AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/06/07 18:49
LATITUDE: 16-30.36S
LONGITUDE: 145-27.35W
MARINE: NO
WIND_SPEED: 10
WIND_DIR: SSE
CLOUDS: 90%
VISIBILITY: 10
BARO: 1016.2
AIR_TEMP: 27.2C
COMMENT: Beach House -MOORED – South Fakarava Atoll Tetamanu – South Pass

Oh what a night!
So much for the best laid plans of mice and sailors.
We moved from the anchorage (Hirifu Motu) in the northern part of the east corner of the atoll yesterday as the winds went North and we were in the long fetch of the lagoon.
We found a lovely spot 7 miles to the north which protected us against the NWesterlies perfectly and the weather said the wind would be light and hold till late this afternoon.

This of course is where the best laid plans of mice and sailors can often go awry. The winds shifted 18 hours ahead of prediction and we ended up with a SSEasterly at 20 knots. The three boats spun stern to the reef and it was anchor/motor watch from 2:30 a.m. onwards till first light.
We’d anchored in 38 feet of sand, we ended up in 6-9 feet of mixed sand and rock! Our underwater lights and search light helped spot to “bommies” (big boulder rocks) and the good news was, they were close, but not too close. The other two boats were even closer. Bubbles had to shorten his anchor chain (scope) length and Swiftsure chose to use motors and hold off.

All three of us could feel the “bommies”, nipping at our sterns. All held their cool and we simply watched and made minor adjustments as necessary till dawn. We then all picked up and moved. Bubbles and we are back at Tetamanu and Swiftsure went back to yesterdays anchorage.

Winds will essentially pick up and go ESE over the next several days with strength. There is a stubborn trough of low pressure that is feeding the normal South Pacific High and it’s made a squally mess of the Tuamotus. We saw lots of lightning last night, but fortunately, it was all distant.

We’re back on a mooring and Kyle dove them to insure they’re in good shape.
The word was excellent, like new. The lines are big and appear to be less than six months old, the hold down is a mighty beast as well.

As such, we’re likely to relax, dive and enjoy South Fakarava for then next several days awaiting the weather. This may cut our planned trip to Kauehi Atoll out, but such is life.

Standing by and glad all we got was a bad night’s sleep and a sea story out of the experience. 160 degree wind shifts are rare – but out here, “stuff occurs”….:-)

KIT,
Scott and Nikki

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/06/06 22:27
LATITUDE: 16-22.06S
LONGITUDE: 145-27.72W
MARINE: NO
WIND_SPEED: 9
WIND_DIR: WNW
CLOUDS: 50%
VISIBILITY: 15
BARO: 1011.7
AIR_TEMP: 33.3C
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – South Fakarava Atoll – Utukaiga Atoll

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/06/03 04:10
LATITUDE: 16-30.48S
LONGITUDE: 145-27.52W
MARINE: NO
WIND_SPEED: 13
WIND_DIR: NE
CLOUDS: 70%
VISIBILITY: 10
BARO: 1012.2
AIR_TEMP: 27.2C
COMMENT: Beach House – Moored – South Fakarava Atoll

The sail yesterday from Tahanea to Fakarava was big squalls with lots of wind, rain and then poof!
We ended up motoring the last 15 of the 52 miles.

The pass was a bit of a challenge with current up to 4 knots against us on entry and if I hadn’t been here before, would have been quite daunting as the
engine saga continues. I took the thermostat out of the port engine and determined that our coolant leak might be from the thermostat housing not sealing well despite having even put in a new gasket? The engine after running for well over an hour never even completely warmed up and the coolant leak was far less.

Our generator gave an error code yesterday and in today’s squalls and rain, I’ll try and sort it out. (It never ends folks…:-)

We’re on a mooring that I was on 7 years ago and this is a magical spot where there are hundreds of Grey Reef Sharks that you can swim with on every dive.
The pass has to be flowing in and the local owner of Teteamanu at the entrance knows when that happens. This was one of Cindy and my favorite anchorages and where we first met our friends Bruce and Alene on “Migration” Bruce and Alene are now headed toward Japan to sail back down the US West Coast and come back to the Pacific.

Kyle on “Bubbles” caught a big tuna as he came into Fakarava yesterday and we all went aboard “Water Music” for sashimi and a nice evening.
When they cleaned the fish, they started a bit of a feeding frenzy off their transom as the sharks came for the freebies….

We also caught up finally with David and Amy on “Starry Horizons” and had a quick catch up before they’re off for the two day sail to Tahiti.
We may get some real catch up time late this month while we’re down for repairs in Tahiti.

We’ll be here a few days before hopefully heading off to yet another new atoll to us – Kahuei about 45 miles to the NW.
KIT,
Scott and Nikki – South Fakarava Atoll