The Magic of Maupiti

la Orana again Boatbloggers ®

Blogs are like buses. Nothing comes for ages and then all of a sudden, three turn up. Sorry about that. And sorry to rub it in – but while you’ve all been locked down, we’ve been travelling between the Society Islands and there’s just so much to tell you about.

We are in Maupiti, which is about thirty nautical miles due west of Bora Bora. It’s an easy downwind sail, so we put up the two foresails and let the wind just blow us along.

Maupiti 1

It’s famous for two main things. The first is the pass, which is notoriously tricky to get through as it’s quite narrow. And since it is the only pass into the lagoon, the currents can be quite strong between the reefs.

Maupiti Pass 1 2

But as you can see, it was pretty calm the day we came through.

It’s a lovely place to ‘drop the hook,’ as us nautical types say.

Maupiti anchorage 2

The second thing that Maupiti is famous for is the manta ray cleaning station. This is a rock in the middle of the lagoon where the mantas come so that the little fish who live on the rock can clean all their gills and inside their mouths and so on.

Thanks to Rob and Frances ‘Blue Planet’ Lythgoe for these fabulous pictures.

But it’s not just mantas. We also saw this little octopus. It’s amazing how he changes colour to match the sand as he swims away.

No more garlic pulpo for us.

Happily we met up with Rob and Frances from Alia Vita once more.

Group photo

If you remember, we last saw them doing a gargantuan walk up the mountains of Moorea which nearly wiped us out completely. Unrepentant, they suggested that we climb up the little hill at the centre of the island as the view would be amazing.

Screen Shot 2020 10 06 at 14 54 33

And as luck would have it, this time we would be joined by Alex and Carla from Ari B  who we had last seen six years ago in Portimao in the Algarve just before our first Atlantic crossing. It’s a small world!

What Rob failed to mention is that Alex is Austrian, and so is half man, half mountain goat.

Walk 9 Alex

No doubt from an early age he has been bounding up alpine slopes wearing little other than leather shorts and a hat with a feather. Carla climbs to olympic standard too.

We should have known it was going to be tough.

Nevertheless Ju, completely forgetting Einstein’s advice that insanity was doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result, accepted the walking invitation. Lyn rather more sensibly said that she wouldn’t come because her shoes didn’t have enough grip and it would be too slippy. Everyone very politely pretended to believe her.

It started off pleasantly enough.

Walk 3

But it wasn’t long before Ju started to get that deja vu feeling he had the last time he did this.

Walk 10

It was starting to get tough.

Walk 8

But the view was pretty amazing when we finally got there.

Walk 7

But was it worth it?

Walk Top

(Editors note:- Ju would like to point out that this photo was taken by Frances who has a panoramic setting on her camera. This has the unfortunate side effect of making Ju’s stomach also look panoramic. He would like to assure our readers that in real life he is still the same ripped Adonis that you all know and love.)

But as any mountaineer will tell you, going up is the easy bit. The hard bit is coming down.

Glad to see Ju’s overacting skills haven’t left him.

Rob is currently thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro, but only so long as they can helicopter him back down. Ju has agreed to go with him, but only so long as they can helicopter him up and down.

All in all, lunch felt very much deserved.

Walk lunch

We could have filled the blog with photos of all the different fruits of Muapiti, because they are just growing along the roadside; pawpaws, mangoes, pomme etoiles, pineapples, breadfruit – all there for the picking in this little bit of paradise. But we’ll spare you all that. Just time for one arty farty photo to give you an idea of what you are missing, which is imaginatively entitled “Avos.”

Fruit 8 Avo

That’s all for now Boatbloggers ®.

Nana from Maupiti

Ju & Lyn