Tikehau turned out to be just beautiful. It's got a small village and a few small resorts. We spent a couple nights there. Normally, travelling in the atolls' lagoons is nerve wracking because coral heads are scattered around. However, Tikehau has a marked channel most of the way we wanted to go.
We spent our second night at the south end near the Tikehau Pearl Resort. We were the only boat there, and it was just like the postcards, calm, colorful fish, and swaying palm trees. The next morning we reversed our path to exit the lagoon. There was really strong current in the pass. It was so strong that there was a depression in the center of a large whirlpool just outside. It was a pleasant day's trip of about 52 miles to our next anchorage in Rangiroa.
There was a fair amount of current in the Avorutu Pass into Rangiroa. But most dramatic was the extreme turbulence just inside. The outgoing water flows over a sandbank and really piles up. But it smoothed out as we approached the anchorage in front of the big resort near Tiputu Pass.
We circled around some moored boats and prepared to drop anchor. Just as the anchor went down, the throttle jammed and the engine died. We were pretty close to another boat, a reef and the over-the-water hotel, but the anchor grabbed and we stuck tight.
Bill spent all the next day fashioning another solution to fix the throttle.