22 June 2017
After about a week it was time to move on and after a very quick 3-day passage we arrive at Manahi. It was one of the quickest passages we have had in a long time. We planned on 5 days but we weren’t complaining when it only took us 3 days. Finally we were inside an atoll. We had to wait to get through the pass for a few hours but certainly worth it. Finally the water was calm and the boat stopped moving. The water was clear; we could see the bottom and admire the fish and coral that were underneath the boat. Swimming off the boat was back on the schedule. After a few days in Manahi, we moved on to Rangiroa, one of the largest atolls in the world. The pass was once again a challenge but luckily, it was such that we came in on the still water right beside the standing waves. Quite a sight. We thought we would meander over to the south to see the Blue Lagoon and it took half a day to get there. We were back to our lagoon navigation that we haven’t had to do for some time, which is keep a continuous eye out for bombies; those coral heads that are tall enough to scrape the bottom of the boat or worse. When we got to the other side it was incredibly difficult to anchor, as there was so much coral around. Instead of trying to destroy the coral around us, we decided to head back, but not before we were entertained by a display of 2 Manta Rays frolicking beside the boat. They were the biggest Manta Rays I have ever seen, including when I have been diving so it was great that we both got to enjoy the aquarium around the boat. But we didn’t feel safe on anchor here as due to the coral, so we had to motor sail all the way back. Luckily we made it back just before dark to anchor in amongst the masses. We did get to snorkel on and around an area called the Aquarium, just inside the pass that had a marvelous array of different fish. Certainly one of the better areas for snorkeling that we have seen in a while. I managed to go diving on the outer reef and the pass. Well worth it as the dolphins were up close and personal. For a change the dolphins wanted to play around us. It was truly amazing to be swimming amongst them. I saw dolphins, sharks, turtles and the usual myriad of reef fish. Going through the pass was like a fast ride with no control. The fish and corral just whizzed by us. Schools of fish would hang out in the current as we just passed them by. It was an exhilarating dive where the undersea life flew passed me instead of just meandering by.
After a few days in Rangiroa and catching up with some really slow internet, it was time to move on. We decided to stop at Tikehau as it was on the way to Tahiti. We were fortunate to buddy boat with fellow Australians on Genet Lewe. Once again we got the pass right, given that it can get up to 10 knots. We decided to anchor off the resort, as it was better given the prevailing conditions. A good find was that the resort had internet without a password. Sitting in azure water, with great pink sand beaches made it easy to stay. We did navigate to the end of the lagoon to visit the Garden of Eden This is a religious settlement that lives by the basic tenement of the bible where they believe that all food comes form the earth without the introduction of any manmade chemicals. We came here with the expectation of buying fresh fruit and vegetable but unfortunately they had a bi-annual conference with over one hundred people for the week so all the food they could provide was spoken for. We were given a great tour of the gardens but sadly left with empty shopping bags. We spent a night in the very calm anchorage then navigated the coral bombies back to the Resort anchorage. We spent several days in the area as free Internet does have it benefits in this part of the world. The clear water and clear beaches were also a draw. Once the weather had abated, we decide it was time to move on to Tahiti. We tried to stop on Makatea on the way but it was too much into wind so eventually made straight for Tahiti.