We set sail from Raiatea after provisioning at the supermarket with stinky French cheese, frozen wakame salad for poke bowls and bags of frozen meat gifts for friends. Morgan and Eric met gregarious Hio in Raiatea who invited them to visit his home island, the outer French Polynesian atoll Maupihaa, where his parents and sisters live. He suggested we bring them frozen meat since the supply ship only stops in Maupihaa every eight months or so. We checked out with the gendarme (customs) in Raiatea, and I felt relieved. I’d spent exactly 90 days in the country, the limit for US citizens. Technically, we would still be in French Polynesia in Maupihaa, but it is so remote that the gendarme rarely monitors the area.
After a few days of mellow sailing, we entered the atoll’s narrow pass and anchored inside the protected lagoon near a beachside thatched lean-to. It was tranquil inside the lagoon, one half of our view was palm trees and white sand beaches, the other half showcased waves crashing on the outer reef like a Las Vegas fountain show. There were only two other sailboats anchored near us so it was quiet. Just the breeze, bird calls and at night the sparkly stars.Continue reading