Hi all....Guds reporting from the middle of the Pacific ocean, anchored inside the second
largest atoll in the world (still have not figured out which is biggest).
Sorry It's been a while since an update but we have been enjoying finally doing nothing but
relaxing, reading, catching up on school, swimming, snorkeling and researching our route
This atoll is so large you can't see the other side....it's incredible. We initially
navigated through one of 2 entrances into the atoll early on the morning of July 21st.
Since then we have literally chilled for the first time in many months. Up until now it had
seemed like we had been chasing one deadline after another...always rushing to get to the
next place....touch it....move on...repeat. We caught a break when Garrick announced after
a rough passage from Marquesas to here, that he was going to fly out of this atoll on
the 24th. We no longer now had to continue to rush to get him t o Bora Bora. With that
announcement Dave and I took the opportunity to replan our way forward and life has
considerably slowed and quietened down to more of what we had in mind and had dreamed of
for the last 10 years! After spending a few days at the anchorage near the atoll passes, we decided to go and do
some exploring. Yesterday we raised the mainsail, put out Puff, and had a wonderful sail
across the lagoon to the other side of the atoll. We discovered uninhabited "motus",
these little islands that are joined by coral reefs, and make up the ring of the atolls.
We continued close along the inside of the reef, marvelling at the beauty of one motu after
another. Pure white beaches (that we later discovered to be broken coral), Coconut palm trees
and crystal clear turquoise water. We couldn't stop looking at them, and probably took way too many photos!! We often found ourselves saying to each other .... "can you believe what we are seeing".....so few humans have ev er had the privilege of seeing this remote and uncharted part of this atoll. The charts are vague with no details and state "uncharted" so everything is done by sight and watching the depth sounder!!!! Eventually we decided that we would simply anchor and stay here overnight. We could not
resist the urge to anchor off such beauty and in such remote isolation.
(If you click on our "track us here tab" you can see where we anchored. We were somewhat
protected and the wind was not too strong. So we took our time finding a good sandy spot
with no coral heads, and dropped anchor. Dave and Adrian jumped in the water to check the
anchor, and all looked good! Gaby, being the water baby that she is, was also immediately
snorkeling around! We then put the dinghy in the water and headed for shore.
Walking on an uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere was pretty cool! There were no
other footprints, except ours. The hermit crabs came to check us out instead of scurrying
away, and a curious eel type creature came to say hello and nearly gave me the fright of my
life!! Dave and Adrian circumnavigated the motu on foot while the kids and I took a more
relaxed approach! We can't even begin to describe the color of the water...It ranges from
dark blue to different shades of turquoise to almost white. This is by far the clearest water
we have seen thus far.....Simply stunning! After our excursion we had G&T sundowners on deck and watched the sunset. We could hear the
ocean breaking on the reef, and it was nice to know we were safely anchored inside the reef.
After our fish dinner, the stars came out, and it was the most spectacular view of the stars
and milky way we have ever seen with the boat being so stable and no ambient light from any
other boats or a village. We thought what we saw when we were sailing across the Pacific was
amazing, but last night we literally had an arch over us...stars from one horizon to the
other. We had to throw in a bit of education and identified planets and constellations! :-)
Now it is morning and we are sipping our coffee and contemplating the days' activities. Bacon
& egg are on the breakfast menu :) We will probably continue heading down the edge of the
atoll for a while and then sail back to the other side to another remote anchorage for
tonight. But then again, we may not.... :-) We are enjoying our new, less stressful, slower
paced approach to cruising and allowing the day to unfold without to much structure ;)
All the best from Cool Runnings!!!!!! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.