We traveled to Raroia’s pass to snorkel before we left the atoll, but we could not anchor near the pass. While my mom and Katelyn stayed on the big boat to drift, my dad and I went in the dingy to snorkel the pass. There were no grouper but there were snapper and humphead wrasse everywhere. We also saw two large tuna about 3 feet long. After that, there were about four million flies on the big boat, which was a project to clean up. We went to the next island, Makemo. On Makemo there were no crabs to eat, but there were tons of grouper. We immediately had enough for a meal and made another fire on the beach. At the beach we made a large hut out of palms and sticks. We did some spear fishing (with a real spear gun this time) and caught some fish.
Our friends Aghavni anchored at Makemo
There were tons of sharks in every atoll we visited
Mikey rinsing his foot with a shark near by
Mikey loved spearfishing in the atolls. It made me very nervous because of all the sharks, but the locals taught him to float a bucket with him to put the fish in immediately after spearing. He was never bothered by sharks
Sunset at Makemo
We also went to the next place which had a pass. We snorkeled the pass and did some fishing. We also looked for lobster but there was none. It was night and all the eels came to the shore, and all the fish were sleeping. We also saw a crown of thorns sea star. The next morning we left.
After staying a few weeks in Nuku Hiva we decided to go to the Tumotus. It was a three to four day crossing, but after crossing the Pacific, it felt really short. The passage was rough and I was queasy a lot of the time. Nothing really interesting happened on the crossing, but coming into the atoll was stressful. We were able to make it by slack tide, but when you go into the atoll from the pass, the current and waves are strong and big. We made it through without any problems, though, and anchored at a really nice spot.
The water was crystal clear, and it felt like we were back in the Bahamas. It could have possibly been clearer than the Bahamas. With our friends Loco, that had fifteen and thirteen year old boys on board, we took our paddle boards and snorkeled on every rock that we spotted. We took them up salt water creeks and couldn’t believe the amount of sharks swimming everywhere. Everywhere you looked, deep water or shallow, clear or murky, sandy or rocky, a shark was swimming. The biggest shark we saw was about five or six feet long but most tended to be four feet. We also went crabbing a lot, and in one day we had gathered two five gallon buckets full of land crabs. When we had Loco over, they cooked the crabs in a chili sauce, and it was delicious. It was extremely hard to break the shell, though, and not much meat when you did manage to break it open.
The next time we went crabbing, the kids had to collect three boats worth of crabs. We managed to get one and a half buckets full, it seemed the crab population had gone down since our arrival. This time the kids tried to cook the crabs but something was wrong with the oven so we waited for the parents to return before cooking them. This time we pre-cracked the crabs, and it was much easier to get the meat out. We had a bonfire on the beach and burned our trash. We also built a good fort that is probably still there.
We stayed there for a week or more before we had to leave. We went to one more spot in the atoll before leaving and heading to Makemo, where we got provisions (if you could call them that) and speared and caught lots of grouper.
We first where welcomed by a manta ray. We dropped anchor at Tahuata. This was one of the coolest anchorages. Our friends where anchored here as well. The next morning we snorkeled and saw lots of big fish and sharks. That night we celebrated my birthday by inflating a mat to wrestle on. We ate spearfish and set the green underwater night light out. We saw weird stuff! First there were a few fish, and then there where thousands. Then, there was a box jelly, and then there where thousands. Then, there where some snapper, and then there where thousands.
Mikey’s 14th birthday
Our friends Aghavni
Sunset at Tahuata
Katelyn took this picture of our friends on Aghavni
The next morning, we went to the beach and boogie boarded. We also went fishing in the dingy and did not catch anything. As we were heading back, dolphins came and jumped right in front of the boat.
Polynesian dance class
Dogs who followed us on our long hike
Interesting statue in Nuku Hiva
Interesting statue in Nuku Hiva
sweet dog who followed us on our hike
We left the next morning to go to Nuku Hiva. We anchored and met our friends from the other boats. We explored the island and went shopping. The girls went to a local Polynesian dancing class while the boys and I played basketball. We also took a hike up a mountain, and two dogs followed us the whole way. The dogs chased every chicken we saw. The other day, we had to pry a chick out of the dog’s mouth, and after that it ate a whole chicken.
The last day we put the mat in the water and wrestled on it again and boogie boarded. After that we left.
We left for Hiva Oa early in the morning and arrived in the late afternoon. We spent an hour looking for a good spot to anchor that we never found. We eventually gave up and anchored in a really rocky place. Every time we got our dingy in the water it would hit the boat – it was a really stressful place.It took us two days to check in to the country. We had to take a cramped car to go to Customs and Immigration with three other families in it.
There probably was only one good thing about Hiva Oa, their grocery stores. Completely out of flour and eggs, we were happy to walk the two miles under the hot sun to get some more. We actually found a lot of things you normally wouldn’t see in the middle of nowhere.
One night we had dinner at a fancy pizza restaurant and got really good wifi and we were able to download lots of things. We didn’t do anything fun in Hiva Oa, but we were able to restock and download books and other things (If anyone is planning to go there, don’t, unless it’s a necessity). Finally done with what we needed to do, we headed off for Tahuata, where we spent three hours anchoring and pulled up a giant piece of coral that was attached to our anchor (fun times ;-).