North Fakarava 5/31/07 2:00PM (Ginger)
We left the south pass on the morning of Peter's birthday and sailed north. We anchored 14 miles up the lagoon off a couple of small coves over a sandy bottom. Though we could (barely) see the anchor at 35 feet the visibility was significantly reduced from the fantastically clear water at the south pass. In years past we've gone hiking or snow camping or something appropriately outdoorsey and fun for Peter's birthday. This year it was his choice to move anchorages or stay put but frankly it's
hard to beat a south pacific atoll for a birthday location. Peter got a fish dinner, the last carrots and a chocolate "wacky cake" for his birthday dinner. We heard from another boat that they had made a wacky cake and I looked up the recipe to find that it's an egg less cake. Since we were saving our last 2 eggs for bread it was nice to be able to make a cake without, and a fine cake it was. Peter opened his cards and his birthday emails and has reported that it was a great birthday.
We stayed at our half-way anchorage for a day exploring ashore and trying our luck at fishing for varo and looking for the wily coconut crab. We saw lots of holes in the sand which should indicate varo but the only creatures interested in our bait were the small black tip sharks circling our project. We gave the fish bait to the sharks and moved on to the beach to check out the coconut crab holes. We found a spot where there were about 20 holes in the ground, like a gopher city. We heard that
the locals reach into the hole and pull out the crabs as they can't open their claws inside the hole. Neither of us was interested in reaching up to our armpits into a hole with unknown residents (there are rats on these islands too!) so Peter tried a little digging which didn't go well as most of the "dirt" here is full of large coral chunks. All the creatures on the island were left safe and sound and we even fed a few mosquitos willing to brave the DEET repellant we were wearing.
This morning we had a great sail to the village of Rotoava at the north end of Fakarava. Fakarava is unusual because there is a marked channel running the entire length of the island. The navigating was extremely easy and all of the reefs were well marked. It was a great to be able to sail the whole way and watch the palm trees fly by at 5 knots. We've heard there's a great "snack" here which is actually a nice restaurant. We might check that out but our priorities are butane, diesel, veggies
and then restaurant. We are anchored near another boat who already sold us a dozen eggs so we're set for eggs now! The biggest news is that there is a garbage can on the dock. We haven't seen one of those since Hiva Oa, April 28th so we're going to take advantage of the "big city" amenities.
Labels: 2007 - 04 - 06 French Polynesia