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Showing posts from August, 2015

Anchored in the middle of the ocean

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There are a few places in the Pacific where there is a coral reef just under the surface. It is good to know where these are so you don't hit them, and good to know where they are in case they are an incredible destination such as Beveridge Reef.

It feels very strange to be anchored in 10 feet of water almost 200 miles from the nearest land. The water on the inside of the reef is very calm even though the ocean waves are crashing on the reef just a short distance away.

No land here means no silt, no dirt, nothing in the water. That leaves us with the clearest water we have ever seen. No land here also means that water is continually coming in over the reef so the water doesn't warm up even though it is shallow. Even though the water temperature is 20° C (that's 72° F) we put on our wetsuits to go snorkeling!

It is 25 feet deep off the back of the boat and we can easily see the details on the sandy bottom, some little fish and sea cucumbers. The water is clear and light blue …

Last stop in French Polynesia

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Heading west from French Polynesia there is one last stop. With nothing around it for over 100 nm, Mopelia is the remotest place we have visited so far. It is a beautiful circular atoll made up of coral reefs and sandy motus with a lovely lagoon in the centre. About 30 people, including a few families, live on the atoll and process coconuts for the copra market (the basis of coconut oil).

The entrance pass to Mopelia is "interesting". It is not very wide, not very wide indeed. Once you get into the pass you can see the shallow coral ledges just a boat width away on either side. To make it really interesting, there is a constant ebb (out flowing) tide that varies in intensity. It only took us about 2 minutes to motor through the pass. That is a long time to be holding your breath and gritting your teeth.

We stayed in Mopelia for 12 days, ostensibly waiting for a good weather window for the 800 mile passage to Beveridge Reef and on to Tonga. It was a great 12 days spent relaxin…