18 August 2017 | Mopelia
This atoll is reminiscent of the Tuamotus with fringing reef and motus and part of French Polynesia. It is 130 miles from Bora Bora and quite isolated. Not many people stop here due to the pass entrance into the lagoon. We had done some research online from those that have gone before us and read it made every pass we had gone through before look tame. When we arrived in the morning, we soon saw what they meant. It had an outflowing current of 4 ½ knots with overfalls but was very narrow, about 60ft from reef edge to reef edge. We decided to give it a go with full power, knowing there was no turning around. It certainly lived up to its reputation and raised our adrenaline levels. Once through, it was easy to navigate the lagoon around coral heads to the southern end to anchor in azure sands with a pristine white sand beach. This island has to be one of the jewels of the pacific for sure. It was a piece of Pacific paradise where we could wait out the strong winds that were coming our way. The island has about 20 people dotted along an 8km length. They all make a living harvesting copra. A walk down the island led us to meet everyone and get offered coconuts and papaya and what ever else they were growing. We dropped off some groceries to Adrianne and were repaid with a freshly cooked coconut crab. We were anchored outside Hine and Edgar�'s homes and they made us feel very welcome. They even went to the trouble to construct a table and seating for most of the cruisers in the anchorage to come ashore and share a potluck. Hine shared fresh coconut crab and Poisson Cru with fresh fish. Over the first few days, the anchorage filled up with cruisers all here for the same reason �- to wait out the weather. For us it was very pleasant. We finally met up with Matylda again, having not seen them since we left Panama. With 10 boats in the anchorage, it was a great round of cocktails and socializing. But the winds die down so after 10 days of this piece of paradise, it was time to move on.