Friday, June 25, 2010

Goodbye Tuamotus, Hello Tahiti

Tuesday, June 15, 2010, At Sea (Kathi)

We spent a few delightful days in the south end of Fakarava atoll, which is rightfully renowned for its fantastic underwater life. Snorkellers can drift on the (incoming) tide, via the pass through the enclosing reef, over the luxurious coral and other aquatic life. There are all kinds of fish. And, all kinds of sharks.

 Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right...
I don't mind the big lazy ones snoozing on the bottom. But the busy hunting ones, small and large I'm "a'skeered" of. The water level on reaches a few feet above the coral, so it can be unnerving whilst you are paddling along, minding your own business, that a good sized (and well fed looking) shark cruises by in the nearby shallows. There's a small resort there that has docks over the coral filled water. The sharks are buzzing around there too, so you don't dangle your toes over the edge of the dock! Most of the sharks are not very big, maybe 3-4 ft, but that's plenty big enough to take a bite!
We stopped at one small reef to snorkel and a couple beautiful, though aggressive ones went whizzing around the dinghy. We moved on.

We are currently sailing along, broad reaching, the 250mi route to the island of Tahiti. The seas have been very calm, and the wind is moderate, so it's one of our easiest passages so far. The sun sets promptly here at around 5:30. We have a new moon now and the ambient light is dim enough you can see the dark side of the moon setting on the horizon. The stars are glorious and the milky way is really milky. We can still see the Big Dipper to the north, but Orion and Cassiopia is long gone.

There are several other boats in the area also headed to Tahiti, so we really gotta stay awake at night to be sure not to run into them. At most anchorages, there are other boats we know from Mexico.
The weather is warm (and not too humid) during the day and our dark painted boat gets really hot inside. Yuk! Night time is much cooler and more comfortable. Although we don't get much done, because one of us always needs to get their sleep.

We expect to arrive in Papeete tomorrow. There has been a strike of government workers (how French!) that interfered with their weather reporting! Fortunately, we can get US, Fiji and New Zealand forecasts. But the strike has ended so, life can go on.
Well, it's almost dinner time. I gotta figger out what combinations of delicious canned foods to open tonight. Sigh... Fresh veggies are just a day away.
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