Fakarava North is quite different from the south end in that it is a quaint and quiet community that is home to a large percentage of the Black Pearls that are cultured for the world market. It didn’t take long to recognize that we were in company with some big spenders. Huge Mega yachts complete with helicopters were in the anchorage with their launches shuttling owners and guests ashore to shop.
Lucky for us, we met Hinano who owns Hinano Pearls. She not only spoke English but she is a direct outlet for their family Pearl Farm and her prices were very reasonable. Her wee shop is located just past the Catholic Church on the main road. She was very helpful and guiding Kaija thru a large selection to find one that she not only liked a lot but Hinano really sharpened her pencil and made it affordable. Thank you Hinano. This however, did not satiate the dream…it only fed the monster…Kaija was now on the prowl with more Pearls to follow.
Our Visa for French Polynesia was coming due and we needed to get to Papeete to ask for an extension. We were lucky enough to have a decent weather window so off we went. Unfortunately, our timing out the North Pass wasn’t quite perfect and we felt like we were riding a bucking bronco as we headed out the pass in very short steep waves. At one point, when we should have been in deep water, I noted the fathometer was reading 7 ft….it was a rather uncomfortable moment, one I would rather not repeat.