Wild Ride to Fakarava and the Insane Standing Waves!

We are happy to report that Ellie is safely anchored off the village of Rotoava
in the NE corner of Fakarava.  We just survived the most insane 2 hours we have
had on the voyage thus far.  As if the wild downwind ride from Makemo in 30
knots and big breaking seas wasn’t exciting enough, we had to spice it up with
wind against current in the north pass of Fakarava with 8-10 foot standing waves
and Ellie bucking like a bronco from peak to trough, oh and just as we were
fighting our way through the gauntlet a huge dark squall line overtook us
cutting visibility to zero!  Our reward for pushing through the huge standing
waves was to be met with 30 – 32 knots (not exaggerating) directly on the nose
between us and the town, 5 miles to windward.  There were 4 foot waves inside
the lagoon!  Luckily we can sail, so out came the main and we short-tacked up
the channel against the 30+ knots and were able to make 5.5 knots and about 3
knots VMG (velocity made good) and had the anchor down about an hour and a half
later.

Alyssa is a seriously hardened sailor now and we wouldn’t have
been able to get through the pass and beating to windward without her.  She was
awesome.  She was tethered in on the foredeck adjusting reefing points, moving
backstays, lashing preventers all while getting sprayed by the huge waves we
were taking over the bow!  Ellie and I are in awe of her sailing prowess and
very thankful she was aboard.  She has earned dinners out, spa days, pearl farm
visits and a much needed rest.

We both just enjoyed hot showers to get
all the salt off us and another squall passing overhead is providing Ellie with
a much needed bath.  We are still trying to calm our nerves after an extremely
intense entrance into the lagoon.

Rotoava is a relatively large town with
restaurants, bakery, stores, etc.  We are looking forward to exploring tomorrow
and enjoying a meal out!  We haven’t spent a dime in three weeks so it looks
like the kitty will allow for us to treat ourselves a bit while we are
here.

We will seek out an internet connection tomorrow to upload some
pics and our track from the hair raising lagoon entrance.

Cheers from
Fakarava!

Lewis and Alyssa

May 29, 2014

Rotoava, Fakarava,
Tuamotus, French Polynesia

Anchored

16 03.483 S
145 37.330 W

Thank You

© RidetheTrades, 2012 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any blog entries or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to www.ridethetrades.com, with appropriate direction to the original content. Thank you!