Monday, July 16, 2007

Kissed A Bloomie

We decided to motor around to the north end of Tahaa. We got a little further than we wanted so turned around and out to the edge of the outer reef. the lagoon here is different from most of the others we have been in. It is 100 feet deep and flat on the bottom, from the edge of the reef next to the mountain to the edge of the reef around the motus on the outer reef. We noticed a small catamaran we had met a while back, anchored near the motu, so we headed toward them. I forgot how little water a
catamaran needed. The bottom came up from the 100 foot to around 50. The water saw so clear. I was watching the coral heads slip past, the tops at 30 feet as we got close to the catamaran. Then we just stopped with a jerk! I looked over the side and sure enough the coral head looked like it was the same depth as the others at 30 feet, but it was only 6! we need 6.5!!!

Peter from the catamaran, Risho Maru, came shooting over in his dinghy to help. We just gave it a little more gas and slid right over the coral, slowly, without even any scraping noise. But then the others were even shallower. Peter had looked around good before he anchored and knew the depths of several of the other coral around u. He came aboard and help point the way between the taller ones. Trinda followed our instructions admirably as we yelled left, right, back FULL, left,... We made it back
to deeper water in about 15 minutes of careful visual navigation! And anchored in a sand patch at 30 feet with 20 foot tall coral heads all around. The anchor held fine and we relaxed a while. I snorkeled to inspect the bottom of the keel and the anchor. Only a small scratch of bottom paint missing, 3"x10". It feels nice to have a boat built like a tank sometimes.

We later went ashore to the motu.
Peter, Alexandra and young Finn and their guests were plying on the beach too. I showed them how to husk a dry coconut with a pointed stick, and they showed us how to open a green coconut to drink the water with their machete. We chased some coconut crabs, with no luck and had a nice afternoon.

The wind has come up to 17-20 during the night, so it looks like snorkeling this morning is out. We may go on around the island today when the sun gets a little higher so we can see the bloomies better!
Just a little later this rainbow appeared.

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