I have not posted for a while and much has happened. I have lots of new pics but no real internet access so this is a quick update until I can post more images to tell the story better.
We left Pape'ete and headed back into the Tuamotus Archipelago with some sense of relief as the Covid19 numbers were growing fast in Tahiti. We and our friends on Pitufa
had hoped to get to Toau but the wind did not cooperate so we made an uncomfortable upwind passage to Apataki. There was not much going on there but it was a good place to self quarantine for a couple of weeks before moving on to other Covid-free islands.
When we got a break in the wind we headed down to Fakarava expecting a busier, more commercial atoll but were pleasantly surprised by its laid back charm. The town of Rotoava was fine, with a great little harbor and some useful general stores, but our favorite place so far is Harifa, a Motu down in the SE corner of the atoll. There is no snorkeling there but it is very beautiful and incredibly well sheltered from the prevailing winds. The picture is Janaki doing 'laps', something we try to do every day. As you can see social distancing is not a big problem....
We were there for about ten days practicing just hanging about (not our natural state), exercising and birdwatching, but we now have a spell of calmer weather and we have gone down to the Fakarava South Pass to dive and snorkel. This is a world famous spot, mainly for the sharks, and it did not disappoint. There are LOTS of sharks but there are also masses of other fish and great coral. We will stay here until the wind gets up next week then head back up to the town to shelter and reprovision. This is probably a six hour sail as the atoll is over 30nm (60km) long.
After that - who knows? We are keeping an eye on the spread of Covid19 and will try and stay one step ahead of it but we are not thrilled with French Polynesia's half-baked containment plans so we are sadly expecting it to spread throughout the islands. If/when it does things are going to get tricky. There are extremely limited or no medical facilities in the more remote areas. I guess we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. We are very self contained and can go remote for several months if need be.
Unfortunately we do get enough Internet to get the world news and, much as I would like to ignore what is going on 'out there', it has the same horrific, compulsive draw as a traffic accident that you cannot look away from. It feels somewhat immoral to be sitting here watching it all go down from afar but that's where life placed us when it hit the fan. Please stay safe and resolute wherever you are.
Enough for now. I will post some more distracting pictures when we get back to town.