We spent a few nice, calm days in Tahanea enjoying the beautiful pass and the many, curious sharkies hanging out around Pitufa (cleaning fish helps making friends ;-) )

This morning we saw an opportunity to sail to the neighbouring atoll. Motutunga is uninhabited, with only a few motus and a false pass on the northern side. Studying satellite images we thought we could take Pitufa in and go alongside at a tiny dock. We planned to do this many times, but as the narrow pass requires calm conditions, no swell and ideal pass timing (we want to enter at the end of an outgoing current to tie up at slack water), it never worked out.

Today everything seemed perfect, light NE winds to sail there and then no wind towards the arrival and slack water at 1.30 in the afternoon. Of course the wind was blowing much harder than predicted, but arriving at the pass it looked doable. While we lowered the mainsail and contemplated the little dock waiting for slack water, a local motorboat approached, determinedly steamed into the pass and tied up to the only spot there. Hmpf.
We hailed the Hotu Nui (from Apataki) and were told that they had come to ‘do some work’ and stay only for 5 hours. What could a local boat visiting an uninhabited atoll from a different commune be possibly up to? We suspect nothing good, like poaching giant clams, sea cucumbers, coconut crabs or something similar…

We went around to the western side where we anchored on the outer reef. Now we’re rolling, slightly miserable and peed off. Tomorrow morning we’ll try again to tie up to the dock in the false pass.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.