TIME: 2016/05/23 20:52
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – Raroia Atoll just south of Kon Tiki Motu, Tuamotu Islands…. (2 days 18 hours)
Nicely, the winds subsided last night down to 12-16 knots. We’d made enough south-ing to have a lovely just forward of the beam reach the last 125 miles.
We arrived just off Takume (the atoll north of here) around 5 a.m. local time. The full moon showed the low lying islets (motus) and Palm Trees.
This pass is a bit notorious and hopefully the most challenging we’ll see while in the Tuamotus. The slack times were reported to be 6:30 a.m. and around 1-1:30 p.m. Normally, if there are no standing waves (which there were not), we’d just power through any 6 knot current. However, our engines and steering are a bit of an issue at the moment, so extra caution was the order of the day. We didn’t push to hard which meant it took longer and we had a 4.5-4.9 knot current running against us. The atolls are essentially enclosed bodies of water that constantly are fed more water than they can hold over their SEastern reefs.
As such, the passes are always out flowing (especially if there is only one pass like this atoll) and when the tide is rising, it fights the out flow and actual standing waves can form. It looks like a surf site in static motion. Glad we didn’t see that here. I did 7 years ago at the largest atoll in the group – Rangiroa.
After we made a speed of only 1.5 knots over the bottom (our speedometer said 6.5 knots!), we negotiated the pass and the current then quickly abated. It took about 15 – 20 minutes to enter which is a long time.
We were hailed by s/v “Maluhia” and s/v “(I can’t remember). They’ve been here for many weeks. As the best protection is on the downwind side of the eastern shore, we motored across (about an hour) and are now anchored near Dave and Kim on “Malahia” (not too close…:-) in a gorgeous setting with lovely small palm tree encrusted islets. This is the classic look of the approximately 77 Tuamotu Atolls.
We’ve still got the steering issue and will always check it before entering and exiting the reef systems as well as the engine issues to sort out in Tahiti (where will be longer than we want to be).
For now, we hope that our friends who will be here tomorrow or the next day are getting an easier time of it than we had, it sounds like their big winds will be shorter in duration than ours. The classic “Maramu” set up was happening, but convergence zone seemed to jump way north and reform breaking up the pattern. Let’s hope it stays that way.
We’ll try and locate the monument soon to “Kon Tiki” (Thor Heyerdahl’s raft that floated here from South America in 1948) and take lots of photos.
We’ll update the regular Ship’s Blog – photos and all when we reach Tahiti.
For now, feel free to drop us a note and KIT!
Scott and Nikki