Thursday 29th April
We'd spent hours, no, days is more accurate,
discussing with Blue Magic when would be the best time to leave Manihi and when
would be the best time to enter the pass at Rangiroa. There's 120 miles between
the two islands so at 6 knots it should take 14 hours - we'll have to motor as
there isn't a breath of wind here! It was all planned and then suddenly it all
fell apart when Raylah, Camomile, Gaultine and Norsa arrived. Paul and Amy
dinghied over to Raylah to merely take them a piece of paper with some
information on Manihi so after an hour or so of them not returning I wondered
what was going on and began to swim over. I discovered them at 11.30 drinking
Gin and Tonics! Mark and Chris managed to tear themselves away to get ready to
leave whereas we took a bit more persuading and even ended up tucking into our
fresh bread which Fernando had just delivered for our journey.
Amy had been saying all day that she didn't
want to leave, she'd been finding one excuse after another. And when a couple of
people she'd met came by and tried to persuade her to stay and even offered her
a place on their boat I did feel sorry for her but not for long as I wanted to
leave. Right at the last minute something changed in Paul and he also decided
one more night in this beautiful atoll wouldn't do anyone any harm. And I
think the idea of sundowners on Gaultine and possibly being able to get in
on Raylah's chinese takeaway might have had something to do with the change of
We'd watched two yachts attempt to pull
up their anchors yesterday and they were stuck around the coral heads as was
Blue Magic so we planned ahead and Simon from Raylah dived down to have a look
at ours earlier today. Surprise surprise we were stuck too! As Simon wouldn't be
around to help us when we planned to leave we decided the best option would be
to lift the anchor with his assistance this morning and raft up with Enchantress
until we finally left at 16.30 for high tide.
After a few hours of socialising Paul and
Amy set off for a mammoth snorkel/swim and returned over an hour later just
in time to go. Amy has hardly been out the water since she's been here! They saw
a few reef sharks but not much else, the better snorkel was in the pass the day
before where we saw sharks and hundreds of fish, it was like being in an
aquarium! We even watched the locals spear fishing which was impressive.
Whilst Paul and Amy were swimming Fernando stopped off to bring us 3
fantastic shell necklaces that his son has made for us and two Mormon
Bibles, one for us and one for Blue Magic, each with a little note written
inside. We were very touched. The day before Xavier had given Chrissy,
Amy and myself a small porcelain shell from his beach as a memento of him and
his island. I think they enjoyed having us there as much as we enjoyed
being there. It was the kindness of these two men and Fernando's family that
made our stay.
Anyway, back to today and leaving, 16.00
came and we started to get ready to go only to discover that the autopilot
wasn't working - super! After a frantic 45 minutes it was fixed and we were off.
The rule of thumb is not to navigate around these atolls outside the hours of
10.00 and 16.00 and we soon found out why - we couldn't see a thing with the sun
right in our face! But thankfully we made it out safe and sound and soon began
our night sail to Rangiroa.