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Don & Deb's Big Adventure on Buena Vista
On our way to the South Pacific and beyond...
Checking Out Faka North
06/10/2012, Fakarava North, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

While at anchor off of the village at Fakarava North I was almost shocked to see an airplane land off in the distance. I haven't seen one of them since leaving Mexico almost three months ago. There's a main street in the village but not that many cars driving around. No place to drive really, one way evidently takes you to the airport and the other way goes down the motu for several miles past lots of small pearl farms and at least one small resort. There's a nice little church, decorated much like the one in Faka South. Lots of bright colors and sea shell garlands strung from one edge of the ceiling to the other, criss-crossing here and there. We walked up and down the main road. There's two small markets, one also being the boullangerie (bakery) and a fruit stand. It's Sunday though so everything is closed. We'll come back tomorrow and try to find some fresh fruit and veggies and maybe some eggs and baguettes. We're pretty much out of fresh stuff on the boat now. I've got a few carrots, a couple of pamplemousse, and a really sorry looking cabbage that's now something of a science experiment (all the way from Mexico). We also say several small groups of people setting up little altars decorated with woven palms, candles and flowers, maybe every quarter mile or so. We've learned that later today the church is having some sort of religious procession. We'll have to come and check it out. Our mates Karen and Jim on 'Sockdolager' made it today after their five day passage from the Marquesas. We had a fun reunion as we always do. They are headed south though and we're headed west so we must say goodbye again soon. We'll say to them what we've said to others...See You In Tahiti!

Rule #1 - Don't Hit Coral!
06/09/2012, Fakarava North, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

Made our way from the south end of the Fakarava atoll to the north end where the village is located by following the channel on the inside of the atoll. The channel is marked by red and green buoys every mile or so, but we are also using our Garmin GPS which shows the channel a lot more clearly and it seems pretty accurate. It needs to be too. Outside of the channel there are lots of boat eating coral heads and reef areas. Don climbs part of the way up the mast using the mast steps he installed in Mexico and keeps a good watch. When it's sunny the coral heads are very easy to see but when clouds cover the sun it's a lot harder to spot them. We were able to sail up the channel pretty easily with the wind behind us but the thought of hitting one of those coral bommies is a bit nerve-wracking. We pulled out of the channel about halfway up and found a nice spot to stay for the night and made it to the village the next day. It was pretty blustery when we arrived. We dropped our anchor in about 60 feet of water and decided not to buoy the anchor this time. When the wind clocks around (which it always seems to do) the anchor will get wrapped on coral below, but maybe that's better than waking up in the middle of the night with your anchor and chain buoys knocking on the side of your hull.

Fakarava South is Wow!
06/06/2012, Fakarava, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

After several hours in the water everyday - it's time to relax with friends over a
nice cold coca cola. It's very pleasant here, wish we could stay alot longer. This place will definitely be remembered as one of the highlights of the trip.

Fakarava South is Wow!
06/06/2012, Fakarava, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

Pretty school of yellows

Fakarava South is Wow!
06/06/2012, Fakarava, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

Blue lipped clam.

Fakarava South is Wow!
06/06/2012, Fakarava, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

There's another 'napolean wrasse'. These fish are huge...the size of a car door. And when they cruise by you their big eye ball looks right at you.

Fakarava South is Wow!
06/06/2012, Fakarava, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

Butterfly fish. So many different kinds of butterfly fish down there.

Fakarava South is Wow!
06/06/2012, Fakarava, Tuamotus Archipeligo, French Polynesia

Look how colorful this huge trigger fish is.

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