Motus and Atolls

5/7/17

Day is winding down.  Sunset in an hour then watches begin.  Passing by the north side of Manihi island as we make our way to Rangiroa.  100 miles to go.

Our present speed should see us there at 2pm local. This will be in time for high tide. And that is both important and a good thing. There is a pass that allows you through the break in the reef.  If you are there on the outgoing tide its some serious upstream work.  Even with the current behind you on a flood tide you can get into trouble with too much current.  The “islands” are ring-like entities that have lagoons in the center.  And the lagoons can take up 95% or so of the area defined by the reef.  I think this is a common arrangement for atolls.   Unusual for sure.  It’s like they are hollow.  See what Google Earth can show you regarding these things.  Now what is the difference between a motu and an atoll?  This is the Tuamotu archipelago.   Not having Internet I’ll find out about this later… 🙂

Moon comes up and it’s big.  Has a celestial bright thingy just by it. This would be Jupiter says Mr. Christian. Moon is great for spotting squalls in the distance.  Radar helps too.  Not that you can really run from these things,  but it’s best not to be caught with too much sail up.  We are motoring as there has been no wind of consequence. But the wind is finally filling in as my jib-I’ve-been-fishing-for-wind-with is now filling in and pulling.  One thing about motoring is it does make our speed more predictable.  Especially useful here as there is no value in showing up to Rangiroa just after sun set when the current is starting to exit the Lagoon.  Best get there on time I’m thinking.  With luck tonight will be our last night at sea for awhile.

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