So, again, in theory, we should have left on Rangiroa's slack high tide, which was at 10:00am...however, that would not have given us enough time to sail over to Tikehau and make the 3:00pm slack tide here. So Saturday morning dawned, and the winds seemed calm. We decided just to take the boat over to the pass to see what it looked like. It was about 7:30am when we left, probably around 8:30am by the time we were at the pass. From inside, it didn't look that bad. Dave started motoring toward the pass entrance, and the next thing we knew, the boat was swept along in the outgoing tide, and doing 11.6 knots! Dave says "should we just go?" and Adrian and I just say "yes"!! While it was a little hair-raising, it only lasted maybe 30 - 45 seconds (but seemed like forever!) because the tide was so strong and just swept us out! We had to crash over a few standing waves, and then we had cleared that pass! Phew!! The first part of the trip over to Tikehau was a bit bumpy, but then as we cleared the top of the atoll and were able to change course toward Tikehau, we had a great reach over in about 15 knots of wind.
We arrived at Tikehau at around 2:30pm. Perfect, we thought! We could enter on the 3:00pm slack tide and we would be golden. Well...Dave's not one for waiting, and while we could see the current RIPPING out, we went for it anyway. I'll admit, this one had my heart pumping a little (ok...a lot!). We were full ball on the engines, with Dave keeping the boat in the center of the pass...coral on both sides. No room for error, or for being swept out the center of the pass. We were doing 1.6 knots through the water...it felt like we were not moving at all. I just remember the roar of the engines and the roar of the water, and I was just willing the boat to go forward. EVENTUALLY we made it out of the main rip tide and we were in the atoll! That was enough for one day...running the passes...not my favorite past time. But the reward is this:
|Cool Runnings at anchor n Tikehau|
|Pink sand and turquoise water|
We were also pleasantly surprised to find a (very slow) WiFi hotspot, so while I have access, here are a few more pictures:
|Uninhabited motu in Rangiroa|
|Updated Hibberd Family Photo!|