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decisions in the tuamotus

Posted by on October 18, 2013

July 8 – 9, 2013

Deciding when to leave Kauehi, and which atoll would be our next, was a difficult task. 

Fakarava was our most desired choice.  Snorkeling Fakarava’s south pass was supposed to be spectacular with many sharks swimming along with you.  However, we received word that there was a Dengue Fever epidemic in Fakarava, and a couple we know from one boat had contracted it.  If we were to put ourselves at a greater risk for exposure to Dengue, and then fall ill, not only would we feel terrible, but we would be rendered useless for weeks until we got better.  We weren’t willing to take the risk, especially with having kids onboard.

Apataki was another choice.  Steve on s/v Liward was not only a musician, but also an avid surfer.  He was looking for a great wave, and he wanted Wil to join him in Apataki for the next swell that would be rolling in.  While Wil wanted nothing more than to have a great surf session on a world class wave, the weather was our biggest dictator.  Going to Apataki meant timing the tides, so we could exit Kauehi and enter Apataki during a reasonable daytime hour.  We also needed lower winds for pass entrances.  More strong winds were on the way, and if we went to Apataki, we would get ourselves stuck there for at least two weeks.  Being stuck in paradise wasn’t such a bad thing.  However, many of our basic food supplies were running low, and we needed to get to Tahiti.

Toau, a small atoll to the north of Fakarava, ended up being our next destination choice.  Toau has a “false pass” on its northwest side called Anse Amyot.  One doesn’t have to time their entrance or exit with the tides and it’s fairly well protected.  The waters in this area are also declared as a national park reserve, so they have an excellent reputation for snorkeling.  The only catch was that anchoring wasn’t allowed, and all of the moorings were taken.  Regardless, we decided we would head towards Toau anyway.  If moorings opened up, then we would stop.  If there weren’t any available moorings, we would continue on towards Apataki.  We knew s/v MacPelican was in Toau, so they could update us as we got closer.

Once we had our weather window, we set out from Kauehi for an overnight passage to Toau.  Our ride out through Kauehi’s pass was loads of fun.  The current was most definitely in our favor.  We hit 10 knots over the ground and thoroughly enjoyed the “rapids”.  It completely reminded us of river rafting!  Once out of Kauehi, we set our course for Toau, and settled in for an easy night’s sail.

Before our first night watch, we received confirmation that there would be moorings available when we arrived.  We were excited about the good news.  By sunrise, we were making our final approach to Toau, and it wasn’t too much longer before we were comfortably on a mooring.  The water was gorgeous and we couldn’t wait to explore this little piece of beauty.

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