Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I wrote this on June 7 but forgot about it and am just posting it now.
Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa, Tues 7 June 2011 21:23 Tahiti Time
I surfed Avatoru Pass Tues the 31st. It was 4-5 ft and pretty clean. My first time surfing over coral reef--A little unnerving when the water is so clear. The locals were the friendliest I’ve met anywhere. When I chickened out on my first wave, I thought I wouldn’t get another chance (which is what would happen many other places), but nobody seemed to care. They actually continued to encourage me (hooting and hollering) when I would paddle for a wave.
 Bridget arrived Wednesday the 1st of June. We drift-snorkeled Tiputa Pass the next day. We saw a lot more life than I did on my first attempt. Most of the fish I can’t ID, but we did see at least four Green Morays, a couple of White-tip Sharks, many Parrot Fish, Triggerfish, Unicorn fish, and I think a Napoleon Wrasse. Friday we motor-sailed (mostly motor because it was very calm) to the Blue Lagoon (a lagoon within Rangiroa’s large lagoon) on the western end of Rangiroa, along with our friends on La Cueca, Rory and Gary.  Before we even dropped anchor, we had seen 4 or 5 Black- and White-tip Sharks. It was nearly dead calm the two days we spent there. Parts of the lagoon are too shallow to even snorkel. It is like a miniature atoll, with several coral islands surrounding it and passes in between. From what I could see, the best diving is on the outside of the eastern end (ie inside the big lagoon) of the Blue Lagoon. Everywhere you turned there would be another shark. We picked coconuts and collected a few crabs and had coconut juice with rum and crabs for dinner one evening. We were going to go back for more crabs if we didn’t get sick from the first batch, but the weather had other plans.
It remained dead calm until Friday around noon when the wind suddenly piped up after a little squall blew through. Being on the western end of the (big) lagoon left us on a lee shore with a lot of fetch on the windward side and an uncomfortable swell built up quickly. We pulled up the anchor and had a wet and bumpy ride beating back to our old anchorage by Tiputa Pass. We arrived just before dark and have been hunkered down here since then along with about 20 sailboats and one mega-yacht, waiting for this front (or whatever it is) to blow through.  We put down a second bow anchor yesterday morning, more for the practice than out of necessity. Things have calmed down a bit now, but I think we’ll stay put till Friday when it looks like conditions will be nice for the sail to Tahiti and the big city of Papeete (I think it’s pronounced Pa-pe-eh-te). Bridget and I are looking forward to seeing Teaohupoo in all its glory. I think I’ll let her surf there while I take pictures. We’ll also head over to Moorea (right next to Tahiti) for a couple of days.

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