Tag Archives: mangareva

Managreva on fire

The False Pass at Tarauru Roa

On the southeast corner of the Gambiers lies two motus: Tarauru Roa and Gaioio. The wind shifted and we decided to move to the more protected anchorage of Tarauru Roa. We had never anchored in this area before and had to dodge many pearl floats on the way from Ile de Akamaru. Once we arrived, we determined that we needed to float our chain to avoid getting tangled with the bommies. Always a fun chore to add floats to the chain every 7 meters while setting the anchor. We finally set the anchor after a few failed attempts.

A very stunning sunset behind Taravai. Looks like the orange was just painted into the sky.

Beautiful Orange Sunset at the False Pass

Beautiful Orange Sunset at the False Pass

The False Pass

To the north of us is a “false pass” where there is a gap between the Tarauru Roa motu and Totegegie but the reef still creates a barrier between the lagoon and the sea. Our friends on Leela told us it was great snorkeling there so met them for an adventure. We drove the dinghy as far up the gap that we could without getting stuck during a change in tides. We then had to swim against the current to the “pit” where we encountered lots of black tip and white tip sharks. They have been trained to follow humans as they dive below the surface. The sharks think we are all spear fishing and they want the easy pickins.

A few new friends

A few new friends

We found lots of fun sea life in the coral and on the sea wall. Most wouldn’t sit for a photo session, but I was able to capture a few.

Snorkeling with some fishies

Snorkeling with some fishies

My little fish just loves hanging out near the bottom.

Snorkeling with some fishie

Snorkeling with some fishie

The coral was just starting to grow and come back to life. It was beautiful to see the brains, tables, staghorns and more thrive in this false pass.

Lots of cool coral

Lots of cool coral

Walk Around the Block – Tarauru Roa

Walk Around the Block

Our blocks are considerably different than yours. Just south of Tarauru Roa is the small motu Gaioio. Matt expertly weaved our dinghy in and out of the coral reef to get to Gaioio. Along the way, we found this boobie hanging out on its own thrown.

Now that is a throne!

Now that is a throne!

We wanted to walk around the motu along the coral shore. It was lovely, but a little challenging walking on the debris.

Rocky walk

Rocky walk

The center of the motu is covered in greenery. You can certainly tell the windward side (short bushes) from the leeward side (tall trees).

Windward vs Leeward side of the island

Windward vs Leeward side of the island

The view was considerably better as we got back around to where we left the dinghy. Back on sand. Can you see sweetie in the lower photo?

Finding our way back to Sweetie

Finding our way back to Sweetie in Tarauru Roa

On the uninhabited motus you come across a lot of trash. Primarily from the windward side (brought in from the sea). With nobody living here to clean up it is worrisome to see. At some point, someone made a plastic pile to burn and someone cleaned out a bunch of oyster shells.

Gross and Sad!

Gross and Sad!

Another pretty sunset. It looks like the island of Mangareva is on fire, but in reality, the sun set just as a storm passed by and it provided this awesome photo.

Managreva on fire

Managreva on fire

Tarauru Roa proved to be a peaceful and quiet motu that calmed our souls. With so much drama going around the world (covid19) it was nice to be completely disconnected.

Super Olympians

Inter Sport Olympics in Mangareva

What are the Mangarevan Inter-Sport Olympics?  A holiday for the island and a day of full of a variety of sporting events.  We created a team of 6 people to compete.  Our team consisted of Matt, Josh, Rachel, Becca, Andrew, and Wilky.  John was the official photographer. Simone, Torsten, Lisa and I were the official cheerleaders.

The day’s activities included:

  • Ping Pong
  • Bacchi Ball
  • Volleyball
  • Cross Fit
  • Tug of war using 6-man outrigger

PING PONG MATCH

Ping pong was the first game.  Each player played to 7-points and the team with the most points won.  Our team made it to the semi-finals and lost to the team that won this segment.

Ping Pong Match

Ping Pong Match

BACCHI BALL

Shortly after, the team made their way over to the bacchi ball court.  The goal was to toss a heavy ball as close to the marked ball without touching it.  We did well considering each player only got to practice once.

VOLLEYBALL GAME

Volleyball was next.  The team was told that they were not allowed to spike which was unfortunate as we had a couple of tall players.  The other unfortunate thing was that our team was facing into the wind which was blowing at least 20 knots.  It was a bit of a comedy, but then again our team had never played together before.

Volleyball Tournament

Volleyball Tournament

And some more fun with the volleyball tournament

Volleyball Tournament

Volleyball Tournament

CROSS FIT FUN

Cross Fit had several components.  First Rachel and Becca had to wheelbarrow across to the other side.

Ladies Wheel Barrow Race

Ladies Wheel Barrow Race

Next, Andrew had to do 10 burpees, then tag Wilky.

Andrew Doing 10 Burpees

Andrew Doing 10 Burpees

Wilky then took off running around the sports complex three times

"<yoastmark

Once Wilky finished his race, he tagged Matt and Josh who had to wheelbarrow across to the other side.

Men's wheel barrow race

Men’s wheel barrow race

We think we came in third in the overall cross fit, but not sure as they didn’t announce it.

OUTRIGGER TUG OF WAR

The last competition of the inter-sport olympics was probably the most humorous.  They put each team into a 6-man outrigger and they played tug of war.  This is a French Polynesia national sport!

Let’s just say, it took the other team 10 seconds to win.  The good news is that our team did not flip the outrigger!

Outrigger Tug-Of-War Competition

Outrigger Tug-Of-War Competition

Even though we didn’t win, the team and cheerleaders had a fantastic day participating in the island olympics.

Gringo Olympic Participants

Gringo Olympic Participants

Here is a great collage of some locals, bacchi ball, ping pong, and the boys team.

Inter-Sport Olympics Photos

Inter-Sport Olympics Photos

THE WINNERS:

The prizes were 25lb bag of sugar for 3rd place in each category and overall.  A giant bag of rice for 2nd place and a box of frozen chicken for first place.  Team “L” won the overall prize which also included a frozen pig.

Olympic Winners

Olympic Winners

Top of Mount Duff

Hiking Mount Duff

Mount Duff is the highest peak on the island of Mangareva in the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia. It has an elevation of 441 meters.  It also called Auorotini in the Mangarevan language.  But most everyone calls it Mt. Duff, much easier to pronounce.

We had wanted to hike Mt. Duff for several weeks, but were unable to due to weather.  Either there was a dark cloud cover over the top of the mountain or we had rain.  We were told to 2 days after it rains as the trails become very slippery, muddy, and impassable.  In the image below you cannot even see the top of Mount Duff.

Mount Duff on a Cloudy Day

Mount Duff on a Cloudy Day

Below you can see the top of the two mountains on a bright and clear day.

Two tallest mountains in Mangareva

Two tallest mountains in Mangareva

Hikers:  Sugar Shack (Matt & Christine); Agape (Josh, Rachel, Wilky), Halcyon (Andrew), Argo (Simone and Torsten) and a random little, fluffy dog.

Welcome Sign to Start Hike at Mount Duff

Welcome Sign to Start Hike at Mount Duff

It was a pretty stiff hike, straight up, through mud, pine needles and over fallen trees and rocks.  Our group of 2 teens and barely 30-year olds seemed to skip up the hill while I struggled a bit.  Lucky for me, one or two of them would hang back and wait with me as I caught my breath.

HALF WAY STOP

At the half way pint, Simone and Torsten picked some fresh pomplemouse for everyone.

Pit stop at half way point for a snack

Pit stop at half way point for a snack

Along the way we had gorgeous views.

View Mid-Way from Mount Duff

View Mid-Way from Mount Duff

View 3/4 of the way to the top Mount Duff

View 3/4 of the way to the top Mount Duff

Being at the top of the highest peak on the island was breathtaking!  It was well worth the effort to hike up the 441 meters.

Of course, the last 100 meters of the path narrowed down to 1 meter in width with dramatic drops on both sides – little nerve racking.

Top of Mount Duff

Top of Mount Duff

Must admit that I had a difficult time up and down, but I made it.  It was a huge accomplishment for all of us, but I was particularly proud of myself.

3 of our friends decided to stay at the top for a bit longer to enjoy the view.  Since I knew it would take me a lot longer to get down the mountain, Matt and I left first, then Josh, Tortsten and Simone followed 5 minutes behind us.  The three that stayed were privy to a gorgeous rainbow

Rachel and her beautiful rainbow

Rachel and her beautiful rainbow

Almost 6 miles, 14,570 steps and 116 floors climbed.