Thursday, May 26, 2011

Over The Rainbow

I didn't know that it was possible to sail over the rainbow and still be on the planet! You will know when YOU have because: you will see the full spectrum of colors before you, feel a sprinkle of refreshing rain, hear the soft breeze which carries you along, smell the freshness of the air mixing with the land and taste the salt which is in/on/over/under everything! You will anchor in a calm bay and visit a village where you are greeted with warm welcomes, a desire to share all natural riches with you, music and songs from the ancients and a simple life intimately tied to the sea. You will meet new people who you feel you have known forever and share an adventure so full of mystery and wonder that it is hard to find the words that do it justice! Your heart will be full!

Such has been our experience in Tetamanu Village & Sauvage in the south pass of Fakarava Atoll, Tuamotus. You too could share this treausre the next time you want a REAL get-away, low key, rustic vacation. Albeit remote, they do have a website: -which I promised one who works/lives there that I would pass along! It also happens to be one of the most famous diving/snorkeling spots in the world! The kitchen of the pension is built on stilts over the water. There is a beautiful lagoon underneath it full of beautiful reef fish and sharks! The cook just throws the scraps of food out the window of the kitchen and all of the sharks and fish rush over to see what's for dinner! There is a deck off of the eating area which sticks out over the coral reef to the edge of the pass through the atoll. The coral reef just drops off, straight down about fifty feet and there is a beautiful wall of coral to snorkel along on one side, but when you look to the pass side, you just look down into this deep blue water and see a steady parade of schools of small fish, sharks, and other big fish like groupers! Neal and I went to the deck one night to listen to Corie and her new local friends play music and I tell you..... sitting on the deck, on the edge of that atoll pass, looking into the water and then up at the most brilliantly starred sky, listening to the ukeleles and these lovely traditional songs, was one of the most precious and magical moments of my life! These people are so kind and gentle, have a huge reverence for nature and seem very, very happy. Corie was invited to take up residence in the village (of about 15 people) (Neal and I did not receive the same invitation) but as difficult as it was for us all to leave, she decided to weigh anchor with us and head north!

As you know, we are now at the north pass of Fakarava and the supply ship has arrived! When Neal posted in his blog that there were no vegetables or fruit in the stores he was not exaggerating! Fruits and vegies arrive once a week on the supply boat (as does diesel) and typically sell out within 12 hours! The typical business mindset here is that when you are out of something, you just close down! No problem! Maybe next time! More is not necessarily better... So how far would you walk for an eggplant or a cucumber? We heard that Monsieur Topaz had a big garden "just outside" of town so we set off with our back pack to find it. After asking directions about five times in our very poor French, an hour and four rain squalls later we found his luxurious garden and were able to buy a packet of eggplant, a packet of cucumbers and a packet of green peppers (which we haven't had since San Diego) for $15.00! Then there was the walk back to the boat..... redeemed by a chocolate ice cream cone near the quay!

Our hearts are full. Every day is not easy, but every day is different and we always learn something new. If it is not about the place we are in, it is about the boat, the weather, ourselves or because we meet someone new! 'Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly, birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh why, can't I?' Hmmmmmmmmm!

R of Rutea
At 5/26/2011 7:27 PM (utc) Rutea's position was 16°03.57'S 145°37.29'W

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