What a weird feeling… We woke up this morning to a completely still boat, I walked up the companion way steps, and walked off the boat! (And I wasn’t going for my morning swim either…) We made it through our first motu pass yesterday. The three other boats we have been traveling with for a little while, Ceilydh, Whacha gonna Do, Britiannia and ourselves all got here yesterday. Ceilydh actually was able to make the pass the night before, while the other three of us had to heave to, drift, whatever to wait for the next current cycle. Entering one of these atolls is kind of like shooting some of the larger passes up in BC. Currents usually run at over 5 knots, sometimes upwards of 10! I think we saw something around 4-5 kts, and that was within an hour of slack tide. Cute lauren was a little stressed as she had never seen current more than what passes by the west point bouy, but we made it without any issues. The other two boats, which made it in around the 4:30 AM slack were on the pier cheering us on..
After making the pass, we were rewarded with lush aquamarine and turquoise water surrounding the coral. Lauren being an artist and someone who is literally moved by colors, was in heaven. We also saw that where was a huge, quite new, concrete dock here that cruising boats were tied up to. We initially anchored because there were two other boats here that were going to depart later in the evening. We got the hook down and I immediately dove the anchor, happy that the visibility was awesome, probably somewhere about 50-75 feet. The bottom here is not great, a layer of sand over a hard coral/rock bottom and there are coral heads to snag the anchor and chain everywhere. Our trusty Rocna had snagged one of the coral heads, but was not actually dug into bottom anywhere and the chain was besides several other coral heads. This isn’t anything to worry about now, but if we were to swing on our anchor, it is quote easy to literally tie your chain around one and make getting your anchor up very tough without diving, let alone you can loose a large portion of your catenary as well. After all of the this, we ended up snorkeling the reef just outside the wharf with the other boats and saw a ton of trumpet fish, smaller reef fish and finally healthy, living coral!
Just before sunset, we hard a commotion on the dock with locals sending off the two boats that had been on the dock and we immediately got our anchor up (luckily without problems) and moved over to the wharf. We were both pretty tired after the 3.5 day passage and after chatting with our friends for a bit, crashed hard. I did have some time to play the electric guitar on loan from a friend right now before bed though. I am slowly learning how to play right now, and while I have a small acoustic on the boat, it is fun to plug in and play the electric as well. Playing Rage against the Machine on an acoustic just sounds a bit funny! 🙂
Anyway, just had French baguette toast with bread from the local bakery and I think it is time to relax, hang out with the other boats and finally get into town and explore!