More time at Fakarava

Published on 15 April 2024 at 19:06

We're still in Fakarava. We did some more snorkelling at the South Pass (more photos attached) but have now moved to Fakarava village at the North end of the atoll, about 30 miles from where we first moored. 


Whilst the surrounding seas are about 1000 metres deep, they are about 15-20 metres deep within the atoll, but with many "bommies", coral outcrops that come right to the surface, that we have to keep a really close look out for. They're not marked on the chart but you can actually see most of them on Google Earth. This atoll actually has a very narrow marked channel from north to south, but great care still required!


We've had a few days of bad weather, with strong wind, and rain squalls, culminating in a massive storm last night - we had gone ashore to eat when the heavens opened. We had to wade through water which collected on the road to get back to the dinghy, and when we did it was awash with about a foot of water that colllected in only just over an hour. Rain is also forecast for the next 2 days before good weather expected to return. 


Amazingly we met another boat which had a rig tension meter on board which we were able to borrow - a very specialised (and expensive!) piece of kit, probably the only one for 1000 miles! But it meant we were able to double check all the work we had done fitting the new shrouds and retensioning the whole rig - and were really pleased that it confirmed we had done a pretty good job. We had one shroud slightly too tight which we slackened very slightly, but everything else, including all the rigging at the top of the mast, was spot on - all tensioned to around 15% of max breaking load. 


We're hoping to find a shop ashore today - not least as we seem to have drunk Dilema almost dry. We only have 3 cans of beer left!!


And we're probably delaying our departure from here due to the weather - whilst the seas are really calm within the atoll, the strong winds have created some really big waves in the surrounding seas. In fact one of the ARC boats has been caught in that, and has lost their genoa and their engine so are now limping direct to Tahiti for repairs.



Whilst we have had our share of boat problems, we are really pleased to have stayed on schedule and not missed any of the destinations on route - of the 27 boats that were supposed to start, one never made the start, another had to drop out (sadly the nicest and fastest boat in the fleet - a big cat that hit a log and ripped the propellor off the bottom of one hull, was able to return to Panama for repair but was then seriously damaged in the boat lift whilst being returned to the water) and another 6 have now had to miss at least one of the destinations. So we reckon we're doing alright!


Just a couple of weeks left now

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Gillian Wiberg
2 months ago

Wow. Incredible photos I do hope that you have drawn some of the fishes Amanda. I am with you though, that day of squalls sounds horrendous! I am a bit worried that you might have run out of alcohol so hope you found that shop! Andy and I had part of our honeymoon in Tahiti and this is bringing back some great memories. May the seas be calm for the rest of your journey.

2 months ago

The water is so clear, and the colours so vibrant! It’s wonderful to see. I remember being very sad when we visited the barrier reef a few years ago; the difference from when Sue and I were there in 1988 was so stark. Are you very blasé about sharks now? Still look pretty scary to me! Xx

2 months ago

Wow, gorgeous colors. Just listened to some commentary about how many reefs are in distress and have turned white. Enjoy it while you can, which you obviously are 😄. Hope you found more supple of beer.
Hope you have spectacular sailing conditions for your last leg, great memories.

Sarah Barnes
2 months ago

Loving the little fish and seeing the coral… not sure you’d get me in the water with those sharks!! No questions this time… other than how has the beer supply have been so disastrously calculated?? Good luck in your quest! Here’s hoping your final leg brings the perfect winds! Lots of love to you both xx