A Travellerspoint blog

Pitcairn Island Adventure 1

Mangareva: Mutiny on the Bounty Bay

sunny 27 °C
View Pitcairn March 2009 on erodrigo's travel map.

Today we arrived at Mangareva airport, Gambier Islands (French Polynesia), in an Air Tahiti ATR72. Within minutes after arriving 7 passengers out of 8 for the Pacific Expeditions travel to the 4 Pitcairn Islands had found each other. I guess we all looked the adventurous type ;-)
After the watertaxi had brought us to the main island we where picked up by our skipper Kurt. He brought us and our luggage to the Bounty Bay (our 14 meter vessel for this trip).
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Upon arrival we met the other two crewmembers:
- Andrew, Man of all trades, from Pitcairn,
- Jack, Chief engineer, from Tuvaly
- Kurt, Skipper, from Austria living in Thailand
There was supposed to be an 8 passenger, but he never showed up. We where now with 3 Americans, 1 Polish-American, a Norwegian guy and me and my cousin from the Netherlands. Off the 7 we where with 6 divers, so finding a buddy for diving would be no problem.
After our briefing about safety and regulations on this trip, the 3 Americans and the Norwegian guy disappeared to town and we 3 stayed behind, because we where supposed to go to the Gendarmerie (Police) at 3 to get our passport stamped.
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So at half past two we left for the Gendarmerie with our skipper and at thye police station we met the Norwegian guy who told us the 3 Americans had jumped ship and he was about to do the same.: MUTINY
What happened? It turned out that the three guys thought that the Bounty Bay was beneath their standards and they wanted to go dive everyday. Well obviously they had not read the website very good because they had booked the trip to Ducie where there might be the odd possibility to dive. The Norwegian guy tought this was a diving trip too and said goodbye to us as well.
The problem remained though, since the 3 Americans didn’t say to the skipper, saying they where leaving, he remained responsible After a long 2 hour search he found them and asked them about their plans and returned back to the boat. By that time it was to late to leave jarbour because the risks in the Gambier Island atoll was to great. So we had already lost one day, I guess we should sue them for missing a day of travel.
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Wednesday 11 of March
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Finally we left port with a 15 hour delay, after a 2 hour navigation trough the Gambier Island atoll we hit the Big Blue, we where now on the Pacific. For the coming two days there’s nothing more to do than to sit eat and talk, what a hard life we lead. It is just the Polish American guy and us two Dutch guys plus the 3 headed crew, it is almost a personal cruise.
For a calm sea it there where some big waves from 2 up to 4 metres.
We past Temoe atoll after 6 hours and some booby birds came to say hello around lunchtime.
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After Temoe there is no more land until we reach the Pitcairn Islands.
From now on it is all Pacific Ocean and trying not to fall down when you are walking on deck, because the boat is really rolling nicely on the waves.
We did however took on a extra holiday task, upon request we said to the skipper we all take 2 hour night watches.

Posted by erodrigo 20:43 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (0)

Madeira

Up, around and under water

sunny 26 °C
View Madeira October 2008 on erodrigo's travel map.

There is enough to see on and around the island.
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We visited the most eastern point, a very rugged and windy part of the island but because of the scenery of the water swept and carved rocks, very beautiful.
We went dolphin/whale watching. There were no whales to be seen on our tour but still we where lucky because we saw three kinds of dolphins; the spotted one, the bottlenose and the regular grey dolphin. They are such a fun sight to see as they jump out of the water in front of the boat and their speed is amazing.
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We dove at the two breasts, yes I am sorry but that is how the dive sight is called and although this is no tropical water there where still a lot of beautiful fish.
The food on the island is wonderful and the roads inland to the various restaurants we visited are exciting.
The last two days I have been a bit handicapped. In my rush to be in time for the boat dive I( bumped my big toe against a stone and now it is broken.
Yes the island is beautiful, but you have to be carefull walking around ;-)

Posted by erodrigo 11:12 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Madeira

Diving the Atlantic

semi-overcast 25 °C
View Madeira October 2008 on erodrigo's travel map.

We have arrived in Canico de Baixa, it is a village halfway the airport and the capital of Madeira; Funchal.


We have our camp at a very nice hotel named Galomar, with very good service and very friendly personel. We discovered some very nice restaurants and I must say the seafood here is very good, but for you who do not like fish they have a wide variety of meat too, so do not let the fish stop you, to come and visit this tranquile island in the Atlantic.
Yesterday we made our first dive in the waters surrounding the hotel and I must say the water is very nice. It may be almost half October but the water temperature is perfect. It is still a very agreable 23 degrees celcius at about 20 metres so diving is good.
Okay you will not find coral reefs here, but diving here has it own charms. Like any other place you have to see it at it own merits.
The wheather is nice, 25 degrees and sunny, and the water is fine. This combined with the good food, what else does a person need.
And next too all of this I can practice the Portugese language which I have learned, so for me it is a win-win situation

Posted by erodrigo 22:01 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Bonaire

Where to eat

semi-overcast 30 °C
View Netherland Antilles June 2008 on erodrigo's travel map.

Bonaire, after Curaçao and Aruba I arrived at Bonaire. What a difference, you will hardly believe. Although it is part of the same group as Aruba and Curaçao it springs out positive. In nature and quietness. It is much more relaxed and quite than the other two and has one very BIG advantage. It is in the top three of best diving sites in the world.
What a place to have a cold. Yes that is the lucky side of me. I am finally here and after two dives I have to stop because I have a cold.

But I have to tell you where to eat, because you have places to eat and then you have two restaurants where you really want to eat; La Salsa and it rains fishes at the Kralendijk promenade in the city Kralendijk.
The food is the best I tasted so far in every restaurant I have visited in the last two weeks and is even better than many restaurants I have visited around the world.
The service is likewise and the personnel is very friendly.
Tips for restaurants in Bonaire:
1. La Salsa:
Great food and likewise service
1. It rains fishes: if your a fish lover; same quality and services as La Salsa
2. La Guernica: Good Spanish based food and great service
3. City Cafe: Service is good and friendly but food is just like any other pub around the world. Not bad but not great either
4. Rum runners: Service is slow and the food is just under average. The view is marvelous

Do not go to Le Flamboyant. The food is overcooked or burned and the service is just lousy.
They serve you food spill it over your clothes and don't even bother to say sorry or offer help in cleaning it. They just say there are the napkins.

Posted by erodrigo 15:50 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Aruba

If you like beaches

semi-overcast 30 °C
View Netherland Antilles June 2008 on erodrigo's travel map.

Of the three islands I visit this trip, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, I think for me this is the least interesting island. Since I am not a beach bum and am interested in nature and culture there is hardly anything for me here. Except for a lighthouse and a road with 14 crosses that ends up at a little chapel. The road is walked by the local people every year on Good Friday and they pray at every cross of the 14 there.
Well that where the highlights ;-)

If you like beaches and American culture (McDonalds, Wendy's, Dunkin Donuts etc etc) you will have a blast on this island.
But like I said; not me so after two days I left the place and went for Bonaire; where there is more to see for someone like me.

Posted by erodrigo 16:03 Archived in Aruba Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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