Category Archives: Daily Lime

Valentine’s Day Fundraiser

The College St Rapahel De Rikitea is a middle school in Mangareva, Gambier.  They host several fundraisers each year to help pay for school supplies, books, dances, and school trips.  We were lucky enough to be present for their largest fundraiser in February.

There were many events held over Valentine’s Day weekend.  Here is an idea of the line up (just from what I heard; we did not have the actual schedule):

Fundraiser Events:

  • Friday evening included movie night and games
  • Saturday day held more games, sporting events, an artisan market, and bake off
  • Saturday evening was a school dance show with dinner
  • Sunday was a “3k fun run and valentine lunch”

We gathered a few of our cruiser friends and met for take away dinner (typical Polynesian steak frites, chicken frites, poison cru, waffles) and grabbed some seats to watch the dance show.  Our good friend Poerani (the English teacher) is one of the MCs for the night.

Poerani (Popo)’s class went first.  They did a traditional dance with about 40 kids (bottom photos in red and yellow).  Then the older classes came out and continued with the “traditional Polynesian” dances.  I loved the costumes, albeit not as flashy as the Heiva dance costumes, still colorful, bright, vibrant, and beautiful.  The kids costumes (upper right corner) were colored leaves and were just beautiful!

The older kids also put on a few “modern / rap” dances interspersed with Polynesian moves – super creative!

The musicians were also students showcasing their musical talents.  Poerani upper right corner and Danny (dance instructor lower right corner)

Then the teachers came out and did a beautiful Polynesian dance.  Poerani captured the show as she radiates beauty, grace, and style!  I was so proud of her!

Fun Run Fundraiser

We managed to convince 4 boats to join us on the “3k Fun Run.”  There was a total of 39 teams and our participation included a T-shirt, flowers, and a raffle ticket.  Everyone had their arms marked with their team number. We were number 1 simply because we were the first to sign up.  This is our cruiser group.

Because it was 13 February it was a Valentine themed event.  All the balloons were red and white, some shaped as hearts, the shirts were red with a big heart on the back.  Matt and I and our friends Jan and Daniela

A lot of our local friends joined in on the race as well.  Teva (center photo with me), Danny (upper right), Poerani and Danny (bottom left), Titoan and Juliet (right center), Poerani and I (bottom right).

As many of you know, I am not a runner!  I don’t even like to run when someone is chasing me!  I do love to walk and I can walk at a pretty fast clip (or so I thought).  Matt wore flip flops as he was convinced, we would go slow.  I was outfitted in a work out top, shorts, and tennis shoes!  Yes, I wore shoes.  As it turned out, our friends Jan and Daniela came in 4th (lost to the 3rd place couple by 9 seconds).  We came in 13th and that was only because Matt pushed me.  It was fun, but let me tell you, not my cup of tea :0


After the race there was a Valentine lunch where they did the raffle.  Some how each of our cruiser friends won something, which was super cool!   We won a heart shaped candle set and a photo shoot. 

The weekend was a huge success.  I believe the fundraiser generated to $10,000.  Keep in mind that Mangareva is one of the richest islands in French Polynesia!!!

We showcase Gambier highlights and our favorite spots with our friend Wayne.  Did you see Part I and Part II?  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Gambier Showcase with Wayne Part II

In our last blog we start to showcase Gambier with our dear friend Wayne.  We tour around Totegegie, Puaumu, Taravai, Tauna, and Akamaru.  Did you miss it, check it out!


We pop in and out of Mangareva (the main town) a few times.  It is the main anchorage for the one and only town in Gambier (where the stores, police, few eateries, medical clinic and post office is located).  Each time we swing in we try to do a walk or hike.

We ease Wayne into our first walk right after a big lunch at Jojo’s.  We had flip flops, no water, and were ill prepared.  But we went anyway.  It is a pretty flat walk (until the end) and for the most part on a road.  The walk takes us to the Look out Point / Queen’s Throne at Pointe Mataiutea.  This hike was not difficult or challenging except that it was far and we were ill prepared.  Stats:  17k steps, 7.6 miles, 7 floors.

Queen's Throne

Queen’s Throne

The next day we do the ridge line trail.  We do the majority of the ascension on a paved street, then cut across to the ridge and do a series of up, down, up, down.  Some using climbing ropes, some rocks, but most over pine needles making it pretty darn slippery.  Just as we were nice and sweaty and stinky, we got a massive rain shower.  Free laundry services while you hike.  This hike was not that far, but it was strenuous with the many ups and downs (51 floors).  Stats: 7,200 steps, 2.8 miles, 51 floors climbed. 

Check out the birds (lower left photo) checking me out!

Hike of the Highlights

On the “highlight” hike we hit the weather station (Meteo France), the Convent (Convent de Rouru), the Princess bath (baignoire de princesse), and the 12 Apostle trail.  On the way up the hill we have several beautiful views.  The photo below shows the half way view of the anchorage (top), Mt Duff (with Wayne), and the view from the top.

The first stop is the Convent de Rouru.  We’ve been here several times and it always amazes me how vast the property is.  There are 3 or 4 old ruins that used to be buildings or facilities.  None with roofs. Some of the old brick walls still have the cross visible (middle top photo).

If you continue to walk behind the convent you will find the princess bath (Baignoire de Princesse). It looks like it could have been beautiful at one point, but now it is overgrown and the water inside really gross. (Bottom right two photos in above photo)

Next, we come to the weather station, Meteo France.  As you might recall we came here to see the weather balloon fly away.

Meteo France

Meteo France

We finally make it to the 12 Apostles hike which takes you down by the water and then back up to the road.  It is a really pretty hike through the forest, over the dried leaves and pine needles and next to the water.

One day hike was a good one!  This hike was sort of the middle ground in that it was not too strenuous (only 30 floors elevation) and not too far (only 5.6 miles).  Stats: 15,301 steps, 5.8 miles, 30 floors.


Aukena is located directly across from Mangareva and has a population of less than 100 people.  It is a small island that is only accessible by boat.  At the corner of the island is a small, broken down lighthouse.  The build of the lighthouse is unknown.  The focal plane was 18m to alert the locals of danger.

We head to shore and discover a beautiful small church that is still in use.  Along the path, heading toward the lighthouse we come across several ruins, an old seminary (middle photo), and an outdoor oven (lower right corner).

About a half a mile down along the coast we finally come to the beautiful lighthouse situated on the tip of Aukena.  It has beautiful views of Mangareva.  The photos below are from each window facing different directions.

On the way back we encounter a few of the local pigs.  They startled the heck out of us as they blend into their surroundings.

Time to Leave

It’s been 18 days and Wayne needed to head back so we bring him back to Totegegie for his last day.  We were able to show him 11 anchorages on 9 different islands!  It was a lovely time spent with great company!

Beautiful sunset to end a spectacular trip with Wayne

Part I of Gambier Showcase with Wayne can be found on our last blog.  Events from this blog post occurred in February.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Tauna, Gambier

Gambier Showcase With Wayne Part I

We are so blessed that our good friend Wayne comes to visit so often.  He has visited us four times in French Polynesia, but this is his first time in Gambier.  We plan to show him all of our favorite places!

One of the supply ships arrived the day before Wayne.  We had hoped it would be the Taporo VIII but it was the Taporo VI (the VIII was being repaired).  The unfortunate thing for us was that it did not have our fuel order (diesel or gasoline) and it did not bring very much fresh produce.  We have not seen a supply ship in over a month so fresh goods are super slim which is unfortunate.  Oh well, the next ship comes in 3 weeks.

Supply Ship Taporo VI

Supply Ship Taporo VI

The next day, we headed to Totegegie which is where the airport is located.  We anchored right by the airport and picked up Wayne with his loads of goodies for us.

Poor Wayne had a huge supply of goodies to haul to French Polynesia.  We had several key elements fail on Sugar Shack that needed new parts (washing machine, watermaker, windlass) and he brought an array of other boat paraphernalia.   It filled 1.5 suitcases!!!  Thanx Wayne!

Totegegie (airport and false pass)

We stayed one night at the airport anchorage and enjoyed the solitude of this pretty spot.  We walked around to the windward side of the island, up along side the airport runway, and back over the leeward side of the island.  Many beautiful sunsets over Mangareva.

Puamu Paradise

We took Wayne to the furthest North motu called Puamu.  This is one of our favorite spots because very few boats make it this far north.  The motu is privately owned and the locals only come out on holiday weekends.  So, we usually have this slice of paradise to ourselves.  We anchor in 2 meters of water and enjoy snorkeling and walking around the motu.


We had a beautiful downwind run from the east side of Gambier to the west side.  We put up the parasail and enjoyed a leisurely sail.

Wayne arrived just in time to enjoy an authentic Sunday Funday BBQ.  This day is extra special as we celebrate Alan who is leaving to join the French military.  22 boats and over 65 people come to wish him well.  Photo is only of the small group of people we know well 🙂


Tauna is a really small motu on Gambier’s outer reef.  The motu itself is a bird refuge and has become the home of many species and their nests.  The long sandy spits make it a perfect launching pad for kite surfers.  We tend to come here on calm days so that it is less crowded.



Perfect sunset shots looking back into the lagoon.


We spend a few days at the little island called Akamaru (also known as Remy’s Island).  The waters are simply gorgeous, clear, and turquoise.  We spend several hours just hanging out in the water.

We take Sweetie out to explore the reefs and shallow bommies.  All three of these photos were taken from the dinghy – that’s how clear the water is.

The village of Akamaru consists of a church and maybe 8 or 9 houses.  It is very isolated and remote.  The people who live here grow lots of fruits and vegetables as well as vanilla.

Akamaru Village

Akamaru Village

And then there are the spectacular sunsets.  This top photo is one of my favorites

Big birthday celebrations in our last blog. Events from this blog post occurred beginning of February.  Stay tuned for part II of Gambier Showcase with Wayne – coming up next!  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.