Mon 17 Jul 2023 04:35
When we woke up in the morning at the dodgy coral anchorage off Faaite, a swell from the south had appeared and was breaking about 20m in front of moonshiner….time to move! Luckily the anchor came up with a few bow dips.
We sailed across the 5NM to Fakarava south pass on the Yankee and arrived for the incoming tide. Quite a narrow entrance with lots of dive boats around. The tide didn’t really pick up until we were well inside and heading between the shallow islands of coral. The depth went as shallow at 3m which when we were travelling at 8kts felt a bit scary.
We anchored just round the corner from the pass. It was the first civilisation we’d seen in a while, little wooden houses built on stilts over the coral with crystal clear water and reef sharks everywhere!
We snorkelled loads in the pass which was really amazing. A big coral bank with an amazing variety of fish, but most of all, the huge groups of reef sharks. We’d take the dinghy to the entrance and drift in with the incoming tide, it was pretty magic to be taken over the reef so quickly without needing to swim.
Lots more boats here and tourists coming for the diving. It’s one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks.
We had a few light wind foil sessions and some more toeing. We met 3 other cats with foil gear which is the first we’ve seen since the Caribbean. Needless to say, Ben wanted to chat gear with them.
On land there was a little village, mostly dive schools and accommodation but the remains of a very old village with a church made from coral!
Yesterday we moved to the north east corner for the night. We lucked out as the little restaurant called ‘Liza’s’ was putting on a roast hog for another party and let us join. There’s a kite school here that operates from a catamaran that’s anchored there for 6months. The couple who own it have an 18month old baby and we saw one of them wing foiling with the baby sat on the front of the board…starting early!
After too much food, we had a little boogey on the beach with the locals and guys from the kite school. The people are all super chilled and friendly.
This morning was the first day I can remember with absolutely no wind. It’s been so windy for so long, it was actually really nice. We motored up the east coast following the marked channel between the coral heads. Completely flat water and lovely beaches with palm trees for 30miles to the north east end where the main town is. It reminded me of the Norfolk Broads but without a pub to pull up to or a bridge to go under.
We’re now anchored at the north east end where we can hopefully pick up a few supplies and more importantly dispose of our rubbish (over 2 weeks worth).