Blog 38. Fakarava.

David Batten
Wed 13 Apr 2016 21:16
Tuesday, 12/04. Instructions to watch keeper's overnight was keep going at 7 knots + which meant motor sailing all night with variable wind direction and speed. We managed to get and maintain an arrival time of approx 2.30pm and at 09.00 we were between Aratika and Kauehi, the latter just visible 10nm away. Perfect timing, well done the watch keepers.

The crew entertained themselves this morning by making up another fishing line with a homemade lure made from a bottle top and empty crisp packet and a spare hook. It was just like nautical Blue Peter and it kept 4 people entertained for well over an hour. In the past, the Skipper has always made a huge fuss about having a fishing line on board and now he is the proud owner of a yacht trailing two long lines off the stern. It could be worse, they could be rods!

As we approached Fakarava and the Northern Pass, we caught up Do Over who were sailing slowly to fill in time until low water. We were motor sailing at 3 to 4 knots with very little wind from the North East and minimal swell, ideal conditions for our first pass. When we were sure of exactly where we were in relation to the entrance, it was down mainsail, in with the fishing lines and a check on the tide and the sea state in the pass. 2.15 local time and with just over an hour of ebb tide to go, we decided condition looked good and we would go in slightly earlier than planned, particularly as the sun was lower than ideal. With all the crew on high alert and the IPad on deck as well as the Garmin, we motored down the magenta line on the Garmin, through the entrance and on to the anchorage off the village on the North. It is a perfect pass to cut one's teeth on and it could not have been better conditions and the cluck meter didn't even register. We anchored in about 24 meters behind several other yachts, none of them on the WARC and were almost immediately joined by Do Over, who came in behind us. No time for an anchor nip, as it was tidy up and then into the water for a snorkel on the rocks by the lagoon side beacon. Some lovely coral and lots of fish and we are looking forward to a good explore tomorrow. After showers, we did celebrate our arrival with a late anchor nip or early 6 o'clockses before an early supper, an excellent lamb dish, (note the absence of fish on the menu), cooked by the Ship's Boy and a very early night.

We are looking forward to Nina's arrival tomorrow and some R and R, well deserved by all the crew, new and old.

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