We are at anchor in the lagoon of Manihi Atoll at the northern end of the Tuamotu Archipeligo. Feels good to stop for a bit of a rest after 28 days at sea. After receiving an email from Terry & Elaine yesterday we decided to stop at Manihi instead of Ahe. We had made very good time over the past couple of days and we had to reduce sail to just a fraction of the headsail overnight to make sure we didn't arrive during the hours of darkness. Incredibly we were still doing 5 knots and had to change course to add some distance and we sighted land at sunrise this morning. We arrived a bit early to get the slack water at the entrance pass and needed all of Liseron's horsepower to push our way through against the current. It took us some time to locate a place to anchor, the lagoon is quite deep in places and is riddled with bombies. After wandering around for a while and getting chased out of the little harbour near the main settlement we finally saw another catamaran to the east and moved over towards it and anchored in about 47 feet of water. The lagoon is about 15 miles long and 5 miles wide and seems to have quite a lot of pearl farms scattered about it, built on top of the bombies. The buildings here are quite modern and a lot of them look reasonably new. The supply ship was moored near the entrance to the lagoon when we arrived and a lot of the locals were picking up their supplies etc. We plan on checking out the main town area tomorrow and see if we can locate Fernand, who runs the bakery and can show us around a pearl farm. The girls are keen on acquiring a few pearls so we will have to see what happens.
The hull of the boat is pretty filthy, with barnacles and slime all over it, so the plan is to give it a bit of a clean before we hit the road again. As I was about to send this another catamaran, Ruby Soho, came into the lagoon just on dusk and we were able to assist them to reach the anchorage. We met these guys in the Rio Chagres and Shelter Bay. Have just lit the BBQ and looking forward to a cool drink or two.