Gambier and most islands are opening up up
23 April 2020 | Rikitea
Rolfo | Now only 26C
The virus is only alive in (3cases)Moorea and (53)Tahiti. All other islands have nothing so far. Still no flights into the islands and the cargo ship that comes twice in a month
is unloaded in a very professional way. No islander is allowed near the port. The ships crew unload it and municipality workers pick up the cargo without getting near
the crew and bring it straight to the consumers on the island. Everything is sprayed before it leaves Tahiti and again on arrival. I think they do this very well. The
usual pill up of all pick-up trucks on the port and its messy and time consuming chaos is now a thing of the past. The cargo ship is now in and out of port within a few
hours not days.
People in Gambier already want to shake my hand and lick my face. They see it on TV that it's not a cool thing to do ,but...."il faut faire la bise" . Oh well. I have
"insulted" a few locals and French sailors by refusing the handshake and the kiss. It's a shame that I have to explain myself and still the locals are insulted. Oh well.
Maybe I am paranoid...better be safe than sorry, I think.
The scary thing is that 2 American and one French aircraft carriers got infected and they have been out at sea for a month. 60% of US crew tested positiv but had no
symptoms at all. So if 60% of the population might have it without knowing, calls for testing for everybody.Or the magic pill...its still here.
It's been a month since the last flight came to Gambier and nobody has any signs of anything. 2 days ago I went to see the doctor again with my paralyzed knee. He
couldn't do much, said I need physical therapy but nothing here. The last �"kine�" that worked in Gambier, died 3 years ago!! The next one is in Nuku Hiva..1500 km
away or in Tahiti. But nobody wants to go to Tahiti, they have the virus.
The doctor has no virus test here. Even if he had one, he couldn't send it to a lab in Tahiti. No flights.
The government still sends nasty threatening e-mails to new arriving yachts from Panama, telling them to go away or sail to Tahiti. Everybody kindly refuses. They all
have broken boats they claim. I wouldn't leave as well, it's stupid. We are safe here, why send somebody to a danger zone.
We decided to motor over to beautiful Aukena. Pakoi and his happy pigs are still there and also his brother and another nice Mangarevian man with his kids. We had
a good laugh with all of them and they certainly appreciated that we came with a fresh Brioche. Again they showered us with fruits and even offered us a pig.
Today we go again and bring the coffee and tea and whatever they need and see if we can beg for a heart of palm. Usually they have tons of young coconuts to spare.
We still can't leave Gambier, but very happy that we got stuck in this special island. Maybe we have to stay a winter here. A �"winter�" in July -August is 15 C at night
and 25 C during the day. Not bad, but a lot of Maramu's. That's a strong South East wind that brings cold air and rain from the southern ocean. But no cyclones and
plenty of coconuts and fish. Roland Moo, my Chinese friend is a fisherman. He goes offshore and got me a filet of yellow-fin tuna for next to nothing. Life is good, I
just wish I could do something for my leg, but so far my exercise and walks don't do much.
It's a sunny day, light Easterly winds the water is turquoise and Daniela came back from an hour of snorkeling. A white tip shark stayed with her and checked her out,
she doesn't like them but they are ok�...they say.
We got enough energy to make water and run the fridge. The usual rain that comes this time of the year did not come. It's the fall in Gambier. Soon the people start
planting for when the rain starts. They need the rain; 50 years ago they had rivers and creeks in all the islands here. But since the atomic bomb shook Gambier, the
rivers stopped running. Or so they say. Others say it's because of all the thirsty pine trees they planted here.
Pearls dropped down to 2 $ wholesale in Papeete. That's if you take a few thousand and take evrything without picking the best ones. Last year it was 9$ . The
Chinese buyers can't come anymore and they haven't got any Chinese grafters as well. Well go see in Rikitea next week who is willing to sell and at what price.