Richard and Rachel Caswell
Mon 1 Jun 2009 18:41
The island is 12 miles west of
Manihi, and 40 miles WNW of Takapoto. The atoll is about 12 miles long and 7
miles wide at it's widest.There are about 600 residents living around the
atoll on various motus ( small islands). The atoll is heavily wooded with
many coconut trees and other trees too.
There's a big black pearl culture here, and they also harvest copra from the
coconuts. There's an airport here and so we've seen several planes already.
The high school kids go to school via plane monday morning to Tahiti and
stay at boarding school during the week, before returning home in the
weekends. One fellow we talked to, finished his schooling in
Palmerston North, where his brother was living. He says that his grandfather
could comunicate in native tongue quite easily to the Maori elders, as
languages were so similar.
The anchorage here is one of the best protected in the Tuamotos, which is
why we decided to come here. The weather the last few days has been stormy
and blustery, but not too bad when you're in a good sheltered anchorage.
When we left Hiva Oa, there were at least 5 other boats leaving that day
also, but 3 went to Manihi and 2 went to Fakarava, where (as we've been in
radio contact with them), there's at least a dozen other yachts. Our
anchorage is written up in the guide book as being very popular, yet we're
now the only yacht here ! So we feel very lucky as we get tired of being in
a campground and prefer to be away from the masses.
Have been snorkeling near the yacht, but will go further afield today.
Lovely to now be in more diverse coral with different coloured fish and the
clams, which are so striking with their richly coloured lips in vibrant
blues, greens and turquoise.