Shiplogs: Tuamotu Islands magyarul

     30/07/2007 - 30/08/2007                                   ««   page 1/4   »»

Jump to page:1234

 

1. day - 30/07/2007 - Monday

We are sailing again in the Pacific Ocean towards the next group of islands Tuamotu of French Polynesia. The boat is filled now with the local grapefruit and with some frozen chicken. We have to sail around 500 miles southwest to the atolls of Tuamotu. There are around 78 islands, which are all diferent sized and shaped atolls. From birds eyes view the area looks fantastic. But we have to be careful by getting close to these atolls. The coralls can be dangerous and even recent years carelessly navigated
yachts had some accidents here. The area is sometimes called Dangerous Archipelago.
The maps are not very reliable and sometimes the corall-rings are hidden by the ocean. That was the reason we recalibrated our radar at Marquesas. There is a big a chance of using it. The radar can show the breaking waves above the coralls. Another threat is the unpredictable current around the atolls. Before-GPS-time the sailors avoided Tuamotu, but still today it can be dangerous sailing in and out the atolls. The maps are mainly still today from the before-GPS-time so the current exact positions
are not enough to navigate.
On the first day of sailing we left behind 100-mile in a pleasant sunlit, under the blue sky, in a good trade wind and flat sea. It is full moon now, which makes the navigation and visibility easier in the night also among the islands.
We have again a banch of bananas, but it is still very green.

After a while we left behind the storm clouds and the wind also calmed. In the small breeze we tried to stabilise the boat. This is one of the most difficult situations in sailing. The wind is small and the swells are still high (2- 3 meters), so the swells shake the wind out from the sails. Then the wind started to rotate. First it was westerly then it became northerly and we noticed the dark clouds again behind. Suddenly the wind got crazy with 25-30 knots of speed we felt we were flying.
At down we left all the storms behind and the barometer looked again normal. We had been through a tropical depression that was not in the weatherforecast. In daylight we had again only some breeze. We had a nice lunch from the chicken we bought when the wind completely stopped. We removed the sails and just rolled with the swells. In the evening we saw a more than 50 meters long boat passing us. It had its nice navigation lights on so did we. She made a nice turn to avoid us. We checked on radar,
it was 2 miles away then turned towards Tahiti. We believe that this was the boat we saw at Marquesas otherwise there is not a big traffic around.


2. day - 31/07/2007 - Tuesday

The yesterday wind remained for today. We had Hungarian chicken soup and local bred-fruit (fried and baked too as we tested, which is better) for lunch.

In the evening some thick black clouds gathered in the blue sky but it was clear right just above us. But our luck has gone when the sun went down. The clouds closed their ring around us, and the 20 knots of trade wind turned from the south (5 knots was predicted by the weather forecast). The barometer started to fall. We reefed, and started beating windward in the bigger and bigger waves..

English translation is missing, sorry....


3. day - 01/08/2007 - Wednesday

After a while we left behind the storm clouds and the wind also calmed. In the small breeze we tried to stabilise the boat. This is one of the most difficult situations in sailing. The wind is small and the swells are still high (2- 3 meters), so the swells shake the wind out from the sails. Then the wind started to rotate. First it was westerly then it became northerly and we noticed the dark clouds again behind. Suddenly the wind got crazy with 25-30 knots of speed we felt we were flying.
At down we left all the storms behind and the barometer looked again normal. We had been through a tropical depression that was not in the weatherforecast. In daylight we had again only some breeze. We had a nice lunch from the chicken we bought when the wind completely stopped. We removed the sails and just rolled with the swells. In the evening we saw a more than 50 meters long boat passing us. It had its nice navigation lights on so did we. She made a nice turn to avoid us. We checked on radar,
it was 2 miles away then turned towards Tahiti. We believe that this was the boat we saw at Marquesas otherwise there is not a big traffic around..


4. day - 02/08/2007 - Thursday

The wind arrived with the sunrise. We had 12-15 knots of wind so we sailed quite fast then the squalls arrived in the night so we had to reef the sails.
We had a mission this night as we passed an atoll nearby. We were not sure in the reliability of the maps so we had to watch the reefs carefully. We expected that we could see some palm trees in the moonlight, but it did not happen. That would have been very exciting in the ocean. We were a disappointed. And it happened that the island is also called the Island of Disappointment. If the weather is calm it is possible to drop the anchor here (30 meters depth). We skipped this idea in the night. We
could not even see the island on the radar, there is not any reflection from the island and it could be very flat too which makes even harder to see.

Daily position:
14:50 13-14.00S 141-12.00W log= 22008.7


5. day - 03/08/2007 - Friday

It was a pleasant day for sailing. We made 4-5 knots and it was a perfect time to do some shaving and haircut on board. We tried to catch some fish, but the hook was taken away by a predator. The second try brought a leg of an octopus. This was our last try. It is not suggested for sailors to fish in the atolls due to the fish poisoning around. Only the locals know the places or types of fish that are eatable. So we remained with the vegetarian pizza for dinner.

Interesting: We read that based on the theory of Darwin the atolls were created from volcanos which sank under the water then they were surrounded by reefs.
The coral atolls of Tuamotu represent more than 70 islands (from these 30 is uninhabited). They lie between Marquesas and the Society Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Every island is surrounded by coral reefs. These can be closed or opened atolls where the incoming water can freely float out.
Former French nuclear test sites were operated at some of the islands of the Tuamotu and the main site was Moruroa and Fangataufa. There are still debates today whether the nuclear substance could spread into the biosphere endangering the locals and also about that these tests are responsible for the fishpoisoning in French Polynesia.

Daily position:
13:30 14-51.19S 141-56.89W log= 22115.2


6. day - 04/08/2007 - Saturday, Arrival at Raroia

Google Earth - Raroia
Google Earth - Raroia
Raroia Map
Raroia Pass
After 4.5 days of sailing we set eyes on the palm trees of Raroia. We had to turn against the wind to head towards the entrance of the island. The visibility was not very good. We had fog around so we had to wait for the clear sky to see the underwater coral reefs. The navigation software worked well this time and the entrance was at the northeast of the island with a good depth in it. The coral ring of the atoll breaks the ocean swells from the east which get into the atoll and the entrance is
the only where this mass of water can leave the atoll. If the entrance of an atoll is very narrow the outgoing current can even reach 10-11 knots. The right time of sailing into an atoll is around 1 hour after low or high tigh in the slack water. There are some general rules to estimate the perfect time but it can be different in all atolls based on the currents, swells, wind etc. So the best is to wait at the entrance for the slack water.
We arrived at around 10 am. The squalls left and the sky cleared.
The entrance of Raroia is relatively narrow. Based on the pilot book the outgoing current can reach the 9 knots. Comparing the maximum speed of the current we can only make 6-7 knots with the engine. So clearly we had to wait for the slack water.
At arrival the outgoing current was fast the breakwater sparkled. We saw some tide rapids and completely flat sea. We watched the maps and figured out that the entrance of this atoll is easy and simply and by the way it was also buoyed. If we cannot manage the current with engine the current will push us out to the open sea. At 12.30 we were curious haw fast the current is. So we sailed into the rapids and headed towards the entrance. Our speed was dropping when we get close to the entrance. The
current that was still too strong pushed us out from the atoll. So we started to wait again.
For our pleasure two dolphins joined us. We have never seen dolphin with pilot fish before. The pilot fish usually follows the sharks and rays. One of the dolphins had a pilot fish on it. The fish seemed to bother the dolphin, as it wanted to get rid of it. For final the dolphin started to brush its back to the bottom of our boat, but the pilot fish did not go away and climbed to its top head than to the tummy. Then the dolphin pushed out its head from the water by balancing with its fins. It seemed
it wanted some help from us. When the dolphin left it was waving with its fin. The whole looked like an attraction in a pool. We could not believe it but we saw it.
Our second try was at 1.30 pm. We get slowly through the rapids. This time the current was 5 knots at the entrance, which was still ok after we speeded up the engine. So we were going into the atoll by 0.5-1 knots. Then we were in. We could follow the bouys that signed the coral reefs up to the anchoring place. At the anchoring place the water depth was around 7-8 meters and there were some dangerous coral heads around. So we tried to be very careful when we dropped the anchor, but we found a sandy-bottomed
place for it. We dropped also the stern anchor not to hit any of the coral heads around. We also lifted up the anchor line with fender to avoid the twisting around the reefs.
Geza checked the anchor and saw some small sharks around. But they did not care about him. Our first steps on the shore will only be tomorrow.

Daily position:
13:30 16-02.39S 142-28.30W log= 22192.5
RaroiaRapids at the PassNatural Dolphin Show
Dolphin with the Pilot FishNatural Dolphin ShowRotor


7. day - 05/08/2007 - Sunday

We paddled out to shore. We chose to visit this atoll because the pilot books said this atoll was hardly visited by sailing boats or tourists and it was remote comparing other atolls neararound. After landfall we found that the pilot book was wrong. But we found something different that we were really happy about. We found here really warm-hearted and hospitable people.
The island is well developed today with nice houses on shore, solar panels, televisions in them and with a small airport (with regular flies from Tahiti twice a week - Sunday and Monday).
Our first walk was to a telephone box. We wanted to know whether it was recallable from Europe. And we also inquired the first house about the church of the settlement. A lady came to help us out and she asked whether we arrived for the celebration on Tuesday. But we said no and we did not know what kind of celebration was on.
We knew that Raroia was the place where Kon-Tiki, captained by Thor Heyerdahl, landed in 1947 after its epic 4,300-mile (3.5-month) sailing from Peru. But we did not know that the landing was on the 7th August. And they were to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this event on Tuesday.
We had a very warm welcome on the island and the lady told us to join them on Tuesday for the celebration. We were glad to do that. And it seemed that we were at the right place at the right time again. She also told us that a plane would arrive soon with the grandsons of Thor Heyerdahl. Everybody went to the airport so did we. When we walked there we hardly noticed that we were walking on the runaway so the securities showed the right way.
At the small airport we got to know a few people from the village and also from the Tahitian tourists who were to leave the island. There was a big squall before the plane landed but finaly the plane arrived. The locals welcomed friendly all the people arrived with the plane including the grandsons (Thor and Olav). Flower necklets were given to the guests then the lodging started. Meanwhile we could talk to Olav who was one of the crewmember on the last year journey where they replicated Kon-Tiki
and sailed from Peru to Tahiti with a stop at Raroia island. We did not hear about this journey but we were glad to hear that there would be a movie about it in the evening.
When we returned back to the boat another sailing boat arrived. So now there were all together two sailing boats at the island.
In the evening we went to watch the movie about the last year journey and after it we had also time to talk a little with Olav, Thor (the grandsons) and Lee (the other sailor who arrived after us).

 
Continues on the next page...
Jump to page:1234

 
Visitors on this page:   3598678