Cyclone season in Raivavae

Raivavae has never seen so many sailboats at once (15 now) and as they are mainly kiddy boats and kite surfers they’re all hanging out at Motu Vaiamanu (also called ‘Piscine’, swimming pool–perfect for kids to play on the beach and kiters). That’s also the anchorage most locals recommend to sailboats and the owners have a little snack there and organise picnics for tourists (and cruisers). Theoretically a perfect solution, but this year one local has started a campaign against cruisers. Probably influenced by the Tahitian propaganda he came over several times to the motu, told sailboats to leave with the old well-known arguments: we destroy the reef (every single boat in the anchorage lies on a floated chain even though the coral’s dead anyway), we pollute the lagoon (???) and we stay too long. Ironically enough the guy’s the owner of the shop in Vaiuru (magasin Teehu on the S side of Raivavae–avoid!!) and even though he claims to represent the opinion of the local people, everybody else we talked to is wonderfully friendly and not against sailboats… Still rather unpleasant to be harassed for New Year’s, but we wished him ia maita’i i te mau ‘oro’a matahiti ‘api (a happy new year ;-) ) anyway!

Most boats here are waiting for weather windows to head on to the Tuamotus, Gambier or Marquesas anyway, so Mr. Teehu will be happy and proud of himself when the fleet diminishes, but we’ll stay here for the rest of the cyclone season. We have lots of projects on our to-do list and need some quiet time to work productively. Another reason why we don’t sail much this year is our cat–Leeloo’s getting too old for passages and can’t take tropical heat anymore. Thus we’ll just hang out here for a few months, Christian can work on his programming project, I can get some writing done and the sewing machine will remain busy as well as we need a new dinghy cover, have to repair the lazy bag and do some maintenance on our sails.

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