Blue Pearl - Swimming with Dolphins
I know daughter Nicole will be quite jealous of me because this morning
I swam with dolphins on the reef just outside Passe Tiputa which is the
access to the Rangiroa atoll, the second largest in the world. We were
scuba diving and it didn't take long for the dolphins to show up. They
were the big grey variety similar to the ones we see off the east coast,
not the small black ones that we have been seeing in the Pacific. In any
case a big one to a liking to me and we played around for a while. I was
allowed to touch her and we swam along together...! What a treat. Brita
took some pictures and a video which I will share when I can.
We had arrived at the Passe Tiputa early yesterday morning. Just when
the ebb current was at its greatest, we measured it at 6.5 kts. In
addition the wind of about 15kts was blowing in the opposite direction
of the current so it made for quite a wild ride into the atoll. But good
old Blue Pearl pulled us through and we were soon safely at anchor.
Rangiroa atoll is a place of contrast, some very expensive resort hotels
joining space with the nice basic Polynesian village scene. We had lunch
at Snack Lilliy (all restaurants here seem to be called "Snack") which
was excellent and very reasonably priced.
Which makes me think of Chez Gaston et Valentine who I'd mentioned to
you before. Well, we never did have dinner with them but they offered to
make us lunch on Thursday which we shared with the crew of two other
rally boats, Aranui and O'Deline both from Switzerland. We have some
nice pictures of our group of 18 sitting around the table enjoying a
beautiful fresh fish lunch. And all that for $40, I thought that was for
all 18 of us but it turned out to be per head...! Big city prices on a
beautiful atoll island with nothing else on it than Chez Gaston et
Valentine. Smart couple. They also told us they own the island...!
We left there late afternoon for an overnight sail to Rangirora we had
timed it to arrive at slack water for an easy passage through the cut
but , as you have seen already, we failed and had to fight our way in
against 6.5kts of current through big standing waves that tossed us
around a bit. We need a better plan for next time