We left our little sanctuary of the outer islands to head back to Mangareva, the “mainland” and main village. We had been hiding out for almost a month from the population and town. However, the supply ship is scheduled to return and we still needed to top off our diesel and we were out of fresh produce.
The anchorage of Riktea at Mangareva is only 4 miles away from our current position. We decided to wait until we saw the supply ship coming in before heading that way. We woke up just before 0600 and realized the ship had come in during the night. So, we readied the boat and made our way toward town.
It’s so funny to see the anchorage full. We think there are about 30-35 boats spread throughout the entire Gambier archipelago. However, when a ship comes in, we all gather like flies to $hit. It is a cluster truck trying to find a good anchor spot where you won’t bump into your neighbor.
Our friends on Sea Jay arrived before us so they went ashore first to order us a 200-liter barrel of diesel. They were purchasing two 200-liter barrels for themselves and one 200-liter of diesel of us. We were planning on sharing our barrel with a new arrival who is quarantined an unable to leave their boat. First things first.
A Coat of Diesel
Matt took me to the dock and dropped me off where I remained for hours helping several cruisers. He was in charge of bringing me empty jerry cans and taking the full ones back to various boats to unload into their tanks. Since I was waiting on the dock, I ended up helping several people. You need two people to pump fuel. The ship provides a hand crank pump and long hose that is inserted into the barrel. One person cranks the pump while the other holds the other end of the hose in the jerry cans. It is an extremely messy job and I was covered in diesel. I was not a happy camper. But truth be told, neither was Matt. Back breaking work moving 20-liter (5 gal or 45lbs) around the dock.
At the end of the day, we all got our fuel. I did not take any photos as I did not want to touch my dry bag or phone with diesel covered hands. Oh, and I had to wear a mask for quarantine, which was horribly stifling. Fun stuff.
SCORE – Fresh Produce
We spent the next day loading up on fresh produce. I went to shore early and scored. Mangareva is the only island that has magasins (stores or markets that are like fuel station markets or a 7-11) in all of the Gambiers. A few other islands have locals that grow gardens and will sometimes sell you produce. We purchased cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, cucumbers and some pork chops. We have not seen tomatoes in I don’t know how long – maybe since we left the Marquesas.
Pomplemouse and red peppers were scored on our hike to Mont Mokoto. Our friends on Taravai sold us some bananas, lettuce, avocados and lemons. So, we are stocked up for the next 2-3 weeks and then we start the hunt all over again.
Internet AOL Style
One of the other things we do while “in town” is use the internet. Right now, there are only two places in Mangareva that will allow us internet access. One is JoJo’s and they only let you use it for 5-10 minutes at a time and the connection is ridiculously slow. The other place is at the local baker’s house. Yep, we saddle up to a table on Phillipe’s porch. He will allow 8-9 people on his connection at 200 xpf ($2) for 2 hours at a time between 8a-10a or 2p-4p only.
It is still really slow and often websites time out because there is not enough of connection. I could barely get a connection to do some banking. Unfortunately, the connection is not nearly strong enough to do photo uploads for the blog updates…. Here is a photo with Missy and I and Phillipe and a photo with Missy and I and Yanell.
When we finally got internet, we were able to upload a few photos and blogs. Here is a photo with Missy and I and Phillipe and a photo with Missy and I and Yanell.
We did not stay long as we are not fans of the Mangareva anchorage. It is always nice to come here to get food and fuel and do a few hikes, but after a few days you want out. Back to the isolation of the outer islands.
A pretty shot out of one of our hatches during sunset