Makemo - Sacared by sharks
08 October 2016 | Makemo
Our sail from Tahanea to Makemo atoll was short, just 7 hours which I am glad. The weather forecast turned out to be not what we expected and the passage was rough. Into the wind is always hard and this one was just so. We left early AM, too early for any civilized person, but Captains orders are orders. We put our fishing lines out and soon enough had 2 strikes, one of which took our lure. We put a new lure out and soon enough had a mahi mahi on the line. Unfortunately we lots it as the hydrogenerator was up and in the way for Gerry to handle the fish. After that we had no more luck. We entered Makemo via the west pass, and got in at slack tide. Soon into the pass we had to meander between many coral heads, a few were marked but most were not. We had to keep a good lookout. We were very tired although we sailed just a short time. The pounding of sailing into the wind with the seas coming from every point of the compass really took a toll on us. The anchorage is good and we are the only boat here. There are no houses, except for a copra shed, and we have the area all for ourselves. We all went to bed early to rest for the next leg of the trip. Today we went snorkeling in the other side of the pass. As soon as we got there, a few black tip sharks came to greet us. We soon were in the water surrounded by the black tips and one white tip shark. There were tons of parrot fish, some sort of jack, and lots of colorful tropical fish. The sharks stayed swimming around us and getting closer and closer. I swam many times with hundred of sharks but I was very uncomfortable. This is a remote area of the atoll, visited by very few cruisers and probably no one else. I kept looking back and to the sides all the time. After a while we moved to deeper waters and then all the excitement really started. A bunch of grey sharks came up from below us and towards us, We were surrounded by the greys, black and white tip sharks and they were too close for comfort. As Felipe said, in Fakarava we dove to see the sharks, here the sharks come to see us. Felipe started swimming back to the dinghie after he saw me shrinking into a fetal position. I wanted to have my fins sticking out not my hands or any other part of my body. We jumped into the dinghy pretty fast and did not think of going back. We have been keeping an eye on the weather today, hoping and praying for less wind as we have another leg of sailing into the wind and the sea conditions get rougher with more wind. We hope the forecast holds as our plan is to leave tomorrow (the 8th) to the Marquesas. We are not sure where the landfall will be, it depends of sea conditions, but it could be Fatu Hiva or Tahuata, which are our first choices. I have a few meals cooked already and we are all ready to go, except for rest. We need some zzzzs. I will post from the Marquesas. Aloha to all.