The jury is out and hot baguettes definitely are the best thing we have had since we left the US food wise...too good and when you add the camembert cheese we still have from the Galapagos we could almost be in France...family joke tho' is that we are missing the tablecloths as when we were in France a good ten years ago and 8 or 9 year old Zak proclaimed that his family was OBSESSED with tablecloths as we daily scouted each town's markets in search of the perfect table linens and came back with a slew of them for us and for gifts. Another new discovery is pampelmousse...it is a HUGE grapefruit like fruit that has no seeds, is more juicy and sweeter than grapefruit and grows in abundance here. Yesterday we were given about 10-12 of them which now hang in a hammock in the cockpit waiting to ripen. The free fruit that the locals have bestowed on us is really helping offset the outrageous cost of vegetables (of which there are very few varieties) and food in general. The people are all very nice and we are enjoying all the Bonjours and Bonsoirs we hear...again the generosity is overwhelming.
Two days ago Bill and I hiked Mt. Duff, the 1400 ft mountain on Mangareva. It was quite steep but the view from the top were breathtaking. We could see 360 degrees and basically could view the entire reef that encircles this archipelago of islands. Bet we were looking out at least 20 miles in every direction. The colors of the water, in varying shades of cobalt, turquoise and coral head mustards was gorgeous and so striking from above. Yesterday we went with the other 3 boats that we have been hanging out with to a pearl farm in Rikitea and then all pulled anchors and headed across the lagoon to a new anchorage off an island called Taravai. Very scenic (again) and today we will dinghy to see an old abandoned church on the other side of the island. We had a potluck desert here and movie night to watch "Into the Wild".(true story adapted from a Jon Krakuer book) Delicious and my weeks quota of deserts with fresh pumpkin (from Pitcairn pumpkins) pie, peach and blueberry crisp,chocolate chip cookies, and pnut butter cookies. I am realizing that it is beginning to sound like all we do is think about and eat food...it certainly has become a focus. So it was a bit crowded with 9 people around our very small TV screen but lots of fun and quite a good movie. Fabulous cinematography and great character portrayals... a very sad story of a young man who lost his life too young tho' as he struggled to make sense of his world by setting out across the country and into the wilderness of Alaska. When it was over I commented to Bill that at least that is one type trip I do not have to worry about Zak taking. He is not my wilderness boy at all!!!
We have finished up a few more of the boat repairs and can now add sailmakers of sorts to our resumes. Quite a site to see the 3 of us with a borrowed sewing machine stitching up our VERY large reacher on our foredeck. Good news is we think we fixed it enough to be able to use it until we get to Tahiti and can have a real sailmaker make a new suncover and do a bit more patching. So we are happily now a 4 sail boat, ready and raring to move on in the next week I would guess. Next stop will be Hao, one of the atolls in the Tuomotus and a 3 day,2 night passage hopefully (about 300+ miles from here). We hear it is as green as May in Maine and that a real spring is being had over much of the East. Be it from the El Nino year we are in or global warming it is a treat for all of you in the north I am sure. Adieu to all and a note here or there would be very welcomed.