After Her Arrival

The Tuamotus Diaries #27, Day 59 – July 26th 2016


I am sure I have already written it quite a number of times now, but the fact is that we’ve had a very special time here in Makemo. Quality time spent with dear friends, new friends who came and shared this pretty anchorage with us, the glowing nights under the moon and the pitch dark ones when she didn’t show up. The constant rumble of the ocean outside the Atoll, the friendly Remoras under our hull, the crystalline turquoise waters, the white sandy beach … precious moments that will forever keep this place in a special part of our memories.

As special as it was, though, it was not complete, for Adriana wasn’t here for most of the time. To the contrary, we had the feeling that she had tasted only the rough side of this piece of paradise – most of the days she have spent here had been very windy, and both her departures and arrival were filled with action and suspense accordingly.

Thus, the three of us were anxious to have her share in the glorious side of Makemo. There was just one detail, though – it depended in most part on the weather ….

Coincidently, upon Adriana’s return the weather here seemed to resume to pretty much the same as when she had been here before: windy, wavy and dangerous at the village, and also a bit bumpy at Punakura – our beloved anchorage. The wave action also made the water murky (for Tuamotus standards), thus tarnishing our claims about the incredible underwater images we had experienced here.


However, as the days went by, the wind died down steadily, the waves subsided, and the water started to clear up again – phew. Knowing that spells like this can or can NOT last long, we kept ourselves busy trying to take the most of it, and expose Adriana to most of the incredible facets of this amazing place.

And we succeeded, with the help of some luck.


I took her on a dinghy ride to explore one of the Atoll’s indentations and adjoining lagoon, also taking the opportunity to visit the other side of the rim. We also took her to a dive at the anchorage’s reef – and it received us in full glory: there was plenty of fish, live coral, colorful conchs, and the ubiquitous yellow sea cucumbers. For the first time, we were able to swim over the reef, and across, to the opposite side of it, where it is deeper. There we saw a couple of large groupers, which were equally amazed to see us. And then, the pinnacle of the experience, a big black tip shark came to check on us. It was the first time she saw and swam with one, and I quickly remembered the feeling of it as she swam closer to me and grabbed on my swim suit for comfort. The weather kept settling calmer and calmer, warmer and warmer. We swam around Pesto, and with our friends the Remoras. One tranquil afternoon, we did a long, delicious barbecue on Pesto’s grill.

That afternoon, it got so tranquil that the water turned still as glass, and the kids went with the dingy to enjoy it. The fact that they chose to paddle instead of using the engine showed us that they learned to appreciate the beauty, tranquility and quietness of this place. We spent the rest of that afternoon watching the kids glide slowly around us and above those still, crystalline waters.


As the kids kept on doing their evolutions around us, the grey clouds rolling in from the west were cluing that the tranquil spell was about to end. And I felt grateful for having had these days of glory, and be able to share the beautiful side of this place with Adriana – even if compressed in just a few days.



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