Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Up at Manihi's Blue Lagoon

A couple of boats told us that they were headed up inside Manihi to what the locals call 'The Blue Lagoon'. Our friends on Infini and Slipaway had been up there a few days ago via lancha for a picnic with Fernando and his family, so we wanted to see it too.

None of us really knew the way--the directions that Fernando gave were "Follow the red and green markers until there are no markers, and then you are there." We did this and it was pretty easy, though once or twice there were pearl bouys in this path that we had to avoid. But all the major coral outcroppings were marked and the shallowest water was saw was 25'.

Our Maxsea/CM93 chart has no detail inside Manihi, and is off by about 200 yards, so our track went right down the motus on the south side of the lagoon. The 2008 Garmin Mapsource chart DID have a blow-up of Manihi and was pretty darned accurate--even showing all (or most) of the small coral outcroppings that need to be avoided. However, the markers (which are fairly new according to the locals) are not on the chart.

A Canadian boat, Lady Meg, had preceeded us the day before, so when we got to where they were anchored (about 3 miles short of the end of the lagoon), we stopped too. We are not actually positive that we have reached what the locals call 'The Blue Lagoon', but I think so. There is a small curved sand beach (better than the crushed coral that is in the rest of the atoll) and a thatched tiki hut. The anchorage is a little better than down by the town... only 20-25' deep and many fewer coral heads, with the same pretty good protection from ENE-S winds. But it is not MY idea of a 'Blue Lagoon'. Methinks this is just in answer to Rangiroa's advertised 'Blue Lagoon'.

We went ashore by dinghy last night and had a small happy hour on the beach with Lady Meg and Pacha II.

I think we are leaving Manihi for Toau tomorrow morning. Looking at the tides (for slack current in the pass) and the weather, the sooner the better, as the forecast shows the wind building over the next couple of days. So we will head back for town today--still need to stock up on baguettes before we leave, and get our last bit of internet for a couple of weeks.
Sherry & Dave
Headed South for French Polynesia

At 5/23/2011 4:21 PM (utc) our position was 14°24.24'S 145°52.79'W

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