We decided to spend a week in Rikitea which is the main anchorage of Mangareva. Typically, we try to avoid staying in this anchorage for that length of time because it is often crowded with other cruising boats. However, it is the main island with the only village and we needed to get a few things done like fixing our alternator plate and provisioning. As a bonus we would have time to spend with our local friends who live in the main village.
The Rikitea anchorage was crowded with over 30 boats. In addition, we were hit with a maramu (storm) which brought rain, high winds, rolly waves, and cold weather. But there is always lemonade to be made with those lemons.
We hung out with our local friends Stefan and Manu a lot. They have baby goats that needed constant feeding and cuddling. I signed up for that chore. I dragged Missy and Yanel (HooDoo) along to help out.
Polynesian Party Sugar Shack
We invited Stefan, Manu, and Popo back onboard Sugar Shack for the weekend. We had planned on sailing to another island, but bad weather made it a weekend at anchor in Rikitea. Dada and his two kids came for dinner and brunch the next day but did not stay the night like the others. Our local friends brought an immense about of food and showed us how to prepare meals Polynesian style.
Tangled and Twisted
One day during our 10-day stay in Rikitea we had a particularly hard blow (gusty winds). It whipped us around and close to a float. We watched it and felt that we were far enough away to avoid getting tangled. However, when we woke the next morning, we discovered the ball wrapped around the chain and the bridle.
We could not do anything about it as the winds were howling and the seas were a large. We finally get a calm day with no wind and no swell a week later.
Matt starts to pull up the chain only to realize that it is not one float, but many. In fact, it looks like we hooked the entire pearl float farm! These shots were taken from the bow looking down.
We had to tie a secondary line to raise the chain since the floats were all tangled. Of course, I got the line all messed up and it over rode onto itself.
Matt hops back in the dinghy to try to figure out this mess. 5 balls, tons of line and everything tethered to a big cement block at the bottom of the 16-meter Riketea anchorage.
After several hours, we finally came to the realization that we could not detangle this mess without getting the hooka or dive gear out. Our friends on Hoodoo have a dive compressor and offered up one of their dive tanks.
Diving the Tangled Web
The good news about having to dive this mess in Rikitea is that we get to check out Matt’s dive gear which has not been in use for a awhile. Matt got all his gear on and went down under. It took him well over an hour to remove everything including 6 floats, a pear net, half dozen lines in various widths, and 3 pearl floats anchors. It appears Gambiers did not want us to leave either.
And we are now free to leave Rikitea.