dangerous tuomoto archipeligo

tony zwig
Thu 31 May 2007 09:05




We are now approaching this group of atolls.  They are 85 miles away and we should pass them in 10 hours, about 7:30 local time tomorrow morning.  Given they are just atolls, they do not stick up above the water, not even enough to be picked up by radar.  GPS makes positioning ourselves easier, but the challenge is to account for the inaccuracy and imprecision that creeps into all the charts and hence, their location of the atolls.  We have plotted a course to widely skirt the most northwesterly one, Mataiva, by 15 miles.  This should keep us clear of the whole group.  I have read that some sailors thread their way through the atolls, but we’ll go this way.

After the Tuomoto waypoint, we will have another 180 miles, so the land fever is scorching.  Discussions include questions about cutting the corners closer.  Talk also includes concerns that we will not be permitted in bars because our wobbly landwalking will make us look drunker, than we will be, or for a while any way.  Suddenly, all the Tahjitian guidebooks are being attended to with new intensity. 

Dave cooked salmon with fusili and tomato sauce.  Superb choice as always.

We caught a fish but it was thrown back, after the fish book said it  would not taste very good.

The heat is also scorching.

It is another magical night; the full moon illuminating the ocean’s foam set up by the sea meeting Babelfish, the waters rushing by the hull, seeming to race us to our destination; and every wind shift felt as fresh almost sweet air, on the face.  All this while flying along at 8.5 knots with a double reef. 

As I write this, I feel even more fortunate to be experiencing this scape, as I think on two friends, Johnny and Richard, who I read, have passed away this week.

Stay tuned; soon, (hopefully Friday) we will encounter Brando’s Island.  I wonder what spirits reside there.