Alone Like a Rolling Stone

A beautiful day

The wind has driven away the clouds of the night. Now the black sky, with the thousands and thousands of stars of the Milky Way, gives way to the morning red of the rising sun. The Katinka lies on a smooth mirror while the sun is not yet visible in the east. This time of the day is the most beautiful and peaceful of the whole day. While the contours on land are so slowly emerging, they are bathed in a yellow, almost reddish light. As if opening a picture book, more and more details gradually become visible. The roosters are the first to wake up. With their squawking they welcome the day. Between the crowing, absolute silence. Somewhere, still invisible to us, a person moves. Noticed by an attentive dog, which guards its territory and begins to bark. After that, this endless silence returns. Not even a splash of the waves, which usually beat against the hull of the boat, can be heard. An orange rim, rises above the motus, on the outer reef. Completely speechless, every creature that witnesses this moment, looks at the magnificent natural spectacle. Even the cheeky giggers, who usually comment on everything with their kickerrikiii, pause for a moment. The day awakens and it becomes, after a few days with uncomfortable weather, a beautiful day on the Gambier Islands.

Sunrise Gambier Islands

With these thoughts and impressions, I block out the painful nights that my shoulder is causing me at the moment. It's been four weeks since I dislocated my arm. It has already become much better, but there are always moments in which the shoulder, still hurts tremendously. Especially at night, when I have fallen asleep, I wake up with pain again, because I have turned in my sleep and come to lie on my arm again. Despite being tired, I always look forward to the morning, which drives away the pain and the thoughts of struggling. During the day it is not so bad, because there is always something to do and I am busy. Today we want to go to the grapefruit trees, in the forest, to replenish our supplies a little.

Grapefruit tree in forest

Christer from the SY Hathor is quite enthusiastic and with the party. He takes extra his machete, in a backpack with. Even if the arm still hurts, running always goes. The grapefruits grow in the middle of the forest and we discovered them when we were on the way to the highest mountain on Mangareva, Mt. Duff, at the very beginning of our stay here. With a little effort - Gaby still refuses to learn how to dinghy - I fire up the engine to get the short distance, on land. In the meantime we have developed a good technique to heave my heavy carcass ashore at the landing stage, without having to cry out painfully when, as in the beginning, I have put myself involuntarily on the arm every now and then when getting out. Christer is also already there and so we walk, comfortably, along the road. The island has awakened in the meantime and there is an amazing traffic, at pick-ups and scooters. I always wonder where they all come from. But people are considerate and when you greet them, everyone greets you back. It's Sunday and church is just out. Many are going back home. Here and there we see a familiar face, from the passing car, beaming at us. Meanwhile, we are on the island, not least by my accident, known like a colorful dog. Speaking of dog, we have now walked the path a few times, but for Christer, it is the first time. And so he stops at every garden, every flower and every new tree, of course to admire it. Halfway, we pass the, wildly growing coffee bushes and I ask him if he knows what that is. He denies and I show him the almond inside the coffee cherry. On the ridge above Rikitea, we have a wonderful view of the, in turquoise, shimmering anchor field. The sun is high in the firmament and makes the colors glow. Photo session to make the Daheimgeblieben a bit jealous.

Mangareva, Gambier Islands

We continue walking and arrive at the junction with the trail that leads through the forest to the two peaks of Mangareva. Now it is not far to the fruits. Unfortunately, we are not botanical experts, so we didn't realize that grapefruits don't hang in the trees all year round, but only in June. At least there was not a single yellow ball left on the tree. We still find a few gnawed shells lying on the ground, otherwise there is nothing left of the former full splendor, the delicious fruit. Somewhat disappointed we take the way back. Nevertheless, it was a nice hiking day.

Grapefruit for breakfast

In the late afternoon the SY Kiqdlue, a Greenlandic yacht comes into the anchorage. Jens has been here before and sailed, with his wife, to the Easter Islands. Now he spends the winter here on the Gambiers, and then sets off again towards the south and Cape Horn. Jens is mainly sailing as a single-handed sailor and has let his wife, on the Easter Islands, get off. We welcome him and look forward to the stories he has to tell. Maybe I will tell you some of them, but that another time. We wish you always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip. See you next time.



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