We arrived in Makemo early in the morning, and it was a very tricky pass. It was slack tide, there should have been zero knots of current and yet we had 4 knots against us, so we only just made it at 3 knots, engine on full throttle. Still, better to be against that force of current that swept along from behind, potentially into a reef.
We were met there by BAJKA ((sailing-bajka.ch), who had seen us come en route to the boulangerie and picked us up some baguettes for breakfast. While we all had coffee together, the younger kids then had a lovely play together on our trampoline at the bow before heading into town. After our experience in the village of Rairoa (see previous post), I was not uber-keen to go ashore. Still, we were only in Makemo for a few hours to wait for a propitious window to sail onto Kauehi, where we were joining our friends SHAWNIGAN (family aflota), and nothing ventured, nothing gained.
This village experience was poles apart. Gone was the “ghost town” vibe, here there were lots of people around, and friendly, or at least indifferent, dogs. Kids were in seventh heaven as we picked up some mini donut like baguettes, deep-fried, not super sweet, but very moreish.
We visited the Mairie first to enquire about replenishing water (there is a reserve), old airline seats offering a comfortable seat in the waiting area outside. We visited a pretty, white-washed Church, with a lovely Lady Chapel outside that invited a moment of reflection on this, the last day of May (see Fatu Hiva month of May), while inside I liked the multi-coloured flags lining the walls, and hanging lamps made of mother of pearl. Palms were woven into hearts and hung on the walls while the floral displays again bedecked the lectern and altar. The kids enjoyed going up to the minstrel’s gallery and peeking through the railings.
On our way back to the boat, a local streetcleaner stopped us and presented to each adult a wreath woven with reeds. It was literally our crowning moment and a gentle welcome to the Tuamotus.