Our stay at Motu Nao Nao to the south of Raiatea was fabulous.
In mid-August, we made our way back north to Raiatea's main town, Uturoa, to take on water and other provisions.
A walk on the mainland revealed more hotels and tourist shops, but heading inland and upwards, we were soon rewarded with fabulous views of the lagoon and we had the opportunity to practise our skills of scrumping amongst the lush vegetation. I managed to grab a tempting breadfruit from an obliging tree, and we had our first taste of breadfruit chips that evening. It is an extraordinary, versatile fruit with a curious texture that, when steamed, is close to mashed potato. Breadfruit was the main mission of HMS Bounty. Captain Bligh was commissioned to transport seedlings from Tahiti to the Caribbean in order to provide food for the slave labour there. The mission failed and history was made in the process!
In search of some seclusion, we took Kika around to the East of the island which involved some tricky navigation and thoroughly tested our buoyage skills. Nick shouted directions from his vantage point up the ratlines, and I helmed, manoeuvring Kika safely through the chicanes and switchbacks which comprise the safe passage around to the east. Arriving there we felt elated at our achievement - we're still building up our confidence around coral after the close encounter in Raroia. The 'seclusion' was limited due to our unavoidable proximity to hotels, but it was great to get another view of the island. The crater dominates everything and its silhouette changes radically as you move around, always dramatic and usually topped with a generous helping of cloud.