Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rotoava, Fakarava

Yesterday, we sailed from the south end of the Fakarava atoll and the tiny village of Tetamanu to the north end (about 30 miles away) and the village of Rotoava. The winds were light for almost the entire way so we had to run the engine but that gave us additional energy to run the watermaker and fully charge the batteries. There's a very good system of markers that line the channel from north to south, eliminating the need for a person to be perched on the bow looking out for coral heads. There were frequent rain showers sometimes eliminating all visibility while at other times the sunshine was very intense. The channel was a little crooked in places and at times less than 800 feet from the shore - which is stunning with thick groves of coconut palms and the almost-clear water.

As we motored through the anchorage, Angus on the sloop Periclees pointed out that there was an available mooring just behind his boat. It was an unexpected bit of good fortune as a mooring eliminates the possibility of getting our anchor and/or chain fouled on a coral head, which around here is always a major concern. It's kind of like getting an upgrade from a camping spot to a free hotel room.

The village here is larger than most villages on the atolls. There's even a stretch of street that is concrete but none of the cross streets warrant stop signs. With three grocery stores we were able to buy many of the provisions of which we were running low although one store was out of eggs and none had any fresh produce. Hopefully, when the supply ship comes on Thursday, we'll be able to stock up on fruits and vegetables but we've been warned that they usually go very quickly. This morning I made an early run to the boulangerie and went wild buying fresh croissant, pan au chocolat, bread and other pastries. Here, too, we had been warned that everything would be sold out if I arrived after 0700.

I'm guessing that we'll probably leave here on Friday (superstitions notwithstanding) and head for Toau Atoll which has the Anse Amyot on the north end - many cruisers say this is their favorite anchorage in all of the Tuamotus. From there we'll either continue north to Apataki or perhaps head west to Tahiti. The adventure continues.
At 5/25/2011 6:07 PM (utc) Rutea's position was 16°03.58'S 145°37.30'W

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