16 February 2021 | Gambier
25 January 2021 | Gambier
25 January 2021 | Gambier
20 January 2021 | Gambier
18 January 2021 | Gambier
17 January 2021 | Gambier
05 January 2021 | Gambier
02 January 2021 | Gambier
01 January 2021 | Gambier
31 December 2020 | Gambier
30 December 2020 | Gambier
30 December 2020 | Gambier
29 December 2020 | Gambier
in turqoise waters
27 August 2021 | Gambier
Its very soothing be in flat calm seas behind the reef where the big waves crash. No dogs , scooters roosters , speed boats and boomboxes. Nothing , just the wind, its quiet. We were happy to see that the mobile phone antenna was working well here. But this morning it
died again. We are in a banana republic when it comes to the web. They just cant fix the few antennas here. Half the time the are dead.
Covid has gone crazy here. The supply ship Tapporo came with a crew of 14. 10 of them positive !! One was very ill and they had to keep him in the medical center with oxygen for 2 days until he could be flown out to Tahiti. Surprisingly he got a special EVASAN plane. I
heard they don't fly the islanders out anymore , because the Tahiti hospital is full.
Apparently the sick crew member had critical health status called "carte rouge" . He was able to work on the supply ship anyways , even though his wife had covid in Tahiti and he was NOT VACCINATED. Polynesia has no laws to force health workers or supply ship
crew to get the vaccine. They talk about it for medical staff, but things are slow here. I watched the Tahiti parliament on tv , where a bright member suggested that we as part of the government we should show an example and get the vaccine for ALL OF US . This wasn't
well received , all hell broke loose . It was a nasty debate about freedom etc etc Nothing was done.
The ship keeps on coming from island to island and spreading the pest. Some very small islands , refuse to get any supplies with such a crew. The Tapporo left for Tahiti and i dont know what would happen if the crew get very ill. its a 4 to 5 days to get there.
If i was the major i would have refused this ship and let them anchor out Have the medical staff giving them assistance and wait till this is over. Oh well...
We heard news that 2 new cases showed up positive. The 2 idiots had no heavy symptoms only the loss of taste in their mouth. So they went to work anyways and probably infected a lot more. I see piles of young men standing around drinking. No mask, not distance.
I don't see the police enforcing anything . So i guess the remaining 20% that hate the vaccine are going to get it here. A few pearl farmers have already shut down their operations. Many i know are stubborn vaccino phobic's , and stay home now.
In Taravai for a change
15 August 2021 | Gambier
here for a Sunday BBQ and exchange of our latest news and gossip. More on this later. We are getting a week of strong SE Maramu winds starting Wednesday. So either we bounce in the choppy anchorage of Rikitea and watch Covid and Taliban news on the tube and
web...OR : we hide in a remote peaceful and protected anchorage in Taravai with no connection to the world whatsover and do boat jobs. But there its : Only Shortwave radio ...decisions decisions decisions
"Winter" and violence in Gambier
16 July 2021 | Gambier
Its pleasant that only 6 boats are in all of Gambier. Loads of space to anchor.
Daniela was busy taking care of a huge garden for a month, while the owners went to Tahiti. They were so happy that all was clean and growing well when they came back yesterday. Its a bid sad that many Polynesian's say, that they cant find a local person to look after
their house or garden. Too many things go missing and after they harvest everything , they just let it grow wild .
We often couldn't find enough volunteers to eat all the fruits and vegetables . Many bread fruits went bad , the locals prefer French fries.
In the 3 years we have been visiting Gambier, we never had such fine weather. Its a little cooler but nothing compared to the heavy Maramus (strong SE winds) we had the years before. Now there is a 4 day Maramu in the forecast and we anchored in Aukena to get
away from the choppy anchorage in Rikitea. We have a few boat jobs and i think ill start doing some more jewelry since we got new supplies with a parcel from France. There are still TWO parcels missing . One is stuck in France somewhere since 5 months and the other
one in Tahiti. Despite our and my daughters persistent complains to La Poste , there is very little they do to help. Its all due to Covid , they say. Not enough planes they write thru computer generated answers...oh well
I managed to get a few miles on my mountain bike. The roads are slowly getting better , i did the entire island yesterday . Its great to bike in cool sunny weather and only half of the road is still muddy. Unfortunately there are still a few nasty dogs that chase my legs . It
happens often were you cant go faster . Daniela knows the spot, she got them as well and she has a much better approach to dogs than me. The owner confessed to her that he needs to shoot them or get them a brain transplant. They leave the dogs to themselves
without proper training. After a few tire chases, its impossible to re-program them unless you want to spend loads of time with them. This is not something people do here. They have way to many dogs, that just hang all day . But they need to run. I have never seen a
Polynesian walking their dog , unless they go hunting.
I was just lucky that i could get my foot out of his mouth and wack him a good one , while concentrating on the second pit bull like beast on my other pedal !! OOOOff
A few Taporos came and went away again to get more supplies from Paris. We stay and wait for a chance to sail up north again into warmer weather. But then again .. i would have to give up my parcels. I am suffering from indecision.
We have a little Heiva here. That's a local festival with dance and music and a bid of binge drinking .
The Covid Delta virus has made it to some Tuamotu islands and also to the Marquesas. The government is thinking about testing the people that fly to those remote islands. I think its a good idea , since its very difficult here to treat or even test anybody here. Samples go
on that weekly flight to Tahiti and that is way take too long.
As we are hanging around longer than expected, we also get to know a lot more people .Even some bad apples , and you learn to stay away .
I still haven't figured out what brought Herve to beat up a sailor so badly that they had to evacuate him to Tahiti with a double fractured jaw, teeth missing and a few cracked ribs. Violence seems a common way to settle disputes. The staff at the medical center confirmed
that it happens every week they have to stitch one up . Last week a women with her adult son on a scooter got hit by another young man scootering to fast loosing control. They both fell. When the one that caused it all went over to ask the lady how she was doing etc ,
he couldn't finish his apology and her son hammered him with heavy fists . So bad , that he ended up in the hospital as well.
I think its wiser to stay away from them when they drink and don't get into heated discussions about politics or any other touchy subject. So far i have been lucky with my big mouth hi hi
10 May 2021 | Akamaru
Rolf Fischer | 26C
Just hiding from the wind
19 April 2021 | Gambier
after a few days in Tauna , where we saw many tourist boats harassing the nesting birds, we decided to move north a bid to Gaioio. We always wanted to visit this lonely island with no houses or anything on it. We thought we could find some "wash up" treasures at the
ocean side reef . But no such luck . I thought to take a short cut from our lagoon side dingy arrival and look for a path across the island to get to the weather side. At first it was open forest with some palm trees but then i get denser and almost impossible to get thru. I don't
give up easily, so i took out my machete and started cutting a path . I could always hear the waves crashing and i thought just a few more meters and i am thru . No way. It kept on getting more and more difficult, as it was covered in vines that kept on clinging to my shoes
and my exposed legs started to bleed . I am stubborn, so i kept on pushing thru ...bending down and cursing the thorny scrubs digging into my legs. After a while i had to rest and took out my mobile phone to check my position. Ooohh yeah , i chose the widest part of the
island and i wasn't even half way thru. Time to retreat. When i got back to the dingy i was exhausted and needed a rest. Daniela went all around and was looking for me . No treasures , just hundreds of hermit crabs and many plastic bottles and single flip flops washed up,
slowly disintegrating in the sun.
We dingied over to the next motu where we knew it was Poemas cousin living. They were happy to have a chat and started to serve us cold drinks and place to sit in the shade. We never met them but we have many common friends in Rikitea. I chatted along and they
showed us the garden they started and gave us tomatoes, cucumbers. More bananas and pamplemousse. We hung around their mulberry tree and had a feast with those fresh tasty berries that i first saw in Greece long time ago.
We mentioned we are looking for satellite buoys .And they quickly brought two of them asking if we could use anything in it . I was very happy cause it gave us good batteries for the next 3 years !!! Quickly he husked a few coconuts for us and now we are set for milk and
nutty Coco-muesli for another 2 weeks.
I tried to fix his broken inverter from his solar system, but unfortunately it was a unit with some digital control board inside and there is nothing one can do. They gave news on the dead pearl market. Apparently Robert Vans employees haven't been payed for a year. I don't
know if the Polynesian's are THAT loyal to Van, the multimillionaire Tahiti pearl king. Rumors grow fast in Gambier , and i find it difficult to believe that nobody is running after me with cheap pearls. I guess i just have to be more patient.
We shared the same frustration that the mobile phone antenna covering this area is always dead . Or at least half the time, and they haven't got a technician that can fix it once and for all.
So went went back and peeled the ripe bananas quickly. Chopped up and covered in fresh lime juice, they last a few days in the fridge. Most yachts have a entire banana bunch in the back of their boat. But they get ripe all at the same time and then you have half of the
bunch that you don't know what to do with it . We did banana chutney , but we have tons already. Some people do banana jam, but we don't eat jam. You can slice them length wise and dry them in the sun. Then you form them into little sausages for latter on in the
Tuoamtus .They are excellent in Muesli. But we have never succeeded to dry them . They always get mouldy. Maybe its the salty air...i don't know. Banana wine works as well.
Its pleasant here in this turquoise sea. A black tip shark comes and circles the boat twice a day. It seems we dropped our anchor into his territory. There is also a sting ray hovering around the ground and the occasional turtle.
Roland Moo and Michele Lee the two only offshore fishermen are in Tahiti for a month .So no offshore fish. Maybe the "weekend fishermen" might bring something...i doubt it. Its gonna be corori (pearl oyster meat) if we can get it, or tons of vegetables as we get spoiled
form all the locals we meet. Live is good , we still wait for parcels that my "favorite" :-) daughter sent me from France. Its stuck somewhere. Oh well...when i look at the rest of the world and how they struggle with covid for ever....we are happy and safe here. No covid
cases here. Only a few in Tahiti but it seems under control. Now they will allow American tourists to come again , without quarantine . No such luck for French or any European tourists. Only USA!!
We might go to Rikitea sometime this week and start socializing and check the stock market and the parcel progress on our beloved internet. Quiet a few yachts have left for the Tuamotus etc. Its getting quiet here as winter is aproaching. But we havent had a nasty
wither blow yet, thank god . This year the Maramu, as they call this cold southern wind is absent. I don't miss him
out in the motu
29 March 2021 | Gambier
After a week of social activity, we went back out to the North of the airport for some peace and turquoise water. Unfortunately the mobile phone tower covering us is dead AGAIN . This problem has been on and on for the 3 years we have been here. I don't know why and
the locals don't complain enough that it gets any better. They just shrug their shoulders and keep on living.
Last flight that came in on Tuesday brought the Pfizer corona vaccine. The weeks before the doctor announced that only age would get you on top of the list . But now it is official : all locals will have it first before they give it to the foreigners, Oh well !! In Tahiti and other
islands you can walk in as a tourist and 10 minutes later you are finished. Hell knows if its politics or what that makes such a difference in all the islands.
We have many sewing projects and still have 200 pearls to drill. I am starting to doubt that pearl jewelry is my future profession. I spend 3 afternoons with some boat ladies looking thru my creations. Although I appreciate their input and positive criticism, it took way to long
for me. One of the 3 bought a necklace for 50$ . Average time spend on Yelo was 2 hours . If you count Danielas and my time; its 4 working hours for 50$ BUT minus the pearl, the hardware, the work, the hassle buying jewelry supplies worldwide AND mailing it with the
help of my daughter in France and haggling with the pearl farmers.....its not worth the effort. But we still love pearls. Maybe the sales are a little better in the rest of the islands where there are no pearls and pearl jewelry makers.
Radio New Zealand is dead for some reason but I got BBC world service last night . They talked a lot about how the world and CANADA will not be able to reach its climate goals. The reporter said it was difficult to change the Canadians love for gas guzzlers like their giant
SUVs etc. etc . But then he had good news and turned the microphone outside the studio. And there it was : the sound of spring with my beloved tree frogs. I had tears in my eyes , I wanted to be there for that moment when nature kicks into spring mode.
I learned to love Canada for that , but I am also sad to see that the environment is not a popular subject there. When I am there I am not happy to drive in any car . They are all tooo big and the peoples attitude towards energy is outdated. I can talk and preach, but I only
get lame smiles. Maybe one day the young people will get greener and vote for green parties. But at the moment I see no hope. A few old hippies care, but I still see many enjoying waterski, ski-doo or anything with an engine on it to have fun.
At the moment huge sandstorms bring tons of sand to Pejing and the sandstorms in the Sinai desert push the container ships into the mud. Here we still have turquoise water and a gentle breeze until the end of the week. Then we have to seek shelter from rain and nasty
Westerlies coming our way.