Friday, June 8, 2012

Fakarava village (Rotoava)

Our timing for transiting the 30-mile lagoon of Fakarava was rather unlucky, although I can't say we hadn't been warned (by Chris of Ladybug). We sailed off the anchor at Hirifa soon after sunrise. Within an hour the wind had died down and backed to the NW, our intended direction of travel. But we were committed, so we reluctantly started the engine and continued up the marked channel. We met a number of southbound boats along the way, and passed several suitable anchorages. As we neared the village of Rotoava, near the north pass, we saw the most development we had seen in the Tuamotus. I guess the designation of "biosphere reserve" was helpful to real estate developers! And then we spotted a forest of masts in the harbor - 20 boats, the most we had seen since Nuku Hiva. We had no sooner gotten the hook down near our friends Ed and Fran on Aka, when dark clouds began to gather on the horizon. After motoring the entire day without wind, we were now faced with a 20-knot squall. That's not a lot of wind, but it was coming from the southwest, meaning a lot of fetch upwind of us, and consequently large wind waves were soon causing us to hobby horse like crazy. Time to deploy the 40' snubber suggested to us by our friends on Sequoia. It was not a great night but we did get to sleep. The next morning the winds had backed somewhat to the SSE, so we weren't directly exposed to the wind, but there were plenty of refractory waves. At this point I was ready to get out of Dodge, and that's just what Aka did - raised their anchor and made for Tahiti. But I needed to put in some time on the Internet, so we decided to tough it out, and eventually conditions improved somewhat. We rowed ashore and got fresh baguettes and a great selection of produce (yes, that's Vicki's arm in the photo - she insisted that I crop the rest of her out!). In the afternoon, Blue Rodeo and Gato Go showed up, and we had an excellent potluck dinner on Blue Rodeo. Today, our second day here, really made us glad we stayed. We got up early and scored croissants, pain de chocolate, and beignets from the bakery. Later, we rented bikes and covered the 20 kilometers of paved road on the island. And we thought Holland was a great place to bike - this has got to be the world's flattest road. Fakarava has some of the cutest homes and nicest vegetation in the archipelago. Here's our table at my new favorite restaurant. Tomorrow, we'll head out through the North Pass and make a short crossing to Toau (pronounced "Toe - Ow"), along with a flotilla of Cruising World chartered catamarans. We'll either go through the pass into the main lagoon, or vie with the flotilla for a mooring ball at the unique harbor of Anse Amyot. More on that in our next installment,which probably won't be until we get to the next Internet connection in Tahiti, in about a week.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Hi you two, Nice Blog.. my first visit. Glad to hear you're doing well. We are home for the summer, having left Shannon in La Paz. We'll be back to her in October. Take good care.. and thanks for sharing.
Carolyn & Kathy
SV Shannon