Rangiroa, Tuamotu Atolls…..

Dear F&F,

September 2, 2009
Rangiroa, Tuamotu Atolls

The wind was less strong overnight and John & the other 6 boats in the anchorage secure, so we felt comfortable to go diving with Six Passengers Dive Center. A freckled red-haired Frenchman, Fred, was our dive master with just one other gal along. We dove outside the atoll on the reef. We saw 1 manta ray very deep & far from us, but quite a few grey sharks & a nice school of barracuda. We wonder why barracuda have a reputation as being nasty since we\’ve only seen them swimming calmly. They shine silvery with dark grey stripes & beautiful to behold. The shallower part of the reef was not that fun. There was a lot of surge causing us to fly back & forth. Difficult conditions for Scott to film in because that kind of motion is not interesting to watch. There were plenty of fish, but the coral looked a bit weather beaten & the water was murky due to the recent rain & strong winds stirring things up.

We were eager to do the pass dive on the incoming tide so went again with the group at 3:00 pm. The call was for 2:15 pm so we were suited up, sweating in the sun. Waiting, waiting. We saw 2 of the company\’s boats go out but they didn\’t come to pick us up despite our waving to them. We hailed them on the radio & they said, \”Yes we are coming\”. We jumped in the water off the back of our boat to cool off a bit. Sinbad, a Polynesian, was our dive master this time, with a nice couple from Rome. He is Italian, she is from Toronto. The owner of the company also dove with us, taking video footage of us divers & the wildlife. The high point of this 2nd dive was DOLPHINS! A mother & young one zooming very near us. Always a joy to see dolphins & we have not had many close encounters underwater. We saw some grey reef sharks too and the schooling barracuda again. Other than that the dive was unremarkable. Visibility not great, not much coral. Just drifted in above sandy rocky bottom without much to see. You just never know what you\’re going to see.

Between dives John, who Scott helped yesterday, came by to thank us profusely. He said he had a knowledgeable guy with him from the time he left Los Angeles until 3 weeks ago. John is a New Zealander who lived a lot in Australia, and has a non-sailing lady friend there who he is trying to work his way back to. We gave him our email & also instructions on how to re-hoist his genoa. Poor guy is truly clueless. We hope he makes it safely the 800 miles from here to Rarotonga, where he knows people & plans to keep the boat for the cyclone season.

Scott had casually checked in to the Ham radio Pacific Seafarer\’s Net & became an active relay person. We are positioned such that many boaters hear Scott but not the Net Controller. He is madly writing people\’s info then reporting it. Latitude, longitude, destination, speed, direction, weather, any questions, any contacts, etc. I know it is fun for him, although he looks a bit harried as this responsibility was unexpected. I just refilled his wine glass so he should be fine. My Hero, once again taking up the baton for the good of the sailors of the world!

Cindy & Scott