Sunday 25th April
After a very very rolly night we were all
wishing the time away so that we could just reach the idyllic atoll that we've
spent the last few days reading about. Because we'd had good winds we'd arrived
too quickly so we really had to slow ourselves down in the early hours
of the morning and for the rest of the day too, we were tootling along
at 4 knots with just a smidgen of sail out. Amy spotted land at around
09.00 but unfortunately we had to sail the entire length of the island to
enter through the pass at the south west corner - it's always the way!
We had emailed a friend of the rally, a
retired French Naval officer named Xavier a few days before arriving as he lives
on Manihi most of the time and had some good advice on entering the atoll. He
kindly offered to meet us outside the pass and guide us in all the way to the
anchorage. We actually met him around an hour before high tide but he assured
us the pass would be fine to enter then so we took his word for it and
followed very very close behind him and Blue Magic.
Amy was at the bow with the polaroid
glasses on keeping an eye out for any isolated coral heads and Paul was
obviously on the helm concentrating very hard on not to deviate from the route
that Xavier was taking us, although he was going very quick we struggled to keep
up with him. The depth guage read 3.4 metres from the water line of the boat
which only left 1.2 meters of water below us. Because the water is crystal clear you can see all the coral and
rocks below and they appear to be much closer than they actually are. The whole
process went very smoothly and we're now safely anchored in a very picturesque
spot inside the lagoon. Pure bliss!
Not long now - Manihi just a
few miles away
Following Blue Magic through
the narrow pass - this was the nail biting part!
To the left and right of the
pass - very shallow coral beds!
A pearl farm..............the
locals coming out to meet us
A happy Paul at anchor and the
very kind Xavier and Fernando who lead us right in to the anchorage
anchor.................A beautiful sunset over Manihi
Whilst having a well deserved
drink on board Blue Magic we were invited to a beach BBQ by a Danish boat.
There are 5 other boats in the anchorage and all were attending so we thought
"why not"! We keep recognising the same boats as we're making our way around the
world so it was nice to finally talk to the people on board and we had a
fantastic evening with them. There were Danish, Swiss, German, Alaskan and
us all sat around a campfire and it was great. A fire was lit and there was
enough wood to keep it going well into the night, if you closed your eyes and
have a good imagination it was almost the same as being sat around a
campfire back in the UK!
Me and Chrissy relaxing whilst
Paul and Mark do the cooking!
Relaxing around the fire after
dinner..............Mark and Paul with a local man who joined in the