Surfing with pamplemousse (grapefruit)


We were on the 'best' island in the Marquesas with probably the worst anchorage!  After a bit of a rolly night (think that's the understatement of the year) the next morning we sat having breakfast in the cockpit watching the locals surfing on the rollers which we would have to go through to get ashore.  The boat was pitching about so much that we didn't like the idea of taking the dinghy off the davits so we decided to go in on the canoes.  We loaded everything we needed for the day - money, dry clothes, shoes etc - and packed it in a dry bag which we strapped to the back of my canoe (Matt just has a windsurfer with a home made seat).  And off we went - it was quite a quick ride in with the waves taking us towards the shore.  We picked our landing spot then Matt shouted to wait and watch the waves and paddle ashore after a large one had just passed - no problem - got in without getting too wet.  We had a stroll around the village chatting to very friendly locals and met up with Colin who told us there was a very nice pension in the next village where we could have lunch.  It was a lovely walk over the hill - the roads were good and we had great views back over the bay.                      


Unfortunately  just as we arrived at 'chez Maurice' for lunch, Maurice was leaving to take someone to the airport so no lunch that day.  Thank goodness for the baguette which Colin had bought for us that morning.  We headed to the shop, bought pate and cheese and sat at a picnic table at the beach - very French polynesian! 


We were offered a lift in the back of a 4 x 4 back to d'Hane, where we met up with Colin and Liz and more locals. As the boat was still rocking and rolling and it was only mid afternoon we thought we would head over to the village on the other side – we started walking and then got a lift – we didn't’t realise how far it was – we had to go over the hills and inland so took us quite a while.  By the time we got there, we only had time for a quick look around and then thought we'd better get back - the only way being to 'faire le stop'.  Typical – not many cars coming past.  most of them who did were just driving a short distance.  Finally one stopped and the guy said that although he only lived a short distance away, he would take us back to d'Hane.  We had several little diversions on the way back as he took us to the place where he lived, introduced us the ex-mayor (who spoke English), drove past all the houses in the street – stopping and asking them for fruit.  Anyway we finally got back to the harbour at d'Hane and he started offloading all this fruit! You should have seen his face when he saw we were just on canoes!  No problem though - we filled the dry bag with pamplemousse and put the other stuff in the front compartment of the canoe and tied the dry bag to the back. By this time the waves had really started rolling in and the locals were having a great time surfing!  So we dragged (too heavy to lift!) the canoe down on to the beach and waded through the first few waves then Matt said right when I say 'go' get on it and paddle like mad and don’t stop – so I did – at one point there was this enormous rolling wave coming at me and I could see that the surfers on my right were starting to surf on it as it was breaking – I have never paddled so fast in my life!  Fortunately I got over it before it broke - I daren't look back to see where Matt was.  Anyway needless to say we got back to the boat with no problems and managed to get the canoes on board where we proceeded to unload 10 pamplemousse, a bag of limes and a bag of star apple fruits - a very fruitful day!



back to flotsam................