Waters of life
06 October 2016 | Tahanea
We finally had to say au revoir to Fakarava and in a sunny day, with light winds we sailed to Tahanea. Our friend Gerry Mosel came from Hawaii to sail with us. We spent our last days in Fakarava anchored in front of Pakokota, a small pension owned by a super helpful and delightful couple, Mathiew, Agnes and their beautiful 7 months old daughter. We had dinner ashore with them one night, and next day Agnes took me by car (yes, there are cars in Fakarava) to Rotoava, the village in the north pass. I needed to get fruit and veggies, and most important, ice cream. Agnes drove while I held the baby who promptly fell asleep. Pakokota is a lovely place to be. The water is clear, the bottom is sandy and it is reasonably protected from the strong winds. It is a lovely place to come back to and I was so sad to leave. However, we are in another spectacular atoll, anchored in waters that are crystal clear, with white sand bottom teaming with fish and there is only one other boat in the anchorage. The atoll in uninhabited, there was a village here once, and it is a national park. We left Fakarava in the late afternoon, and sailed overnight, a distance of 80 miles only. I took the first watch, uneventful, light winds (from 12 to 16knts) unfortunately coming from the direction that we wanted to go, and we had to tack at the end of my watch. In the middle of the night, Jerry hove to in order to slow down our progress as we couldn't come into the pass until daylight. That is a very important rule that we follow, always arrive in a pass in daylight and come into the pass at the lack tide. Ooops, we miss the tide in this one. There is no tide table for Tahanea and we tried to estimate using the Fakarava table but we were off in our calculations. The tide was already going out and there was a 3 to 4knt current already running. Today we took the dinghie and went for a snorkle in the west pass. We intended to do a drift snorkle but the tide was still slack when we got there. However, the snorkeling was gorgeous. We were right on the drop off and there was a lot of fish, big and small, a few sharks on the bottom, and a manta ray, graciously swimming below us. The waters here are even more beautiful than Fakarava. One can spend weeks here, exploring the inumerous motus (islets) and soaking in the turquoise healing waters. It clears your body and your soul of all the crap we carry with us. Unfortunately we need to keep going towards Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas and we need to take advantage of the weather window that we have now. Tomorrow morning early we sail to Makemo, another atoll just 45 miles from here. We will overnight there and in the following day we say au revoir to the Tuamotus and sail to Nuku Hiva, which is about 480 miles from here. I will update when we get to the Marquesas, or in Makemo if we get internet connection. Aloha to all.