Quick Fix: 16° 03.67 S / 145° 37.21 W

July 16th 2012 (day 1,873)
Conditions:  Wind: 25-37/E  Sky: Cloudy/Squally
                    Boat SPD: 0   (Anchored)

Enlightened Tikis
There's a low pressure system to our south which is squeezing and accelerating the trade winds over the Tuamotus to gale force. Last night our anchor snubber strained and creaked with gusts of up to 37 knots - too
much to kite surf and too choppy to snorkel, so I've been catching-up on my whittling.
I've just completed carving a baby coconut, a design that includes three standing tikis around its perimeter, separated by Marquesuan symbols. It holds a hidden tea candle in the center, so even when it's dark and stormy outside, our enlightened tiki lantern makes it seem warm and cozy inside.

Day 1,866 - Tahanea, Tuamotus (16° 58S 144° 35W)
19:04hrs - July 9th 2012
Please Do Not Disturb

We recently celebrated July 4th, Independence Day, a holiday that, when we lived in New York, we would spend anchored in Oyster Bay, watching fireworks along with a few hundred other boats all packed so tightly together that some chose to leave their fenders out. Or we'd lounge on the beach, Long Beach, lost amongst a crowd of thousands, and if the weather was nice and you arrived late, there literally wouldn't be enough room to lay your towel flat on the sand.

We loved our New York version of the holiday, but this Independence Day we had the beach, an entire island, actually, all to ourselves. We set up camp with a view across the reef, facing the ocean breeze, and settled in for a quiet day of loafing. We read, napped, paddled and strolled around the beach, and as we were alone, I wore nothing but a hat (something that would be frowned upon in New York - unless, of course, you were on Fire Island).

We've been anchored in Tahanea for two weeks and it's an ideal location to celebrate our independence. It's very mellow here, and it seems that the few cruisers that visit this little corner of paradise, like it that way, too. There are four boats here, each anchored off their own motu (island) and each a respectable 200-boat lengths away from their nearest neighbor. Our VHF radio is on but there is no morning net, no calls, no chatter - this is not a sundowner crowd, and we like the company.

The trade winds have been warm and gentle, the still lagoon reflects the occasional cluster of cumulous clouds drifting over the atoll, there's a continuous low and soothing rumble of surf breaking on reef, and the occasional cheerful squeaks of white tropical sea birds soaring high above. Catherine takes daily safaris in the kayak, paddling out to the reef and up tidal channels between the islands while I snorkel, swing in the hammock, whittle or read.

Each afternoon we pick an island to wander around. We talk to the fluffy gray baby sea gulls wobbling in their nests that look at us as we stroll past. And in the late afternoon we watch the sun set behind a beach fire and listen to the rustling of hermit crabs clambering over dry palm fronds.

It's peaceful and quiet here, and we like it that way.


Hot Off The Press!
Click here
to read our
article in the August
issue of Cruising World magazine >

Hot Off The Press!
Click here
to read our
article in the July issue
of Yachting Monthly
magazine >



Quick Fix: 16° 58.06 S / 144° 35.80 W

July 1st 2012 (day 1,858)
Conditions:  Wind: 6/ESE     Sky: Mostly Clear
                    Boat SPD: 0   (Anchored)

Happy Hour!
We've recovered from our brush with stupidity back in
Toau and have since successfully timed and transited
three passes and are now anchored safely inside the uninhabited atoll of Tahanea, which is the most idyllic anchorage we've found so far in the Tuamotus.
We have
the southeast corner to ourselves and to celebrate our safe arrival we're getting ready for a night out - we've got a pile of driftwood on the beach ready for a fire, Catherine has just made some popcorn, and for a special treat I've opened up a nice box of Bordeaux, and as it's sealed in a
vacuum packed bag, nothing will be gained by letting it breath, so happy hour has officially begun!