Passage to Suwarrow Part 3 - arrival!
17 August 2016 | Bora Bora to Suwarrow
A half hour later, the squall had moved on, and the wind returned to its consistent 15-20 knots from the east. We motored for the rest of the night, in case any other squirrelly squalls happened along. Y the M kept us moving, and Bender kept us moving in the right direction.
In the morning, we were happy to see that the only casualties of the night's excitement had been the broken preventer line, and the pulley for the reefing line, which had disintegrated when the boom had done its second crash-gybe. All that remained of it was one little piece of jagged black plastic that had fallen on the deck. We put up the sails but kept Y the M going as well, to ensure that we would move along fast enough to get us to the pass in daylight.
A few hours later, we spotted Suwarrow: the tops of a few palm trees poked above the horizon, indicating the location of the low coral atoll. We arrived at the pass in mid-afternoon, just about low tide, and motored through the channel without any problems. The current was slight, the water free of standing waves or whirlpools. The charts for Suwarrow are very accurate, and the rangers have marked the one main hazard - South Reef - that sits in the middle of the channel, with a tall stick, so if for some reason you couldn't see the tan and light green colors that signal very shallow water, you would still know it was there. As if to emphasize the point, a brown booby perched on top of the stick, regarding us with mild interest as we went by.
Four days and 700 miles from Bora Bora, we emerged into Suwarrow's placid lagoon, motoring through first deep blue and then turquoise water as we approached the shallower water of the anchorage. Eric dropped SCOOTS' anchor into the sand, and buoyed it with two floats to keep the chain suspended above any coral bommies that might lurk below. Standing on SCOOTS' deck, taking in the amazing colors of this beautiful, remote atoll, we couldn't wait to go exploring....