So, we spent 6 days at Tahanea. It was as I said extremely beautiful. We snorkeled with Moondance on the coral head behind the boat. Pretty amazing! Only saw one shark, but tons of other fish. Probably the best snorkel spot I have ever been at. Seems like we crammed a lot of activity into about 4 days, then spent the last 2 days on the boat waiting for some weather to pass thru. The boys went lobstering twice. The first night's catch was combined for all boats in pasta at the birhday celebration for Antoine (turned 13). The second catch we shared with Moondance. That was a yummy dinner - arrachera (from mexico), fried parrotfish appetizers (caught fresh off the coral head by Josh that afternoon), lobster in garlic and butter and green salad. Yep, it is all about the food!!! Dennis and Doug did a drift dive thru the pass one afternoon. Both said it was fabulous. The weather came the next day, so Josh and I missed our turn.....
June 7th -- had an uneventful trip out the pass on our way to Faaite, our intermediated stop on the way to Fakarava. Had a good sail and were safely anchored outside the pass at Faaite by 4pm. We had heard mixed reviews about the anchorage, but for us it was pretty nice. We were up before the sun on Wednesday. It is only 12 miles from Faaite to the southern pass here at Fakarava, but we needed to catch the slack before 0800. The waves and swell were a little intimidating on the approach to the pass, but once we got lined up we passed the breakers through smooth water. Lots of coral heads to miss in here, so pretty interesting getting to the anchorage. All set by 0900. After breakfast and little naps, we put the dinghy in the water to go exploring. We are anchored on the south side of the pass, the bottom has a lot of sand with good holding. The motus are pretty and the beaches actually have some sand. We went to the north anchorage (a long dinghy ride) to check out what little civilization there is here - 2 dive outfits and a pension. We met Calou at shore, so Josh and Francois were able to hang out for a while. The dock attached to the pension is really cool - kinda like pictures you would see of Bora Bora. The buildings are on stilts in the water, with walkways to shore. The enclosed little lagoon is like their own personal aquarium - full of sharks! So yeah, lots of sharks here. Supposedly the marbled grouper are going to spawn here at the full moon (the 15th) and will be a feast day for the sharks. Sounds like sharks come from miles around to get their fill. We have seen black and white tip reef sharks, and hear there are tiger sharks and grey sharks.
Thursday the 9th was a clean up cooking day on Evergreen. I made banana nut muffins and my first loaf of white sandwich bread. We also cleaned up inside. Was nice to have a clean boat for a little bit. That afternoon we met Moondance on the beach at the leaning palm motu for happy hour and bocce ball. Scattered a little more of Steve to toasts and good memories. Made it back to boat just ahead of the rain!
Friday - got up early today to do a drift dive with the hooka thru the pass. Was pretty nice. No sun, so visibility could have been better, but saw lots of fish and no sharks. I was surprised actually, I expected to see them all around. While Josh and Doug were down, I saw a 4-5 foot manta ray doing flips out of the water. Pretty cool. We also saw medium sized marbled grouper. Tonight we are having a bbq here on Evergreen with Moondance, then tomorrow we will head up to the north anchorage about 30 miles from here. There is a channel that we have to follow, so won't be hard, just have to pay attention. There is an intermediate anchorage that we may stop at, but Josh is anxious to catch up with Calou (they left yesterday for the north anchorage) so we will see.
Overall continues to be much cooler than expected and not as many bugs as expected. Neither are bad things, but I wouldn't mind a little more sun. The water is warm, so it is easy to get into (at least it is if there aren't 6 sharks circling the boat - note to self- don't throw fish guts into the water right next to the boat, the sharks are quick learners and slow forgetters).
Had a big power yacht come into the anchorage on the north side of the pass on Wednesday. We heard they have 27 crew. They of course have a huge tender and jet skis. We planned a bonfire with the other boats here in the anchorage that night, and had to change locations as the yacht's crew had raked the beach in preparation for some "do" on the beach on Thursday. Can't believe they didn't invite us, what with all their comings and goings you would think it would be the polite thing to do, but alas no...... Makes you wonder.... Oh well, I'm sure we have more fun anyway.
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