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Mischief - Even more Mischief making Log 19 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Day 37 Thursday 5 April 2018 - Fakarava Atoll South

Spent the night motoring slowly due west in a completely flat sea and no wind. The stars were out in abundance and eventually the moon appeared giving us a very clear night. The Milky Way is amazing.

We were aware that another World Arc yacht Shepherd Moon was at anchor just outside the atoll of Faaite just 10 miles short of Fakarava so we slightly diverted to meet up with them early morning as we were both headed for the same ultimate anchorage. We dropped our anchor at 0730 and swam over to Shepherd Moon to say hello - the water is crystal clear and warm. We both wanted to get to the southern pass into Fakarava lagoon on the last of the ebb tide meaning leaving around 1030 ish to arrive around 1230 which we did, Mischief venturing through the entrance with Shepherd Moon in hot pursuit. However, we noted that rather than the tide flowing slowly against us it was actually flooding at 2 knots making it a bit difficult to maintain steerage and keep the speed low. The entrance luckily was fairly well marked and was an idyllic desert island scene with white beaches and palm trees on either side of the narrow channel before opening up into a deep turquoise blue lagoon. This means that wee have independently either read the tide tables incorrectly or they are wrong due to atmospheric or wave influences, who knows but it is an issue.

We found our way to the anchorage where there were half a dozen other yachts hanging on permanent mooring buoys, only one of which being an Arc boat. Shepherd Moon and ourselves dropped anchors and immediately headed off back to the entrance in the dinghies armed with snorkel gear as this was the place to go for a dinghy drift dive - basically you don your gear and jump out of the boat to drift with the current along the coral reef towing the dinghy behind at some considerable speed and just watch the underwater scenery unfold. Absolutely brilliant snorkeling but not too many sharks about and those that were gave us a wide berth. There are a few dive companies based here in wooden huts and we noticed one or two divers sat on the bottom of the channel but they really were not experiencing anything more than we were on the surface as the water was so clear and what's more we weren't paying anything extra for the privilege. We drifted all the way back to the boat, showered off and had a beer. A wonderful experience.

Wendy on the other hand had not joined us for the swim and instead sat on the boat with a drink and wrote in the log: "1330 peace and tranquility for Wendy. Out comes the bikini as nobody can see - well except the odd duck and black tipped shark which appear to be getting excited as I could be thrown in for their evening meal! Washed up and tidied, washing all hung out, perfect. Decided to ring Neen [a mutual friend joining the boat in Australia] as I have 3G but sadly realized it was past midnight in the UK!! Chas has just arrived back from snorkeling and has caught me writing in his notebook… :-)." Bad girl!

Richard and Vanessa from Shepherd Moon came over and joined us for dinner for which Trevor had made a rather nice fish curry with some of our newly caught mahi-mahi and peanuts. Vanessa bought along an apple crumble she had just knocked up with some cream! There's living. A great evening to cap off a really enjoyable day.

Later on, we fed the sharks circling the boat with the scraps and unbelievably they spat out the crumble - ungrateful blighters, its not often they get home cooking like that!

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