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Badger

Badger
In Greenland

Iron Bark

Iron Bark
Under full sail

Fantail

Fantail
At Russell Boating Club's Tall Ships Regatta

Annie Hill

Annie Hill
Photo credit: Alvah Simon

Blue Water Medal

Blue Water Medal
Blue Water Medal

Books By Annie Hill

  • Brazil and Beyond
  • Voyaging on a Small Income

About Me

09 March, 2007


We very much wanted to explore some of the other islands in the archipelago, but being so far south, we were no longer truly in the Trade Winds. All too often the winds was either blowing from NW or forecast to do so and if it went round to the S, the sky was too overcast to allow for safe coral navigation. We did manage to get away for one night, anchoring off the W side of Taravai I in a deserted anchorage. Here we went ashore and wandered around abandoned palm groves, where the new trees were growing up so thickly, that we felt no guilt about cutting some down for hearts of palm. Sadly, for us, the breadfruit and pamplemousse that had once been in abundance had succumbed to the indigenous flora. It was a lovely spot, but the wind backed the next day, so we returned to Rikitea.
A few days later, we set off for the Tuamotus. Once known as the Dangerous Archipelago, GPS, large engines and excellent cruising guides have made them a cruising destination in their own right. This doesn’t mean to say that they’re without problems, however. The passes are on the lee side of the lagoons and frequently have strong currents, caused by the ocean spilling over the windward reef and then pouring out of the leeward side. These currents can be countered by incoming tides causing frightening, standing waves. While these are manageable when you’re being spat out, they can be extremely daunting when you’re slugging in. Many anchorages are far from comfortable, being encumbered with coral heads, strategically spaced to snag your anchor cable, instantly reducing a comfortable 5:1 scope to up-and-down. Laying out the anchor with care can avoid this situation, but if the wind shifts or dies, you can find yourself back at square one.

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