30 June 2008 | South Pacific
Today was pretty nice sailing. Seas were still a little big and the wind was stronger than predicted at about 20 knots but we were moving along at about 10 knots and not slamming too much. There were still squalls in the area and a couple hit us but we double reefed the main and jib to slow down and let a really big one pass in front of us. It was making its way west across Takaroa as we approached.
Takaroa was beautiful. We sailed into the lee of Takaroa and the seas went from 10 feet to 0 feet but the wind stayed in the 15-20 zone. It was perfect sailing! We left one reef in the main to keep the speed down so that we could cruise close to shore and enjoy the view.
The Tuamotus are steep to. The edges of the islands are lined with reefs that dry at low tide and after that they drop off rapidly to several thousand feet. The bottom is also often all coral. We searched for sand spots along the coast looking for a lunch hookup but didn't find any. We also tried the supposed temporary anchorage near the pass but didn't really like that spot either. It was not pretty (kind of industrial compared to the untouched beauty of the rest of the island) and the concrete quay had a big freighter on it.
Takapoto is just 5 miles south of Takaroa so we continued on. We cruised Takapoto also and found it just as lovely. There are two villages on Takapoto and no pass. This supposedly make the lagoon even better for pearl oyster production. There is an anchorage marked off the northern most of the two villages but we found a spot a little north of that to anchor.
We anchored in 40 feet and put out 200, which had us laying back into 150 feet of water. It is tricky anchoring in the lee of these atolls. It is very hard to find a sand spot and even if you do settled conditions are a must.
Our anchorage was amazing. We jumped in for a snorkel and marveled at the 100' visibility and amazing coral everywhere. Nobu saw a black tipped shark and a green moray free diving. It was a refreshing swim in the sapphire 84 degree water. I checked the starboard prop to make sure that it wasn't going anywhere soon and it looked good.
Hideko made dinner and we enjoied some wonderful oranges from Fatu Hiva for desert. When the sun set the anchorage was as wonderful as by day. Only the water lapping on the reef and more stars than I have ever seen.
Nobu says: "I had a great time free diving in the wonderful coral"
Hideko says: "I thought we left paradise in Fatu Hiva but here we are again!"