Yesterday afternoon we left the anchorage next to the village and motored the 7 miles across the glassy Kauehi lagoon to find an anchorage close to the entrance pass at the southern end. Peter & Heidi wanted to do an early start this morning to get across to Fakarava to meet the plane from Tahiti and so this move would make the voyage shorter.
Having peered into the gin-clear waters as we anchored in the fading light, the Maunie crew decided we'd have a second night here to do a bit of snorkelling so Stormvogel left us at 07.00, after a slight delay, and we've had an amazing day.
Our anchorage is sand with dark blobs of coral heads all around and it's quite disconcerting to walk along the side decks; the clear water makes it feel as though we are suspended in mid-air, 30ft above the ground.
Once into the warm, clear water we were mesmerised by the wildlife all around us. The rather menacing-looking Black Tip Sharks that also seem to favour this spot didn't put us off too much, though Graham had a bit of a moment when a 4ft one, complete with Ramora Fish hiding under its belly, came straight towards him (inquisitive rather than aggressive, Graham thinks!) and only turned away about a yard from him!
The coral is like a garden here – full of rich colours and home to at least 50 different species of fish. We swam into the shallow water and glided over the coral heads just a few inches below us. The clams have incredible colours in their 'lips' and some of the fish are simply beautiful, though an hour later we were hungry again.
We've posted a few small photos here but will add more when we get to Fakarava tomorrow evening. The forecast is for a couple more calm days then a reasonable breeze so we'll aim to set off for Tahiti (a 2-3 day sail) on Tuesday or Wednesday.