Going Away Celebration with Agape and Halcyon

The boys (Josh and Wilky) being silly

Love the wimsical side of these guys!

Love the wimsical side of these guys!

Sugar Shack Gambiers French Polynesia

Totegegie: A Small Piece of Paradise

As much as we hated to leave Taravai and our new friends, we decided it was time to move on to Totegegie island.  Matt and I wanted to explore this small island that hosts the only airport in the Gambier Archipelago.  We visited for a few days before, but did not have a chance to truly explore above, below and around the island.

It was a funny caravan with Halcyon leading Sugar Shack and Triple Shot (trimaran) and Agape following behind.  We all headed to Rikitea (Mangareva) to meet the supply ship, provision, get fuel, and do a little internetting.  We did not stay long as we needed the sun to guide us into the new anchorage.

There are lots of bombies (coral heads) in route to this new anchorage, so we went slow, watched 3 charts and ran between the cockpit and the bow.  We had tracks to this anchorage, but one can never be too careful.

The water is crystal clear and a bright blue.  We wasted no time and hopped in to explore the underwater wonders.  It is an incredibly beautiful spot.  However, we were itching to move further north into the un-chartered area just behind the reefs.  We found what we fondly named “Three-Palm Island”, dropped the hook and enjoyed the sunset.

Sunrise at Three Palm Island

Sunrise at Three Palm Island

Halycon followed us the two miles further north while Agape remained at the old anchorage.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, it does!  The water is literally multiple shades of blue starting with a purplish blue, dark blue, blue, light blue then turquoise and it is crystal clear!

Sugar Shack Gambiers French Polynesia

Sugar Shack Gambiers French Polynesia

On one of our paddle board excursions I came across an island that had a bunch of the sea urchin puffy shells.  Love them!

A Collection of Sea Urchins

A Collection of Sea Urchins

Sugar Shack and Halcyon enjoying the isolated anchorage.  Check out the blue variations.

Sugar Shack & Halcyon at Totegegie (Upper Right Corner)

Sugar Shack & Halcyon at Totegegie (Upper Right Corner)

John on Halcyon Wandering captured breathtaking shots with his DJI Maverick Air drone.  Thanx John!

Three Palm Island in Totegegie

Three Palm Island in Totegegie

Sugar Shack at Sunset

Sugar Shack at Sunset

We enjoyed a few lazy days of snorkeling and paddle boarding.  What s piece of paradise.

Taravai Celebrations

Taravai is an island of celebrations!  We had three separate birthday parties, lessons in making leighs and spearfishing, and day out on Sugar Shack.

SUNDAY BBQ & MATT’S BIRTHDAY

Every Sunday, Valerie and Herve host a BBQ for cruisers.  This Sunday was extra special as it was Matt’s birthday!  Valerie greeted Matt with a beautiful flower leigh, happy birthday music (on the radio) and provided a day full of fun activities including volleyball and bacchi ball.

We all brought side dishes, cold beverages, and desert to go with the goat and fish are hosts provided.

BBQ Celebrations

BBQ Celebrations

A birthday sing a long for Matt with some cookies and crepes.

Matt's Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Matt’s Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

LEI LESSONS

The French Polynesian lei designs are a huge part of their culture and are passed on from generation to generation.  The women make floral leis, crowns, and costumes that they wear for festivals, dances, and weddings.  Valerie was kind enough to take the time to show us how to make our own leis.

Lei Making Day

Lei Making Day

The stunning flowers smelled amazing!

A DAY OUT ON SUGAR SHACK

Matt and I decided to invite everyone on board Sugar Shack for a day cruise to Mangareva.  Rachel’s sister was due to arrive and we all needed a little provisioning and some internetting.  We invited Agape, Halcyon and our island hosts Herve, Valerie and Ariki.  It was a fabulous day out with good friends!  We even spotted a few manta rays playing around the channel.

Sunday Funday on Sugar Shack

Sunday Funday on Sugar Shack

Herve took the boys out spear fishing several days which provided the bountiful feast for each of our celebrations!

Spear Fishing with Herve

Spear Fishing with Herve

In addition to the Matt’s birthday, we also celebrated Becca’s birthday and Rachel’s birthday.

Birthday Beauties

Birthday Beauties

Becca was blessed with 8-9 rainbows, we lost count.

Sugar Shack anchored at Taravai

Sugar Shack anchored at Taravai

We had a blast spending a week on Taravai, playing games, eating fresh, local food and celebrating birthdays!

Great Gathering of Friends

Great Gathering of Friends

One of the other cruisers is from Brittany (outside of France) and he has a crepe press on board.  He made fresh crepes for us with homemade caramel, chocolate and banana sauces.

Crepe lessons in Taravai

Crepe lessons in Taravai