After several days of hosting people onboard Sugar Shack, partying, and eating like royalty, we needed to decompress! We also needed to make water, do laundry, and scrub the boat. So, we headed to the North part of Gambiers.
On the way we passed by “Sea Horse” island…can you guess why? Of course, in a month it will be called something different as the tree will grow and the shape will change…but still it was cool when we saw it. It’s only in the Gambiers that we see shapes in the trees. So pretty!
Our first stop was Two-Palm island. When we first came to this anchorage there were three palm trees on the motu and we called it Three Palm Island (in April 2019). One of the palms lost its top so we renamed it Two Palm Island in March 2020. However, when we arrived in January 2021 there was only one palm tree left. Not sure how their tops keep getting blown off, but they do. It still does not take away from the beauty of this anchorage!
We took advantage of the crystal-clear water and spent 2 days making water, doing laundry and cleaning the boat. We replenished the house batteries, filled the water tanks, and cleaned the water line. Whew! And this is our “resting period.”
It was so nice to be back in gorgeous water! We paddle boarded, swam, snorkeled, and enjoyed lots of water time.
After a few days it was time to meet up with some of our cruiser friends as we were taking them on a pearl farm tour.
Pearl Farm Tour: Dada
Matt and I took 3 other boats on a tour of Dada’s Pearl Farm. It was Eve from “Auntie,” Seavett and Anaka from “Major Tom” and Russell, Kate, Choloe, Felix and Hugo from “Katherine De Fuego.” We all anchored across the lagoon just north of Totegegie. This is the closest anchorage to his pearl farm. We then hopped in two dinghies and made the 1.5 nm trip across the lagoon to his pearl farm.
I did not take a lot of photos or document what we saw because I have written about Dada’s Pearl Farm in past Gambiers posts (click here or here) to read more. We picked a day with light wind and no swell so the journey across the lagoon would be easier and it was!
Everyone had great fun and learned a lot about farming, harvesting, and seeding pearls.
We visited our good friends Valerie, Herve, Alan, and Ariki on Taravai for a few days where they showered us with love. We had a wonderfully tasty lunch with them and enjoyed the anchorage all to ourselves. The next day we had them over for lunch on Sugar Shack.
Matt captured some beautiful photos of the anchorage. This is a photo looking out toward the main pass into the Gambiers lagoon.
This photo shows the beautiful reef
And this amazing drone shot shows the entire bay with the mountain reflecting on the water. Valerie and Herve’s house is in the middle of the bay – can you see it (to the right of the church)?
Stefan took us to his friend’s house where he runs a little pension (hotel) for island visitors. They had a beautiful view. It is called Pension Maro’i.
For many years I have dreamed of owning a long strand of pearls. A strand so long that you could wrap it around your neck twice or wrap around your wrist. But it is hard to pull the trigger on something like that when you are not bringing in the bacon. I’ve looked at strands all over French Polynesia and the prettiest, most colorful pearls, with the most luster, at the most reasonable prices are here in Gambier.
When we first arrived I did not buy anything because it was our first stop in FP and I wanted to shop around to see if I could find better prices. The second time I came back to Gambier it was covid and I did not want to spend money during the “unrest.” Here we are the third and most likely final time and I think I am going to do it. I will just have to eat top ramon for the next 6-months 🙂
I found a long, single strand of pearls that had an amazing variety of colors on small pearls with lots of luster. Most of the pearls are huge and don’t look well on me. They look great on the Polynesians! This particular strand had 130 pearls in near perfect condition. Not 100% flawless, but colorful, with lots of luster, round, and all the same size. The photos do not do it justice, but it is what it is.
But then I saw this beautiful, one of a kind creation that was 40% less expensive. I tried them both on, looked at them in and out of the sun and asked my friends for their opinions. If you zoom in you can see the gorgeous colors. The two outer strands are purple and pink, the two inner strands are green and blue and the center strand is pearl. Simply gorgeous.
Funny thing is I knew what I wanted, I just couldn’t pull the trigger because it was more expensive than I wanted to spend (I am unemployed after all). I was searching for the 2nd best thing which I knew would not make me as happy. In the end, I was able to negotiate the price of the long strand pearl necklace down. I bought the one I loved and wanted and am thrilled to pieces.
Events from this blog post occurred in January 2021. Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.