Shopping Frenzy

We reached the village of Makemo the day before yesterday, unfortunately we had to motor all the 25 nm over the reef-dotted lagoon (much worse than Tahanea) as the wind was southeasterly all the time, so just where we had to go. The anchorage in front of the village is a bit of a witches cauldron with cross seas and funny effects from the pass. We snuggled in behind the pier with bow- and stern anchor, where the water’s a bit calmer.

The village looks a bit run down, there’s quite some rubbish and a sad looking abandoned wind farm a bit out of town suggests that people aren’t that keen on the positive sides of progress (more into satellite dishes). The vibes are friendly though, there’s always quite something going on on the dock, fishermen coming in, people fishing off the pier and football and other games are played all day in the multi purpose hall next to the dock. we were also lucky with groceries, there’s a real supermarket here where you can actually walk between shelves and choose stuff yourself and the supply ship had just left before we arrived so we were able to stock up luxuries like carrots, cabbage, onions and even apples :-) As we’d read that Makemo was ‘productive’ we’d hoped to get some local fruit, but in the gardens only few and rather scrawny looking papaya trees and banana plants grow, breadfruits aren’t ripe yet. At least eggs and honey are produced locally. The northern side of the atoll’s one big island and palm trees are cultivated in mono culture for copra productio. Interestingly the southern side of the atoll doesn’t have any motus at all, just the barrier reef.

We snorkeled the pass today, the visibility wasn’t too great, but we saw more swarm fishies than anywhere else we’ve snorkeled before and as the pass is about a mile long the conveyor belt journey lasted really long. There isn’t much else to do here though, so we hope for northerly winds to take us to Amanu (one of the eastern atolls) soon.

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