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.