Beginning of the End

The Tuamotus Diaries #55, Day 113 – September 18th 2016


Yesterday may have been one of the windiest days here in the Tuamotus – second only perhaps to the day of our failed attempt to reach Hao – which would have been our fist stop in the Tuamotus, almost three months ago. It blew, and howled solidly all day. It was difficult to stand on deck. Pesto yanked nervously pulling against the anchor chain, and down below we could hear the strain of tension running along her hull. It was intense.

So, when we woke up this morning with the wind back down to “just howling” status, we decided it was time to weigh anchor. As we did, I watched with melancholy as our little piece of Eden stood on our wake. Not for long, tough. The way out of the anchorage was tricky, with shallow coral heads popping everywhere around us, made difficult to spot by the excessive wind waves and sun glare.

Once out of the danger zone we switched off the engine, set the sails, thus realizing how strong the wind still was. Even under heavily reefed genoa and mainsail Pesto shot forward on a close reach with speeds between 8 and 9 knots.

As we quickly closed in with our destination for the day – an anchorage at the middle of the atoll’s East rim – melancholy set once more. We still have some more cruising left here in the Tuamotus, but from the moment our anchor came up from the white sandy bottom of Fakarava’s South pass area earlier this morning, every mile we cover will now set us closer and closer to the Societies, the next island group we will visit here in French Polynesia. We are excited to be on the move, looking forward to the remaining cruising here in the Tuamotus, to reaching Tahiti, and to seeing good friends there. But a part of me is already anticipating the melancholy of leaving such a special place like this on our wake …