Blog 39. Fakarava.

David Batten
Sun 17 Apr 2016 02:05
Wednesday, 13/4. A catch up morning with crew old and new giving the cockpit floor and deck between the boarding gates and the cockpit a really good clean. It doesn't matter how clean we think our feet are, they seem to leave dirt on the decks. The Skipper's wife is going nuts with trying to keep salt and dirt outside the living areas above and below decks. All fresh water on the boat since leaving Panama has come from the water maker or rain and there is plenty of demand for it, what with drinking, cooking, cleaning, showering, shaving, washing up and laundry. Coming from a country with plenty of water on tap and with electric pumps on board, it is easy to be profligate with it, another thing that gets the Skipper's Wife aerated!

After all the boat jobs we explored the village and visited the Fakarava Yacht Services for Wifi, to arrange a visit to a pearl farm tomorrow and hire of bikes on Friday. We had an excellent lunch at the crêperie and watched Carango come in from the southern anchorage. In the afternoon it began to fill up with more WARC yachts as Barbara Jean and Belafonte arrived from Nuka Hiva. Later on, there was a bit of musical boats going on, as we discovered that a) the supply boat was due in sometime during the night and b) some squally weather was forecast which meant that the boats on anchor might run round in circles and get their anchor chains wrapped the coral heads. This meant that boats in the know moved to pick up one of the few buoys available. We were not aware of the forecast and stayed at anchor and instead, enjoyed a late snorkel. The coral here is the best we have seen to date and the water, although not crystal clear, is so much better than anywhere else we have been and the fish are plentiful and colourful.

Thursday, 14/4. The supply ship came in at about 5.00 am and started unloading immediately. The Ship's Boy and Anthony set off for the baker before breakfast and we decided to move the boat closer to the shore to decrease the dinghy ride at much the same time as a squall appeared from the north west. We did manage to re-anchor just before the worst of the rain and wind, meanwhile the shore party, stranded by the weather, bought what vegetables they the could from the freshly restocked fruit and veg shop in addition to the bread. Then the weather settled again, the shore party returned and the Skipper and Ship's Boy managed to get Carango's outboard motor working. Thank you to: Toby Walker for allowing the parts to be taken from his outboard, Angus for stripping down the outboard and sending the parts to Vicky and Vicky for bringing the parts to Fakarava when she re-joined Carango yesterday. Also very much appreciated are the wonderful Truffa chocolates sent to England from Ibiza at vast expense by The Ship's Boy's sister and transported from England by Tessa and Bridget, thank you so much Sarah and Carriers.

Thursday afternoon and much better weather, we had a fascinating and expensive time at the pearl farm, by which time the anchorage was full of WARC yachts which had come in from various directions.

Friday and 8.00 at the quay to take delivery of the bicycles. Fakarava is pretty flat, so bicycling is a good way to get around and we covered most of the accessible land on this side of the atoll. A thin strip of land with coral on rock on the windward side and a huge lagoon with coral heads near the shore and pearl farms in the deeper waters. There is beautiful coral, lots of small sharks, some seabirds and waders but no visible land birds. A road connects the airport to the village with it's quay and shops then runs to the houses, restaurants, pensions and pearl farms. The palm trees, heavenly smelling flowering shrubs and some very minor patches of cultivation, a wonderful place to visit but not, perhaps, to live.

Well exercised and hungry, we had a really good lunch in restaurant with the red umbrella and then returned to the boat for a snorkel and read. This is the life we all dream of!


Sent from my iPad