Planning our arrival
23 May 2012 | Enroute to Rangiroa, Tuamotos, French Polynesia
Our winds have died. We are getting thunderstorm winds. They vary as the storms around us vary. A few minutes ago we were making fine progress but now we are doing less than 3 knots. We have 84 miles to go and we need to arrive at Rangiroa at 1600Z, about 15 hours from now. That is dawn local time. At that time the tide is high tide slack. Just at dawn the ebb starts. We DON'T want to go in on the ebb tide. So we need to arrive a little early, but not too early. Also right now we are passing close to Ahe and Mamhi Atols. Those we need to miss (not hit them in the night). The closest point is about 10 nm, easy but no mistakes are allowed.
We may get some more wind. If so we have charged the batteries and that needed to be done anyway. Solar for the day was only 63 AHr. We will also try to send email. Propagation for that is best at local night so we have to hand steer by compass while sending and receiving email. Ick. Nothing is ever easy. Karen is cooking chicken again tonight so we'll probably get hit by another local storm. How's that for pessimistic?
Our destination, Rangiroa, is the largest atoll. It is also the most developed. Basically it has something other than just pearl farms. There is a population of about 2000 on the atol. It includes at least one high end resort although it isn't clear that it is opened. Last report was that it was being renovated and the report is 2 years old. In Mexico that means its dead. There is a Blue Lagoon on the far side of the atol that appears to be the place to see. It features pink sand beaches. The dark side is that its anchorage, while inside the big lagoon, is exposed. There is lots of fetch if the wind picks up. On the good side, the water inside the atol appears to be easily navigated...not too obstructed by coral heads. There are also at least 3 dive operators that sell guided dives through the passes. That is probably worth doing. It won't be the best diving in the Tuamotos, but it might be very good. There is snorkeling that is highly rated near the anchorage.
Of course there is the ever important task of fixing the watermaker that has to be done first after arrival. I think I can do it in a few hours of effort. If I cannot, we are in real trouble since this atol is as short on water as can be imagined. I expect to be successful. Stay tuned. FYI we have about 125 gallons of water on board and we aren't wasting it. If the watermaker gets fixed though, we are taking showers!
Distance to go 81.5 nm Trip Log 15184 Solar 65 AHr (1.7 kWhr)