Well, we nicknamed Rangiroa Rainyroa. In fairness, it rained throughout the Tuamotus for three days – locals were happy as fresh water is mostly collected into cisterns and they were running low.
We tried to fit in as much for Gel and George as we could but options were a bit limited – until Spa Day. A bit of snorkelling when the weather permitted and hanging out around town.
In desperation, we tried to head down to Blue Lagoon – an out of the way spot where the coral and fish were supposed to be nice. The path is charted but just outside of it, the area is completely unsurveyed.
Another bust. We got there and the water was too shallow for the dink to enter the small lagoon and the current was far too strong to negotiate on foot or with fins.
While we were trying to get in, the wind came up (unforecast as always) to 30 knots from the east. If you look at the pictures above it doesn’t take any imagination to understand how nasty things got with the long fetch of the lagoon blowing us on to a lee shore. The first challenge was getting people back aboard from the dink as the swim step was lurching up and down 3 feet and filling with seawater at the same time. With good timing, everybody made it back aboard safely albeit with some bumps and bruises.
The next challenge was getting the dinghy back aboard. We thought about towing the dinghy but we were really concerned about rolling it and losing it. Finally we made the call to haul it up. Just as we cleared the rail, another large set of waves rolled thru and we almost lost George and Steve trying to restrain the dink when it rolled outboard despite having it tethered with the boom holding it out and a line to the BBQ to restrain its swing as well. I quickly dropped the dink back on the hip (rub rail on the boat to the flotation collar not the dink) and we held it there until we had time to make the final lift. Deb released the jammer on the boom fore guy as I winched the dink up and George and Steve tried to control the bow and stern. Once clear of the lifeline, I helped pull it in and George and Steve held it while I dropped the dink in what amounted to little more then a crash landing. We gradually manuevered the dink into position by lifting just slightly and dropping it again. Once home, we had to quickly secure the boom as it was whipping back and forth and threatened to yank the dink off the chocks.
Time to head back to the barn and call it a day. Next day, the Admiral issued orders for a well deserved Spa Day. Steve and I got to do a main engine oil change.
Time to leave Rainyroa – next destination was our favorite in the Tuamotus. Fakarava.