Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Safely anchored inour first Pacific atoll

Last night was relatively uneventful, apart from a large fishing vessel passing us about 3 miles away. The wind allowed us to sail for a couple of hours but then dropped away and we restarted the engine to make sure we arrived at Takaroa in daylight.
So, after three and a half days at sea we have completed the 450 mile passage and are now anchored in the lagoon of Takaroa atoll (position 14 degrees 28.3 minutes south, 145 degrees 02 minutes west). It's an extraordinary place as, unlike the mountainous islands of the Marquesas, the atolls are just rings of coral, only a few feet above sea level, with large lagoons inside them and a few villages dotted along the edge. As you approach they look like very low-lying islands but, as we got closer, we could see small breaks in the coral and the calm lagoon within.
Takaroa has a relatively wide pass (perhaps 100ft wide) at the western end of the atoll that takes you into the lagoon. Coming in is quite challenging though as all the water in the lagoon, which is several miles long and about a mile wide, flows in and out with the tide. We arrived just after high water and so had some strong tidal eddies swirling around us and up to 3 knots of current but once into the lagoon it's like being on a large lake – outside the 2m swell is pounding the edge of the reef but here we are completely motionless. We think we'll sleep well tonight!
We'll hopefully post some photos tomorrow.

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