February 21, 2021 Back from Toau Atoll…again
21 February 2021 | Toau Atoll
We departed Fakarava for Toau Atoll on January 29 and stayed 1 day short of 3 weeks. Needless to say, it is pretty nice. We spent the first few nights the only boat in the anchorage. From time to time one or two boats would come in for a couple of days and then leave.
We did some exploring around various Motus (reminder: a Motu is a small island in an Atoll), ate coconut jelly and root sponge as well as bottled coconut milk for my morning thirst quencher.
One evening sitting in the cockpit before dinner and I could hear this noise, like rain falling but different. I got up to look around our sun shade and there it was, a rather large and CLOSE Water Spout...heading right over towards Wallis's house! I yelled at Laurie down below and grabbed the camera to take a video...AFTER confirming that it was not going to hit us! It did not miss by much, maybe ¼ of a mile. In fact, it passed over just about where another boat (sv Hanna) had been anchored the day before.
The "rain falling" that I heard was rain I guess in the sense that water was falling from the sky but in reality, it was water pouring back out of the cloud from the Water Spout. If you look closely in the Video you can see the water being sucked up into the cloud. Whether or not there were any fish in there, I don't know; I didn't see any fish falling into the Lagoon. When we first spotted the Spout, it was on the outside of the Atoll. As it crossed over the reef and Motu it partially dissipated until over the Lagoon when it got fired up again.
Not long after; my battery died in the camera. Looking at the video I think that the focusing was not constant as the battery was just about dead. It was not me zooming in and out...I am sticking to that.
Laurie started taking stills and video using her phone as well. As the Water Spout continued off across the Lagoon you could still see the "white water" on the surface even after the "spout" partially dissipated up to the cloud. That was the excitement for the day.
We would see Wallis, the only occupant of this end of the Atoll while we were here, every day or so. We would leave our dinghy at his place and walk the beach. One day when we returned, he met us and handed up a loaf of freshly made braided bread...still hot from his wood fired stove barrel complete with a broiler section. (45-gallon drum)
It was so good that Laurie asked him for baking lessons which he proudly did a couple of days later. Wallis used to be a baker in Papeete and the bread was great!
Another time Wallis went out to catch Lobster and supplied us with his entire catch. It turns out he is allergic to Lobster; he just went for us! Later on, he also gave us a Coconut Crab that ended up on the dinner table...
Near the end of our stay in Toau, friends from Australia on a sailing cat, Nuwam2, visited the anchorage. We did a beach dinner with Wallis complete with fish, veggies and Coconut crab. Lots of fun!
We are hanging out here in Fakarava for a couple of days to finish up some paperwork for our Visa Extension and watching the weather closely. There was supposed to be some "ugly" weather this week but as each day passes it looks like it "may" miss us. It was expected to be 30 knots from the North West and West so Toau Atoll SE corner was not an option. We have shelter from that direction here in Rotoava, Fakarava. We will see what the week brings...
(Check out the Videos on the LINK below!! You will need to "copy and paste" it. Only 4 short Videos, the Water Spout and Laurie baking in a barrel!!) I also just added numerous still photos of all this to our Album.
Quick update from the Tuamotus
29 January 2021
We came back from Toau Atoll 2 days ago to get Internet so we could renew our French Poly residence card. (CDS) It is up in April and since COVID has almost everything shutdown (Countries) we are stuck here for a while.
I did add about 60 new photos to the January Album this morning.
We are heading back to the SE corner of Toau Atoll this morning to hang out and do some boat chores. We will NOT have internet except our little Iridium Go. We do ad "Mini Posts" now to our "tracking page". I cannot add photos to that when using the Go due to limitations.
You can check our whereabouts and the odd post here:
New Year in the Tuamotus 2021
16 January 2021
We arrived in Fakarava after a 2 day sail from Moorea...on one tack! wow. Went through the North Pass at 06:30 and saw a LOT of boats, 30+ in all. What a difference a year makes an of course, most are stuck in FP like us due to COVID. Christmas Day weather was much better here this year than last when we postponed for a day. After Christmas many boats began to depart and we are now down to about 12 as I write this.
After a few days on Dec. 30, we decided to head up to the North West "Dead End Pass" for New Years on Taou Atoll, actually our original destination when we left Moorea. It was a quick sail and we arrived in just 6 hours. After examining 3 different mooring we took one. We ran 2 anchor alarms and a track on the chart plotter the whole time. On New Years Eve the family at the Pension (bed and breakfast type thing) got in their boat and left so we had the whole place to ourselves for the duration. After day 3 we decided to head around to the SE pass and started off but once we go underway we realized we we not getting the winds we needed to arrive in good light (to miss the coral bommies) so we turned around and went back. This time we anchored in about 10' of pure sand with no coral heads, something that is not common around here.
We returned to Fakarava on January 5th taking a leisurely sail around the south side of the Atoll where is is mostly barrier reef and few islets. (Motus)
A few days later we had a opportunity to head to the Marquesas but after 25 miles in confused seas and not making great headway, I decided to turn around. It was not a pleasurable sail with confused seas to 3+ meters from 2 directions. Made good time back to Fakarava though. You can read more on that in our "Mini Blog" that is now part of our "Tracking" with predict Wind. Using the Iridium Go Satellite connection I can send short text only messages as we sail. Photos on that can only be uploaded with a "real WFI" connection.
So today we were getting ready to depart for Toau Atoll SE pass to spend a few days but as I got off the phone speaking with my Grandkids and Birthday wishes, I looked out and we had friends Guy and Yvonne on Nuwan 2 anchoring right beside us after an overnight sail from Ahe Atoll. Guess we are staying to catch up. We are in no rush to go anywhere these days.