Sorry that you have not heard from me in over a week. Nothing special was happening.
After 3 days at the pier in front of the town in Makemo we left there. We had noticed that, like a local French guy had told us, Makemo weather does not match the predictions in the GRIP (weather) files. Strong wind and thus swell comes up suddenly, changes direction, lots of rain coming. So in our 3rd night lying at the pier with our friend boats Anico and Duende strong SE / E wind came up, which made us all get up in the middle of the night and you found all men tying up the boat even better. With no success on Saturday morning in terms of getting baguette we moved towards the NE-exit of the atoll. We had the sunlight against us driving which makes it very difficult to see the coral heads, thus after 3 hours we stopped and anchored at a tumotu (island) on the northern coast. It was nice, a long coral beach and nice to swim, but not so clear.
Next morning we travelled the remaining 4nm towards the cut, where there is a little lagoon with a reef as protection against southerly windwaves. We could only anchor there because Alita's depth is only about 4ft and there were many coral heads. It was nice to snorkel there. I also walked around the island and on my way back had to walk a bit over the reef as I felt something touching my left leg from behind. I turned around and was shocked to see that a reef shark had bumped into me. As you can imagine I made a jump to the front and the shark quickly swam away. I don't think he wanted to attack me because he was as stunned as I when he touched me. So either he wanted to cuddle or he urgently needs glasses - and a new signal receiver. My joy for swimming in the water for that and next day was gone. On the next day we cleaned Alita, baked bread, had lunch and prepared for the night hop over to the next atoll, Tahanea.
We left around 4pm for a trip of 54nm. We were not supposed to make more than 3,5 knots to not arrive so early, so Marcus prepared the small foresail. We set the small sail and the main sail only in reef, but we still went at 5-6knots. There was no way to slow down more with that gorgeous sailing wind. So in the end we stayed hoved to for a couple of hours. We needed to be at the big cut, the northern entry of the atoll, at 7am. At 0645 am we already entered and about an hour later we anchored in another turquoise, huge swimming pool next to two Canadian and one Austrian boat.
I have been sick with a bladder infection ever since we left Makemo, so I have not been able to go swimming or explore the island yet, I basically stayed in bed the last 5 days.
Marcus and Sebastian were out a lot walking around and fishing. Marcus has been out at night 3 times for catching Lobster, only once he could not get one because of too much waves. Last night in full moon he was also able to get only one, but on his way back he managed to catch a gigantic coconut crab. I don't know how he did it, he is just not afraid of anything. This crab cracks a thick stick like nothing. Twice during the days now Marcus also collected and cracked clams, which he and Sebastian enjoyed for dinner. So, the guys are enjoying fishermen's life. Well, for the last two days Sebastian stayed at the beach with a hammock enjoying the view to the water and getting teint. He does not like swimming because of the sharks, who are not my best friends as well.
Today some of our friend's boats are bound to arrive here at the SE anchorage, we talked to them over radio last night. Duende was on her way from Makemo, Anico and Mares are in the atoll about 1nm away and our new Zealand friends, Saliander and State of Mind seem to be anchoring near the cut and want to come down as well. We hope so, because we're looking forward to a beach party tonight. Finally a change for me from my bed.
When I am off antibiotics and hopefully recovered we will move on to Fakarava, where Marcus can go diving, and from there to Tahiti. Sebastian wants to learn a bit surfing there before he goes back home to Munich on July 8th.
Current position: 16deg 57,4'S and 144deg34,9'W
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