New island, new anchorage in Makaroa. We left Mangareva and headed to the rocks. There are three islands that make up this southerly set called the rocks. All three islands are uninhabited and difficult to anchor near. Our friend had given us some waypoints (locations to anchor) so we thought we would give it a try.
There is no anchorage near Ile Manui. Ile Makaroa is supposed to be fine for a “day spot” only. The water is supposedly deep and does not offer good holding. But there is good snorkeling here. The last island is Ile Kamaka which has a nice sandy beach.
With the current weather, wind, and swell we decided to try Ile Makaroa first. We drove around looking for a good spot and found a decent sandy area in 6 meters of water. We added 4 pearl floats to the chain to prevent it from getting tangled on the coral and sat it out to see how the boat sat.
The top photo is of three islands on our approach. The bottom two are of Ile Makaroa.
It is a bit rolly from the swell, but we decided to stick it out and go exploring.
We decided to stay one more night despite the rolliness. It is a pretty spot with super clear water. It is really amazing to look out your window and see the coral at the bottom of the ocean.
Snorkeling in the Rocks
We went for a snorkel to explore the beautiful coral. It is spectacular to see so many varieties of hard coral thriving here. Staghorn, tables and more. We were visited by schools of curious fish, large and small.
There were several schools of parrot fish and a few varieties of other small fish hanging around to check us out.
There were also a lot of jelly fish. Normally I am completely freaked out by jelly fish. I swim backwards, sideways and out just to get away from them. But these are not stinging jelly fish. Matt showed me by touching the inside and outside. I did manage to touch one on the outside and I was completely surprised at how hard it was!
No Wind Creates Havoc on Our Floats
A good anchorage is one with at least a little wind. We want the boat to always face the wind to give us a nice breeze inside the boat, to hold the boat in a safe position and to keep her safe. However, when there is no wind, we do circles and do what we call the anchor dance. Not really a big deal when you are all alone in an anchorage, but when there are other boats or coral heads you are trying to avoid it can be dangerous.
Our floats decided that quarantine was over and they gathered in a group. They should be spread out with 7-8 meters in between each float. Even though they are technically still doing their job of keeping the chain off the coral heads, they should be further away from each other. The top photo is a view from the bow of our boat. The other two are from underwater showing you how the floats work.
The bottom photo has them all touching each other – don’t they know about covid-19? Ugh!