June 12, 2011

A Motu of One's Own-Tahanea

The water is blue--"as blue as every blue I've ever dreamed," says Maia. Under our boat it's almost a navy blue--but it's so clear we can see the bottom. The shallow water closest to the motu is the lightest and brightest blue and small black-tipped reef sharks swim there. The beach is white coral sand. And at its centre stands a coconut grove of maybe 30 bright green trees that sway in the breeze. We walked around the motu not long after we arrived here, then snorkeled on a bommie not far from our boat. On this surface kissing coral head we saw bright orange parrot fish, purple coral and absurdly decorated fish that made us giggle. Tomorrow we will dive the pass and have a bonfire.

And ideal idyll.
A good place to be idle.

Even getting here was peaceful. We left Makemo on an earlier tide than we would have liked because the incoming tides make for a much nicer pass crossing. This meant we had almost 20 hours to travel 90 miles. But when we reach in 15-18 knots we tend to go 8+ knots. So we reefed. And reefed some more. Until with a handkerchief of a jib we were still making 5 knots. We could heave to and drift (and eventually did) but it's nice to practice other skills as well. So we towed warps behind us, and slowed to 3 knots. This found us outside the pass at 4am with 4 masthead lights around us: Piko, WGD, Blue Moon and Britannia. When the current was right we entered the pass, one after another. Into our empty, uninhabited atoll.

A motu of our own. I would say, bring on the adventure, but really, I wouldn't mean it. I want a week where the biggest thrill is identifying a new reef fish. Or finding a pretty shell. Or watching the sunset with friends. Bring on the peace and quiet and hold back the 40 knot gusts.

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Anonymous said...

Your own Suvarov!!!!!! Tom Neale would approve.
Now you have lived my dream.


Anonymous said...

Your own Suvarov!! Tom N. would approve.
That is soooo cool!