Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fakarava South Pass... We can't seem to depart :@)

Hello Everyone,

We are still here in the south pass of Fakarava, we have been here for about 4 days now and will stay for another few.... it has been amazing here! We are enjoying the down time being in one place for awhile. We have been diving, snorkeling, laundry, cleaning, swimming, beach combing, paddle boarding, kayaking, shark watching, and some boat repair trouble shooting... (mostly our dive compressor is on the brink).

I can't even begin to explain the area we are in except for to have you look it up on the internet and check it out... Our Lattitude is 16.31.112 south and our longitude is 145.28.166W. We are anchored between 2 shallow coral reefs on both sides and an island in front of us. There are patches of white sandy beaches close by that the kids can play on. Not to mention the amazing snorkeling right under our boat since we are anchored in 7 feet of water. The kids can sit on the end of the boat and see the fish without even going in the water. We also are visited by 6 or 7 reef sharks that swim all around the boat all the time. They also bring with them the really pretty pilot fish that hang with them. It feels like you are swimming in the largest swimming pool ever. The kids even enjoyed a game of sharks and minnows (typical Rancho style with a twist..) They really had to swim from the sharks. Hee Hee. Just kidding. Unfortunately when you go in the water the sharks swim away and stay on the perimeter of your boat until the splashing goes away and then they come back in to look.

The south pass of Fakarava is one of the most popular dives world wide to observe the sharks in the pass. The pass is lined with a coral wall and a partly sandy bottom. When you dive down about 20 meters you can grab on to some dead coral and just hang on and watch the sharks swim all around you and especially in the channel in front of you. There are literally hundreds and hundreds swimming through. They call it a wall of sharks and they aren't joking. While Chris, Tristan and Alexia scuba dived the pass, Mykaela, Alina and Amaia and I snorkeled on top... we of course stayed on the side and close to the coral wall. It was really beautiful. I have never seen anything like it. The water was so clear and the fish so vibrant and then of course the occasional shark would swim by you on its way to the others... Okay more than occasional in fact it was a little eerie swimming with the girls in this channel in their floaties and having the sharks swimming by... They really are beautiful but I can't help get a little nervous still when I see them 10 feet away (sometimes closer). There is a dive shop and a small dive resort that is run by a woman named Annabell. She has been here for 25 years and is very welcoming. Her office hangs out over the water along with all the little huts for her guests to stay in. There are docks leading out into the water to her restaurant and of course to catch the boats that take the guests back and forth from the north end. On our drift dive we start at one end of the beach and then swim out into the channel and drift with the current down to Annabells restaurant and swim into the cove and then walk back to the beach and do it again. I love it! In the cove there are also a lot of sharks because the restaurant throws all their scraps out into the water right off the dock, so the sharks all know where to get free food. There is also a large fish called a napoleon that is about 4 feet long, green and blue and he just hangs out there waiting for scraps as well. The girls had a fun time swimming with these guys and trying to touch the napoleon fish..

We have been hanging out with a few boats here and diving with them. Bay Dreamers (which is a boat of 7, 5 swedish and 2 german) girls and guys. They have been a lot of fun to talk to. They are younger and have a different energy that the kids really enjoy plus the dog on the boat that runs around trying to scare away the sharks. Also, Bob the Cat just joined us and the kids had a great time swimming and jumping off the top of the bimini for hours today. They are all completely exhausted... It is always nice to run into the crew on Bob the Cat! I look forward to drift snorkeling with them tomorrow down the pass. I am a little chicken of the sea, but always feel better when I am with them since we are diving with professionals... marine biologists and dive masters... plus this wouldn't be a very popular dive spot if the guests were always eaten, I imagine.

We will be here for a few more days, enjoying the surroundings and trying to get as much snorkeling and diving in as we can... until we are sick of it. Then we will head to North Fakarava for some reprovisioning, wifi and of course baguettes. Bob the Cat brought us some today... and it was so wonderful. I made a French Dip. Believe it or not,,, I actually had the ingredients for it. We haven't had that meal since we left Lafayette and it was devoured, especially with fresh bread. I am getting sick of cooking out of cans. I am not sure what else to make and all of my meals are stews and soups... I would love to bite into something! It gets to the point where you just don't want to cook anymore... but we have to and the kids are being troopers about it. I have 3 tomatoes, a few carrots, one apple and some green peppers left, any suggestions for recipes would be great. You are not able to buy any fresh fruit or veggies here. So I wont have a store until June 4th when we are in Papeete. That means two more weeks of rice, beans, and canned food. UGH !

Hope all of you can enjoy a nice cup of starbucks/petes/seattles best... for me. I would kill for a regular bottle of pickles that taste like pickles, bread that doesn't fall apart when you handle it, some fruit, a salad.. OMG that would be amazing. The last salad I had was in Nuka Hiva... it seems so long ago.

P.S. the sharks don't like mexican tortilla soup (I made it too spicy and we had to dump it).

Hugs and love to all...


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