Arriving in the Tuamotus

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Thu 2 May 2013 03:47
14:27.75S 146:02.71W    Arriving in the Tuamotus:  Manihi:
After a three night / two day trip from Nuku Hiva we arrived at Manihi, an atoll in the north west of the Tuamotus.  In contrast to the towering green mountains and dark water of the Marquesas, these atolls are very different.  Each atoll is an extinct sunken volcano - the centre being a lagoon and the land being a skinny circle of coral reef  islands around it.  The entry into the lagoons is usually through a narrow cut, which can only be negotiated at slack tide due to the screaming currents that race through the cuts with each tidal change.
We arrived at 8am this morning, but had to motor around a bit, waiting for the high tide at 10.30 am. Luckily we had received good tidal information from a retired French naval officer who lives on the island, helping sailors and relaying radio & AIS info. So if any of you have the App called Marine Traffic on your iPads - you should be able to "see" us in Manihi.
While waiting for the tide, Mike discovered a major fresh water leak in the engine room - which on a yacht is a bit of a disaster. With Johns help they found the problem fitting and managed to eventually sort it out.  Water is so precious, as we have to make every drop - so it was a bit depressing to loose so much....and I have a ton of laundry to do.  At the moment, we  cannot use the washing machine while under way as the engine room (laundry) is just too hot (over 50deg) - with the air & water temperature outside both over 30deg C. 
When the time came, Mike edged Time2 through the narrow cut, and following some weigh-points and a good bit of eye-balling, we found a good spot to anchor - looking across a small piece of reef to the ocean.. And what a beautiful place this is ... its exactly like the postcards.  If you zoom in on the map on the front page of this blog, you should be able to see a great aerial view of the lagoon.  Or just check out Google Images for "Tuamotus", and you will get the picture.