25 May 2009 | Apataki - Tuamotus
This is an echo of the previous entry We are back on the northwest corner of Apataki and contrary to the forecast, it blew from the southeast again last night. Our anchorage became choppy and uncomfortable and the anchor chain wrapped around a coral head and ground noisily all night. This prompted a decision to leave for Rangiroa this morning.
The rough anchorage is a startling change from the bliss we have had for the last couple of days here in Apataki. It has been perfectly still and our boat was suspended in the reflection of the sky. The boat was weightlessly hanging in endless blue by day and inky black with countless stars by night. The mirror smooth lagoon runs to the horizon, creating a perfect illusion that we were somehow no longer attached to the surface of the earth.
The snorkeling here is unreal and we have been spending as many hours as possible in the water. Both the boys are turning into fish. Timothy goes deeper and deeper each day and Finn just started diving comfortably and is really proud. I was coming up from a deep dive on the reef and there were both boys swimming underwater with big smiles around their snorkels, it was a great sight. We are anchored by a series of big coral formations that are the perfect depth for everyone. At 5 - 10 feet there are clouds of colorful tropical fish darting in and out of the coral. A bit deeper, there are schools of larger fish and the occasional moray eels and reef sharks.
Australian friends who are very experienced divers took us out to snorkel in the pass. This is where the open ocean flows into and out of the lagoon, the high flow results in crystal clear water, amazingly colorful and varied coral, and a mix of open ocean fish and reef fish. We rowed the dingy out at slack water and snorkeled back through the pass on the incoming tide, drifting with the dingy. It was some of the best snorkeling we have ever done, and very exciting to be diving in the open ocean. Mike brought along a spear gun and shot a 10 pound coral trout. This immediately caught the interest of three, four foot sharks that swam around looking big and scary. We lost count of the number of different fish species, but saw barracuda, spotted eagle rays, a big moray eel and several different kinds of sharks. The coral trout was the centerpiece for a great barbeque that night.
On top of running out of food, we just emptied the starboard water tank. Fortunately (I think) there is an abandoned shack on the beach that still has the rain collection bucket under the corner of the corrugated iron roof. Yesterday we went foraging and siphoned off 10 gallons from the tank and after liberal treatment with chlorine have deemed it safe to drink. I may go back for more this morning.
If we were at home for Memorial weekend, we would most likely be camping in Eugene at a Laser regatta. We both remember it raining every year.