Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Manihiki

Well, here we are. Made it by 1700, and guess who was in the teeny tiny anchorage? Kwai. Just leaving as it turned out.

So, had a pretty good night, got bumpy again and I saw winds to almost 20kts. But, by 0500 they had died down again, so when I got Josh up for his watch we put out more sail, and kept putting out sail all morning until we had the full jib, stay sail and triple reefed main. We were still making pretty good time even with only 8-12 kts of wind.

We were able to start the water maker as soon as we got behind the island, and will continue making water all night, and all day tomorrow. Plan on giving the batteries a good charge as well.

So yeah, we pulled up to the anchorage about 1630. Kwai was here, and we spent some time trying to figure out where in the heck we were going to put our anchor down. It is a very narrow shelf, that drops off dramatically. Add to that the sea floor is coral and rock and we were not sure what we were going to do. By the time the depth got in the right range, we felt like we were practically on shore. We finally decided to just go for it when a dinghy came from the Kwai. It was Captain Evi. He said we should take the mooring ball they had just vacated and helped us pick up the line. We hummed and hawed a bit, then decided it was the best choice. So by 1700 we were sitting in the cockpit enjoying beers. The Kwai took on its passengers which in and of itself was probably worth all the hassle just being able to watch. A big dinghy came from shore filled with people, pulled up next to Kwai, and people started scrambling off it and onto the Kwai. I have pictures, but the best by far was the hand off of a small child from the dinghy to the Kwai - would be priceless if I had caught it on film. Dennis said it would be called "here catch little joey". The kid was literally tossed from the dinghy up onto the Kwai. Funny unless it was your kid. They are on their way to Raraotonga (Cook Islands) - a 650 mile trip, so we won't see them again. Sure will miss them for their entertainment value.

After all the people off loaded to the Kwai, the big dinghy came by our boat and we were boarded by the health inspector. Josh barely had time to hide his contraband plant. We had hoped to be able to anchor here without dealing with C&I as we really have no desire to go ashore. As it turns out the rat inspection that we paid for in Christmas came in handy. The very nice gentleman (white guy with British and Cooks citizenship) took a copy of the rat inspection, checked our passports and gave us a paper that said we were set to go. Would have taken $30 NZ dollars if we had them, but we didn't, so will have to pay $50 (whatever currency you have) at Suwarrow. Fine with us, just don't send out C&I and make us pay the $55 per person departure tax.

So now we are bathed (the water is so warm) and fed (ham, mashed potatoes and green beans) and quaffing rum drinks (sorry no umbrellas, but hey they had ice!). Smells like popcorn for dessert - YUM!

Moondance should be here in the wee hours of the morning, we will leave the radio and the lights on for them (better than Motel 6). Not sure if they will anchor or tie up to us or what.

Regarding the anchorage. our charts were relatively accurate. The waypoint from Charlie's charts given to us by Moondance, not so much. As I said, there is one mooring ball. Captain Evi also recommended anchoring off the south point. He says there is a spit of sand that goes out about 1/4 of a mile, but would be a rolly anchorage. We are happy here for the time being. Looking forward to a good night's sleep.

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