Pinned Down in Toau

Ia Orana from Toau Atoll!

We are swinging on a mooring ball on the NW side of Toau (Toe-ow) atoll in 25-30 knots of wind.  We are in Anse Amyot, a picturesque coral cul de sac (false pass).  The reef between us and the lagoon is doing a great job blocking the wind waves that are raised inside the lagoon and we are sitting in flat water with a mere 6″ of wind chop.  The wind generator is cranking out all the power we need and we have the watermaker going so we can top off our tanks and do some laundry.

We sailed over here from Fakarava yesterday with our friends on True Blue V (an Island Packet 44) and The Beguinne (a Valiant 45?).  We got up at 5:00 am so we could be in the pass at exactly slack tide, 6:30 am.  We timed it pretty well and had a couple knots of ebbing current.  We managed to steer clear of the worst of the wind waves outside the pass and only had about 3-4 foot waves to deal with.  Ellie handled them like a champ and was soon barrelling along nicely on a broad reach under full jib making 6 knots towards Toau.  We enjoyed a great 6 hour sail to the lee of Toau and had an easy entrance into Anse Amyot, despite the fact that a line of three huge catamarans were blocking the range markers.  We grabbed a mooring and I donned dive gear to drop below and check it out.

As soon as I put my mask below the water I was amazed!  The pass was teeming with colorful fish, coral, rays, sharks and deep canyons.  I dove to the bottom and was happy to find relatively new 3/8″ chain wrapped and secured around a dead coral head with 3/4″ line run up to the mooring ball.  I wanted to keep diving so I made my way over to where our friends were moored and dove on their moorings as well.  On my way to True Blue V I saw a beautiful spotted eagle ray.  I haven’t seen a spotted ray since Hawaii so I was very excited to watch him gracefully flying over the bottom.

There is amazing diving here just outside the anchorage on the wall of the atoll.  The locals who live here even installed dinghy moorings at the dive sites!  We are both very excited to go diving tomorrow or Tuesday once the wind lays down a bit.  The coral is very healthy, there is even coral starting to grow on the underwater mooring balls that are strung between the anchor and pennant.

There is one family who lives here on the island and they have invited us to join them for a traditional Polynesian feast.  We’ll have to report back with details on the dinner and table fare.

Our German friends on Antares (a Halberg Rassy 40) are here as well.  We met them in Nuku Hiva.  They invited us for coffee this afternoon so we can all catch up.  We’ll bring some of Alyssa’s fresh-baked banana bread to share.

We are planning to spend 3-4 more days here before sailing for Tahiti.  Looks like favorable winds on the 5th but we’ll be watching the forecast closely to time our 225 nm passage.

Gotta run now – bilge pump running.  Probably a watermaker fitting….it’s always something 😉

Lewis & Alyssa

June 1, 2014

Anse Amyot, Toau Atoll, Tuamotus, French Polynesia

15 48.165 S
146 09.066 W

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