Saturday, June 14, 2014

In the Fakarava Reef and Kauehi

Our boat in ?? mid-Fakarava. Our friend was up her mast taking photos of us while Cassidy was up our mast getting photos of them and their boat. We're just on deck, Cassidy is the spot on the top of the mast!

Day 1 of homeschool on Kauehi. The kids are going to shore to check it out.

The boys at our favorite beach in South Fakarava. Super soft sand, tons of reef sharks, a huge Napoleon fish (famous in these parts apparently) who loves to eat baguette, small dock, tons of shallow coral and reef fish. Perfect place for kids to swim, dig, snorkel, and fish watch in the clear water. Our boat is anchored in the background across the bay.

Homeschool snorkeling.

Bonfire on the beach with the local cruisers in South Fakarava. We stayed until well after dark and dinghy'd home by moonlight through the reefs. Great night!

Goodnight, back to the boat. Leaving in the morning for another remote island with slim chance of internet. Going to organize blog/pictures (one day very soon) and have them ready next time we hit an internet port. 

Got fresh fruits/veggies here today, so looking good!!

Caesar salad and veggie lasagne for dinner was a TREAT! Haven't had lettuce in a long time! Apples for dessert since they were such a welcome treat!

Off to Tuao, then who knows. . .

Somewhere in French Polynesia

Welcome to Kauehi. We entered with squall after squall hitting us, tons of rainbows since it was sunny and rainy. Was a great fresh water wash off after all the salty waves we'd taken onto the deck and roof even.

Courage trouble shooting one of the many sail repairs for our mainsail during the crossing from the Marquesas to the Tuamotus. Thank goodness he could always come up with one more plan . . .

Vitality with the shark. Love, love, love her bobbing at the surface with her water wings above a shark.

Vitality and I with sharks.

Cassidy on her first SCUBA dive in the ocean. She's finally graduated from John Maruhn's pool.

Photos from the Tuamotu Archipelago

Taken by our friends on Alba just after our arrival. Thanks guys!!! They then came over wondering where we'd hidden the pot of gold!!

South Fakarava, the views we suffer. Note the crystal clear water so you can see all the coral heads under water. Makes for pretty nice diving. Not as ideal for sailing, but great for diving.

Innocence swimming with sharks.

Our final limping day with 7-8 cars out of our mailsail track and the main reefed and a jury rigged halyard holding it up. Hoping to get in before dusk/dark on the pass when you can no longer make out the coral reefs you are passing through. We made it just fine, but just at dusk, so with little time to spare. Main has been "fixed" since then and we're up and running again!!

The world famous Napoleon fish.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Marine Radio Broken

It is confirmed that our marine radio is broken.  Now we are going to see just how good this West Marine warranty really is!!

Another fantastic day, and we had a great volleyball game with our friends from Paje on the nearby sand bar.

The weather is interesting down here. We get a couple of squalls every day, with a touch of rain, and a few heavy gusts. There is no lightening though, which is good for the electronics.

As you might imagine there are no stores where we are, but there are certain places where supply ships come every once in a while.  On the 12th the next supply ship is scheduled to arrive at the north end of this atoll.  We are hoping to be there to get some fresh fruits and vegetables.



We are at another gorgeous spot!!  GREAT snorkeling/diving in the south pass of the island the last few days - - Tons of reef sharks.  Got nice photos!  Just came to a gorgeous island with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water (again) for a 9-year-old birthday party today.  Will work our way north to get some fresh fruits/veggies (ship comes in on Thursdays).  Maybe a nice beach for kite surfing up the way a bit, 2 boats here with gear for it.  However, there are lots of great things to do.  Likely set up our volleyball net tomorrow, 7-8 kid-boats here for the party, so kids everywhere, even teenagers!!

All is well.  Sending SailMail through a friend's system while we troubleshoot our system, so we are slow to respond.  Hoping to organize videos, pictures, blogs, for sending with Cassidy when she comes home and/or uploading when we get Internet, but so many other things going on, hard to get it all done.



The pass at the south end of Fakarava is quite well known around these parts as one of the best dives.  The current flow is perfect for just drifting along and looking down into the crystal clear water. The coral is very healthy, colorful, and composed of many different types. Just looking at the coral is enough to entertain me for hours, but the coral is laced with all types of fish of every imaginable type, and then just to add a little excitement there are sharks everywhere. Most of the sharks are in the 4 to 5 foot range, with the larger ones just over 6 feet. Most people will claim that they saw around 100 sharks in the larger 'schools'. I would say it is closer to 50 sharks but it feels like 100.  The way we do it is to take the dingy way up current, jump into the water, and hold onto the painter of the dingy. The water is so clear that you feel like you are flying effortlessly over the coral, fish, and sharks. What a wonderful way to start the day.

There is also this little lagoon behind the reef, with a white sand bottom. The children love to swim/play here. There are all these tropical fish that love to check the children out, and these gigantic Napoleon fish.  And of course there are sharks just swimming around all casual like.

We are really enjoying this wonderful time out here!!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

SailMail Broken

Our SailMail (radio frequency mail that only sends and receives text) is broken.  We are troubleshooting and hope to have it operational again soon.

But all is well here.  We are having a good time.  The coral is amazing!  We are interacting with several other boats coming and going along our path.  

I will continue to write summaries of our travels and include photos.  Then when we get to a port with Internet I will post them.

This message was sent via satellite phone borrowed from a boat we were visiting for dinner.  In the meantime, you can track our position on the Delorme Map.

So, until later . . .