Friday, August 18, 2017

Makemo Village and Drift Diving

The entrance pass near the village is a wonderful place to do a drift dive or snorkel.  One must pick the right tide though...
An incoming tide is best because you won't get sucked out into the ocean; also the water is much clearer on incoming tides.

Here are some photos and a video from one of our first group drift snorkels.  The technique is to take our dinghies out the pass, jump over with lines over the side of the dinghy and then drift back, with the dinghies, back into the anchorage areas.   It was lots of fun, and once the first drift dive was over, everyone enthusiastically said "can we do it again?"

Rob in the foreground and the crew of Wiz in the background

Morgan and Douglas from Tumbleweed joined us in our dinghy for the first  drift dive

Darryl, Cooper and Susan from Sailboat Wiz

Video is compliments of Morgan on Tumbleweed

A view of the pass with standing waves during an ebb tide

Nancy in the Village. She was surprised with the infrastructure,  clean sidewalks, friendly people and three stores

School is out for the afternoon

A bunch of cruiser friends hanging out near the little grocery market.
The back story is there was a rumor of a special veggies delivery that day at 10am.  Unfortunately something was lost in translation.... 
Defunct wind generators on Makemo

Pretty serious installation.  Too bad they couldn't keep it working.

Battery bank

Big nose cone!

Local dog with a good view of all the action from the middle of the street

Makemo was the first place we started thinking of kite-ing.  Here is Rob launching his kite from the municipal pier.  Pretty awesome!

Lovely anchorage

Action shot in the anchorage

Returning to Shindig using the safety line off the transom

Flat water goodness!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Makemo East

With strong east winds in the forecast the anchorage at the village gets a bit bumpy so we moved to the East end of the lagoon.

Alcyone, Magic and Pangaea joined in on the fun and we had a blast.

The winds were strong but the anchorage was very comfortable because there was little fetch.  This also made for perfect kitesurfing conditions. 

Party on Pangaea

Camp Makemo pearl buoy

Beautiful walks on the motu

Ladie's Time: Nancy picked up the three ladies each  morning for long walks on the beach

Katie, Lisa and Betsy

Example of buoying the anchor chain so you don't snag on the coral bommies

Sundowners on the beach.  Sponsored by Hinano

Water maker surgery.  Trying to fix a leak at the end cap of the pressure vessel.

Octopus in the shallows

Amazing sunsets looking west.

We are visited by three copra (coconut) farmers from the beach.
And gifted with coconuts.

Lisa with her favorite shell, Strawberry Crabs

Our new friend, David, who harvests coconuts on the beach.
He spent several days with us, taking us on hikes, demonstrating his craft.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

On to the Tuamotos: 3 day Passage to Makemo

5-18-2017 to 5-20-2017:

The 500 mile passage from Nuka Hiva to Makemo was not the type of passage one writes home about. We don't have many photos as the first half was more like survival mode, very wet and uncomfortable. The waves were about 6-9 feet on the beam, with apparent winds reaching 32 knots,  On a positive note the boat was rocketing down the track at 7 to 8 knots.  There were frequent rain squalls, which immediately got us drenched and it was hard to stay dry, no matter how many changes of clothes or jackets we threw on.  The boat's motion made it was difficult to go down below, and we 'slept' either in the cockpit, or curled up in little balls wherever we could stay dry.  Nancy didn't feel well (was actually quite sick), and stopped eating and cooking for the first 36 hours.  Then she found out that Dramamine worked quick well, and perked up for the 2nd night shift, plus the following days and nights.  

Regular radio checks with friends on Alcyone and Pangaea and several other boats behind Shindig kept us company.

Day Two: We had an extra crew arrive!

When a bird lands on Shindig in the middle of the ocean, you wonder how far he's been traveling, where he is going, is he lost?  or...can he do a Night Watch? 

Watch this trick!  He tucks his head in for the night.  
Guess he won't be taking a Night Watch.

Our Crew stayed all night balancing on the pulpit.  The video below shows him waking up, shaking off the sleep, and taking off!  

Day 3: As we dry out, Rob is performing a rigging inspection after two rough days.

Land Ho - Makemo

There was a lot of anxiety about navigating our first atoll pass.  Much has been written about the big standing waves that can make passes difficult and sometimes dangerous.  The key is arriving near slack water and avoiding situations with high current against waves.  We arrived in the morning and the current was flooding into the lagoon and there was very little wind.  Our pass was uneventful with only 1.5 knots of current and small waves.   This was a welcome end to a challenging passage.

Shindig arrives in Makemo!   (photo courtesy of Douglas and Morgan on Tumbleweed)

A Welcome Rainbow over Lisa and Brian on SV Magic:  A Good Sign!