Timing is everything! When travelling from one atoll to another we have to time our arrival carefully in order to enter the pass at slack tide. The current can be anything up to 9 or 10 knots otherwise. It is also important to have the sun behind (or at least high above) in order to see all the bommies (coral heads) once inside.
After a 20-hour sail from Raroia we enter the pass to Makemo on Wednesday morning at exactly the right time and we drop the anchor in extremely flat and crystal clear water just outside the village. There’s WiFi, a small supermarket, a bakery and even a few shacks that serve food! Woohoo! Our timing is brilliant: there is a local festival this week with pirogue racing, a sort of javelin competition, volleyball matches, and much more. We stock up on supplies, have some lunch and the kids play a game of football with the local children.
On Thursday we go and watch the javelin competition. The men are dressed in traditional outfits and start throwing spears at a coconut that is rigged up high. It’s quite a spectacle. We also go to the police station to check-in. We meet the friendliest police officer ever and the whole process takes less than five minutes. In fact, everyone is friendly and welcoming here. What a wonderful place!
Today we want to go a bit further west to another anchorage and then eventually exit the atoll on the west side in a few days. Our next atoll will probably be Tahanea, a nature reserve with spectacular diving and snorkeling so we’ve been told!