Fakarava S: November 27th - December 2nd, 2011
After a couple of days we leave for Fakarava South, it is said this is the place for drift diving and snorkelling through the pass with hundreds of sharks. No spot like this exist anywhere else in the world so we are really looking forward to! Together with Pacific Bliss we sail through the lagoon, first down to the South East corner about 30nm of mostly close hauled sailing with 20kn of wind, and yet relaxed due to the flat water along the Eastern inside ridge of this huge atol. Daph on the bow doing eyeball navigation most of the time to avoid the occasional coral heads, which all of a sudden show up very close to the surface from 30-40m of depth on average in the atol. They can and will sink your boat, but with good light from behind most can be easily spotted. Many are on the digital charts, many are not, so a constant watch is needed. When we finally arrived anchoring is a bit dodgy , lots of coral heads around so it isn’t easy to drop the anchor at the right spot, i.e. you don’t want to have your chain rapped around them. Anyway, we manage, for security we put a line with a buoy on the chain so the chain will be lifted. It is a beautiful anchorage W of the S Pass of Fakarava!. Anchored here with SY Pacific Bliss and met Chris and Jessica of SY Namasté (American) and Neville (English) and Catherine (Irish) of SY Dream Time
Snorkelling at the pass! See if we indeed spot a hundred black tip sharks…… unfortunately we don’t, maybe we have to dive to see them. We only spot one or two, the visibility isn’t crystal clear but nevertheless, we have a wonderful time with Colin, Cosmo and Zinnia We pick up a dinghy mooring at the beginning of the pass, and one at the end. So we can just drift with the current to the other sight. Amazing how strong the current is. As in a dream you float through the water and see all the beautiful fish, colors and coral. Two days later the whole gang i.e. Colin, Vries, Liz, Chris and Jessica are off for a drift dive where they do see some 100 sharks: black tips, white tips, who rest on the bottom like nurse sharks, and grey reef sharks. It was spectacular.
Daph stayed on board, after her last dive she doesn’t feel comfortable doing a ‘first’ dive here. She is having a lovely time with Cosmo and Zinnia on board Aquamante.
Next day Cosmo presents Daph with a beautiful medallion he made himself out of the shell of a coconut with precious shells and beads glued on it, Daph is delighted.
On two nights we lit a fire on the beach, barbecued sausages and bread on a stick, where you put the sausage in afterwards, played games with Zinnia and Cosmo, and passed the time discussing the meaning of life and our travel plans, which seem to change every five minutes for everyone who's in the cruising game.
While everybody is chatting around Cosmo is checking out the area behind the beach. And was he right doing so, he spotted a coconut crab! A coconut crab is living on the land, between the palmtrees. They dig themselves in the ground and come out only during the evening. It is very rare to spot them. We are all very excited. The coconutcrab is delicious but we don’t touch it, first it is quit small and secondly, we are with too many people anyway.
We are having a great evening. Next day Pacific Bliss shall leave heading towards the Marquesas for the big festival at Taiohae, Nuku Hiva. What a pity we will miss it……. Zinnia stayed over at our boat that last night, as we had already had Cosmo stay over a couple of weeks earlier, We are going to miss them! We decide to leave one day later. Together with Namasté we head for our next atol, Tahanea, some 50 nm SE of Fakarava.