Monday, July 3, 2017

Apataki, Tuamotus

Apataki, Tuamotus
June 18 - 26

The last and final atoll on the Terrapin Tuamotus tour was Apataki. For the sail from Toau to Apataki we did a kid swap with Cape D and unfortunately with no wind, it was nothing more than a 4 hour motor ride. With Julian on our bow we attempted the hairiest atoll pass yet. The pass into Apataki makes a quick dogleg right and gets shallow (11 feet deep) with various bommies sprinkled about for an added butt puckering experience.

Coming into the pass we swept past  a group of kids jumping off a balcony who were extremely excited to see us. They returned our waves and shouts with a few dance moves, (even threw in a dab) hoots and hollers before plunging into the ocean.

Our first stop was at the SE corner behind our very own palm covered motu. The water under our boats was clear enough to easily see 45 feet down and was one of the better places to snorkel in all of the Tuamotus.

Apataki is the only atoll (that we've heard of) with a haul out yard and provides a great option for those who want to go home for a few months and come back later. Seems weird that in the middle of nowhere there's a haul out yard, but we met several people who were headed home while leaving their boats in the Tuamotus.

An unexpected treat was anchoring in front of the Carenage (haul out facility). We had moved in front of the Carenage when the wind decide to blow from the NW then whip around to the SE. Seemed like the wind was having an identity crisis and couldn't make up its mind. The people who run the Carenage were very friendly and were quick to show us around. They even  introduced us to Pou the pig. Pou was bought to eventually eat, but after a few weeks, the locals became smitten with her winning personality and she's now the local pet pig.

Whistle, and Pou will come running out of the bushes to help escort you to the beach, help eat leftovers of fresh coconuts or rollover for belly scratchings.

Another great animal encounter were the tame nurse sharks. At about 4pm, nurse sharks make their way to shore and aren't the least afraid to come right up and all but beg to be pet. We're not entirely sure, but we think they're accustomed to being fed from the beach at the same time every afternoon. We had a great time discovering Apataki which made it that much harder to sail away from the Tuamotus towards the Society Islands.

 It's true, what everyone told us. Sailing through the Tuamotus will make anyone who didn't get the long stay visa want to kick themselves. We could easily have stayed a full year just in the Tuatmotus.

1 comment:

  1. LOL at "with various bommies sprinkled about for an added butt-puckering experience" --your writing is so hilarious :)
    Kate M