After a night of sailing and then heaving to outside the pass at Tikehau, we made our entry in the morning choosing slack but erring on the side of the outgoing current to avoid wind-over-tide. We were surprised by how much outgoing current we found and over the next week we realized how full the lagoon must have been on our entry as we watched the lagoon empty. Often after entering a pass, you turn directly into wind toward the sheltered part of the lagoon and so after a nice sail between atolls we often find ourselves motoring straight into the wind and swell toward the protected anchorage. It is always a bit of a bummer way to end a nice sail. After 6 miles of this, we anchored just East of the main village, near Pension Hotu and the airport. This anchorage quickly became uncomfortable and so we moved even further east toward the Pearl Beach Resort to avoid the building fetch. This anchorage was better, but still lumpy.
As mentioned previously, the search for a better anchorage took us to every side of the atoll. Overall, the anchorages were beautiful above water, especially on the NW side of the lagoon where the reef side of the motus was alive with coral and fish, but the underwater, except for the pass, although was hard to difficult to appreciate because of the murkiness of the water.
Tip: If you stop by Tikehau, have lunch at Pension Hotu. We had enormous meals of fresh tuna (poisson cru and carpaccio) and the staff of both Pension Hotu and Tikehau Plongee were extremely boater friendly – helping us with a number of cruiser chores and helping us locate various supplies.
Lumpy-hau, we will remember you for your mantas and for the amazing village, walking and biking on the reef side of the village motu was the highlight of our trip. The village was extremely friendly, spotlessly clean, and well gardened. We spent quite a few days walking to get ice cream and enjoying the village.
We also enjoyed hunting in an atoll (reportedly) without ciguatera, getting to enjoy a bunch of new fish we had never eaten before.
((Carol is starting to write blog posts – watch out world!))