Ua Pou

Ua Pou was a pretty reasonable half day sail from Taiohae Bay. Jazz was getting ready to tan when Captain got scooped up for some impromptu dancing. As we prepared to enter the main anchorage, a spinner dolphin did some impressive triple axles in front of the boat before zooming away.

We dropped anchor and invited Acushnet over for a sundowner, as they’d beaten us here by a couple of days and were planning to leave the next morning. We got up to find a rainy morning, which nixed our plans of taking a hike up the mountains. (Already a dicey proposition with Jazz nursing an ankle injury, rain meant slippery trails and bad footing.) So we hung out on the boat, and Captain climbed the normally-outdoor cushions in the hallway.

Acushnet was leaving later that day, and they invited us over to have a goodbye breakfast. Captain came along, and had a great time exploring the new space. We were amazed to see that they have not just a washer but a full separate dryer on board. These are the things that dreams are made of.

When the rain cleared up and Acushnet had hauled their stern anchor, we went in for a walk around town. Notable things: the boat chained to the dock next to our dinghy with a shackle on its absolute last legs. A number of ocean-facing tikis, some nice flowers, and a sea-moss drying operation in someone’s front yard.

The church was setting up for a confirmation, with an abundance of ginger lilies and other tropical flowers. The pulpit is a single piece of wood carved into the shape of a ship’s bow, and the view out from the open eaves is absolutely stellar.

We passed a magasin on the way back from the church, and snapped a picture of this bleak frozen section. This setup has been pretty common in our small-island stops. Apparently there’s not a lot of new clientele; if you need something, you already know where it is, so why bother with labels?

We walked up the hill for a drink at a posh hotel, which had an excellent, hard-to-miss and cruiser-friendly sign posted out front.

There we found an insistently friendly dog, actual drought beer, and wine by the glass. The beverages turned out to have been badly mistreated, but the view was nice. The owner eventually caged the dog, who didn’t seem to mind at all.

We were about ready to leave when the rain came again, changing the view a little. We waited for a break in the downpour, and missed the beginning of our window because we were busy dancing. We made it about halfway down the hill before the rain started up again, and we huddled in a shelter by the dock for a while, before deciding that we were pushing our luck and should just accept a free shower on the way back home. It eventually cleared up again, in time to show us a lovely moonrise.

We set out for the Tuamotus in the morning. Ideally we’d have stayed another day or two, but the weather dictated we leave now or wait a week, and we only have 90 days. The trip along the side of the island was a highlight: many different views of the craggy peaks, a couple of quick visits from spinner dolphins, and lots of good views of under-boobies as the sea birds had their morning feeding frenzy. It’s nice to remember, occasionally, that even the sails we do just to get from one place to another can be magical.

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