Assam’s place is near the southeastern corner of the lagoon. We learned about it from one of our guides which highly recommended it as a stop. The guide billed it as a pearl farm but indicated that it was much more as Assam loved to have visitors and thru wonderful feasts for those who stopped by.
While there are many pearl farms along the eastern side of the lagoon (making navigation difficult with all the buoys randomly scattered about), it turns out that Assam has moved on to other things. What we found was a full fledged slipway with a storage yard. There were as many as 10 yachts on the hard on high ground off the slip way. Came as a complete surprise to see such a facility in such a remote location. Don’t know why I didn’t get any pictures of it – oh well.
Once ashore, Tony, another member of Assam’s family invited us to come in for an island feast in the evening. We offered to bring steaks, sausages and some wahoo we had caught.
The proceedings began by burning coconut husks down to hot embers.
Added next were fish that Tony had speared that day in 60 feet of water free diving – yup – that’s 60 feet. He can stay down for 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
In the back, Deb watched Tony prepare poisson cru with the fish we had brought.
While diner was being prepared, Tony put on a little island music. THose speakers are over 6 feet high with lighting that changes colours with the music. If the picture looks blurry it is due to vibrations emanating from same.
A couple of shots at the dinner table. It was interesting in that, like Fiji, the parents and guests were served first and no one else ate until they were finished.
After dinner, it was time for a little ukelele music – Tony was much better at it then Gel or George.
It was just a wonderful evening and Tony would not accept anything in the way for payment from us other then the food we had brought. They just enjoy the company and apparently generate enough income form their yard operation to keep things afloat. Highly recommend this as a stop if you get out this way but you can only get there on a private vessel.
Next morning we set off for a northern anchorage near the pass which was favoured by winds from the north. A rare chance to visit some lovely beaches that were generally not tenable as they are fully exposed to the south east trades. Unfortunately, the weather was against us and heavy rains washed out our plans.
So our day turned in to one of reading and hanging out with plans to move on to Rangiroa in the morning.
More about that along with a story about George, a black marlin and a shark.