Saturday, May 17, 2008

Exploring Fakarava

May 17, 2008--On Thursday, we pulled our anchor and headed about few miles farther down the motu to a place where there is a break in the vegetation. It looks much like a dry river bed, but it is made up completely of coral. You can tell that the ocean comes through here during bad weather. We went ashore because we wanted to hike to the other side to look for sea shells. The walk along the beach was a bit disappointing, because although we did find some small shells, the most remarkable thing was how much trash was strewn on shore. Most of it was plastic, of course, and I am sure that most of it was just ended up there by accident, but it was amazing how much we found. There were plenty of toothbrushes, single shoes, line of all sizes, fishing floats, fuel jugs, crates, and bottles.

When we returned to the boat, we decided that our anchorage would not be good for the night, so we took off headed back up the motu about a mile. There was a nice little bight where we would be protected from the north or northwest winds that were forecast. We anchored in 45 feet of water and just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. Again, we were all by ourselves, which was wonderful.

Yesterday we decided to hike across the motu again. At this location there was thick vegetation covering the ground, and we had to trample our way through the growth. When we came out to the other side we saw a pretty nice stretch of beach. Most of the beaches here are covered with dead coral and some shells, but so far it is nothing like the Sea of Cortez. Perhaps at some of the other motus we will visit we will find more shells. After a couple of hours, we headed back across to the lagoon side and returned to the boat. We had some lunch and then cooled off by going "noodling" in the water. The long Styrofoam noodles are great for just floating beside the boat--a very relaxing experience.

We had planned to return to Rotoava this morning but decided that we would rather be here where it is more tranquil. We took the dinghy ashore and went snorkeling just off the beach. It looks as though a storm came through here in the last few years, as there is a lot of dead coral. The water is also a bit murky so it wasn't a great experience, but we did see some beautiful angel and parrot fish, and the small neon fish are always my favorite.

We will return tomorrow and get some chores done, and then on Monday morning we can pick up some bread (can't live without our baguettes) and a few other items. Steve had a crown come loose, but he has been able to put back on temporarily; however, he may stop in to see the dentist here just to have it checked.

So far we have enjoyed being here in Fakarava, but now we are trying to figure out which way to go next.

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