Today is sunday July 24th. We arrived yesterday in Makemo (Tuamotus) after a 3 day grueling passage ! We knew it was not going to be a smooth one since a lot of wind was predicted. We had a constant wind of 22-28 KTS on the beam but the waves came from everywhere making it a very uncomfortable passage. I felt nauseous the first 48 hours and the only thing I wanted to do is lay down and sleep. After the second day Stefan convinced me to take a pill against motion sickness. Two hours later I felt fine and enjoyed a cup of Ramen chicken noodle soup ! The first day we already caught a beautifull yellowfin tuna, food for 4 days !!! We arrived at 9AM but could only go through the pass at around 1PM, when it was slack tide. Navigating in the Tuamotus is not just sailing from one atoll to the next. Most atolls have one or two passes where you can enter but these have very strong tidal currents (8-9 KTS) which reverse 4 times a day. At slack tide, just between high and low tide, this current is at its lowest and sometimes even zero for 15 minutes. It is important you enter the pass when the current is low so you keep control over your boat! After we had been in “heave to” for about one hour we decided to slowly move towards the pass and have a look. We arrived around 12.30 PM and it looked fine to go in. We still had a counter current of 2 KTS but this was manageable, now we just had to navigate through the different reefs. Luckily the sun was out and we could clearly see them and they were very well marked ! Needless to say we were happy when we finally anchored and were able to sit back and enjoy the scenery !
The Tuamotus (meaning the Distant Islands) consist of about 80 atolls. These coral atolls are ancient volcanoes where the gradually sinking cone has been surmounted by coral reefs. You only see blue lagoons. It is like a lake surrounded by a string of narrow islands called motus.
Just before leaving Hakahetau Bay on Ua Pou,