Moving north

Anchored off Rotoava, Fakarava, Tuamotus

16° 3' 28.8" S, 145° 37' 14.4" W

Had a very nice two days at anchor about halfway down the length of Fakarava. The wind has turned southerly yesterday, a direction from which the "inside" of Fakarava offers little protection where we were (a bit choppy but not too uncomfortable). So we noved to the northern end, just off Rotoava (the main little town on the island), in order to catch the outgoing tide through the pass at 0630 tomorrow morning and move on to Toau, the next atoll to the north. We've heard that Toau has great snorkeling and diving (and better protection form the south). Had a bit of an adventure this afternoon, when tried to anchor "outside" Fakarava, off its northern "shore" (in order to get better protection from the southerly chop). The spot looked good on the chart (5-10m) but we couldn't find any suitable sandy spots to drop our anchor between the coral there. Hence, we came back through the pass into the atoll. this time against a 15-20kn southerly wind that blowing against a 1-2kn incoming (i.e. south setting) tide. That made for 15 bumpy and wet minutes, nothing to serious though. As it turns out, the anchorage here of Rotoava is not bad in current conditions and this way we also got a chance to see the little town. As an additional bonus, we can get fresh baguettes before leaving for Toau tomorrow morning (the bakery opens at 6am)..

Btw... we're just reading "Treasured Islands" by Lowell Holmes, an account of Robert Louis Stevenson's ("Treasure Islands") travels in the South Seas. In the late 19th century he sailed on a chartered schooner also from Nuku Hiva to Fakarava. Apparently, they had a local copra farmer among the crew who piloted the ship through the pass into Fakarava - and freaked out the captain in the process (pre-GPS days..). It's a wide pass, but under sail without charts and with the right amount of turbulence in the pass we can sympathize with the captain... that excitement no longer exists (fortunately for us)...

All is well aboard, stay tuned...

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