We dropped the hook in Bay Apu which is the south side of Taha’a. The home of Champon Pearl Farm. This particular anchorage is not a favorite of mine primarily because there are well over 30 boats that moor here all the time. The charter boats use it as a staging area and a frequent stop. There are also at least 10-12 boats that are abandoned or have nobody caring them. The good thing about this spot is that it is protected from the upcoming NW winds and we can check out the Champon Pearl Farm again.
The Pearl Farm
Matt and I took the SUPs out on a particularly calm morning (it was 0630). You can see the water clarity from the paddle board photos.
We could see their pearl farm underwater which is located just in front of their dock. The underwater pearl farm was not set too deep so we could see it all from the surface. But I did stick the GoPro in the water to get all of these shots.
They are growing little oyster shells in tube like nets hung from lines and suspended by floats.
Once the baby oysters grow up, they put them in the harvesting nets which are rectangle.
And they were harvesting lots and lots of oysters. The larger oysters that have been harvested (with the nucli) are in square or rectangle nets and suspended from a line being held up by floats.
They had a maze under water. I wish these photos came out better, but you can see how close they are to the surface and how many lines crisscross over each other.
Here is a view from above the water looking down onto the farm. I love the top photo where you see Matt by the red marker and the white pearl float in the foreground. Look at me so artsy.
It rained and rained and rained while we were here. We are lucky we had an hour to get these photos. On the way back, we got rained on.
Bay Nao Nao
We finally had a rain free day and decided to head south to the beautiful bay of Nao Nao. On the way, we leave the lagoon and try to catch some fish. But, despite all the birds flying around and the jumping/flying fish, nothing got on our hook. This is me hiding in the shade while underway.
We went for a walk with our friends Steve and Lili (from the boat Liward) and we met the most interesting, self-proclaimed extremist who believed it was imperative to bring back the old culture and history of Polynesians. It was super interesting and educational to talk to him. He is covered head to toe with stories on his body (in tattoos).
He built his own maraes in 2012, to represent his family, ancestors and protection for his house and island.
Ile Haio / Bay Nao Nao
This is truly one of the prettiest bays in Raiatea. I call it Bay Nao Nao but technically it is really Ile Haio. The motu by the pass is called Nao Nao, but the motu where we grab a mooring ball is actually called Ile Haio. Technicality, but just wanted to point it out. It has been raining a lot. Bummer for activities, but great for the islands. It makes everything so very pretty and green!
And Sugar Shack is looking oh so lovely sitting in this bay!
We had a “Flag off” with our friends on Liward. They are registered in Kemah (Houston). They put up their 4’x6’ which was so cute! So, we put up our Texas flag which is 12’x18’. We won in the size department, but we lost in the flying department. Our flag was so big that the slight breeze was not able to get her up and flying properly. But she still looked pretty. Then we had to dry her off as she got soaked in the rain storm. Where do you dry such a huge flag?
One night we had Tequila and Nachos on Liward. Man oh man it was tasty.
I was gifted one of the patron bottles which I promptly cleaned and filled with sea shells. Liward is in the background.
Matt getting artsy with a bottle….makes you thirsty, right?
In our last blog, we enjoy a hoppin good time in Huahine. Events from this blog post occurred early October. Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.