Crew change and south Fakarava

Manuel Ribeiro
Fri 11 May 2018 07:06

The time has come for Ze to return to “the institution” (ie. back to the routine at home) and for Pedro to get onto the next phase of his journey, sailing to Australia on board ENIGMA, with Peter and Jeff. A nice farewell dinner served on ANIMA, “massada de peixe” (fish stew with pasta) and the change of the guard took place on the 2nd May.


A few days earlier, we made the trip to the airport by dinghy to confirm that there is a nice dinghy dock just next to the airport terminal, perfect to drop and collect friends. The crew change was easy, with Ze leaving on the same plane that brought Luciane and Rubens from Tahiti. One flight a few days per week is all the movement that shakes the airport…


A couple of days for the new crew to get their sea feet and we sailed to the south pass, 35 NM away, at the opposite extreme of the atoll. Here we met friends from other boats we had come across before: Element, Exocet Strike and Betty Jane. Snorkelling and scuba diving in the south pass is excellent, with lots of life *reef, sharks of diferente types, napoleon fish, etc). The dive starts in the outside of the pass and we get carried inside by the strong current, while the dinghy follows us on the surface, like a well behaved puppy on a leash. 3 times we enjoyed this experience and would do more, but time to get on, back to north Fakarava.


Half way up the atoll, we stopped at Pokokota yacht services, a very pleasant gathering point for sailors. As we explored the shore around, we met Teiki, a Marquesan who has been living in Fakarava for many years collecting “copra” (dried coconuts, sold for oil production). We went spear fishing and came back with a good load of fresh fish, which we cleaned and ate some, freezing the rest. Great sashimi and “poisson cru”, again…


We had an excellent dinner ashore, cooked by Agnes and Mathew (who own Pakokota services), together with Julia and Stuart, from DESIDERATA. This is a classic sailing boat, adapted for cruising but with lots of racing stories to talk about…


Today we will anchor again close to the airport and will try to dive the north pass tomorrow, as the time for the next crew change gets closer.