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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saying goodbye

Leaving Gaston and Valentine and Anse Amyot was one of the most difficult things we've had do to in our cruising life. It ranks right up there with leaving Bahia de los Angeles after spending three summers there, and leaving our good friends in Mexico behind as we continued south and west. Anse Amyot is a little piece of paradise in amongst the rest of the jewels of the Tuamotus, and if it weren't for the 90 day limit to our visas we would seriously consider staying in French Polynesia through cyclone season just to spend more time here. We are having a terrible time leaving for the Societies. What if we get there and find that we wish we were back here!

We are so grateful to G&V for doing all they can to accommodate cruisers, and for being so warm and welcoming. For all the pressure we put on their peaceful lifestyle they honestly enjoy our company. In turn we have a responsibility not to overwhelm them with our presence. It's obvious that they sometimes have a hard time saying no and we need to be sensitive to their work load and the supplies they have on hand to feed and service the constant stream of boats coming through. As much as they appreciate what we do for them in return, they must heave a small sigh of relief when the last boat leaves in September!

We enjoyed a last happy hour and musical jam session on shore Tuesday night with all the boats, and it was impossible for me to say goodbye without tears. This is not a place like Mexico to which we could easily return some day. The next morning we dropped our mooring at the first glimmer of dawn and, as we headed straight away from Toau bound for Apataki, it was even harder to watch the atoll fade away on our stern. As John was comforting me up on deck we both saw a bright shooting star in the morning sky. I'm not sure what that means, but it was a lovely farewell gift.

We will carry fond memories of Valentine's happy laughter (which could be heard all the way out to our boat); Gaston's endless energy and nonstop activity; Valentine's enjoyment in playing S/V Freedom's Marquesan ukulele during our happy hour jam sessions; Gaston's love of pancakes with peanut butter; listening to the B.B. King CDs we gave them while Valentine and I worked on making my necklace; the friendly dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens; Philippe's Tahitian songs on the guitar; and many more sights and sounds of Anse Amyot.