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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Maupihaa: Lobster, exploring, snorkeling and beach bonfires.

May 15, 2013
Anchorage position: 16°49.756'S 153°55.565'W Maupihaa atoll south east anchorage

As we approached Maupihaa we deployed some new fishing lures and immediately had a double hook up. We ended up loosing both fish and a bunch of line to either really big tuna or big sharks feasting on the tuna we just hooked. Either way we got more lines in the water and soon lost a third lure and even more line even after a protracted battle chasing one of the beasts with the boat for awhile. Some sort of big monsters are lurking around Maupihaa atoll. Finally we hooked a nice yellow fin and wound it in at top speed before it got eaten as well. The final score big fish 3, LightSpeed 1. We were excited to be back at Maupihaa atoll, our favorite stop in all of French Polynesia and happy to have some fresh tuna to share.

Luckily timing allowed an easy transit of the 60' wide reef pass and from there we motored directly for the north anchorage (16°46.73'S 153°57.08' W, 4M sand) to catch up with our favorite south pacific family. A true Polynesian welcome with lots of big hugs and kisses on each cheek after which we were adorned with beautiful shell leis. Some trips you shouldn't repeat as they're never the same, but Maupihaa is one that should never be passed up. We visited well past sunset and made plans for a big lobster dinner the following evening. Hio captured 15 lobsters in just 2 hours of wading on the reef and we enjoyed a real feast. Somehow, five days have already passed at Maupihaa atoll. Snorkeling outside the pass was superb with hundreds of blue-silver trevali, giant green wrasse, the usual complement of parrot fish and tons of sharks. Drifting through the pass you can see a cannon from the wreck of the Sea Adler and outside the reef a good length of ships chain that might serve as a good tie off for a temporary mooring. I took my spear gun hoping for a pelagic target, but after firing the spear at a parrot fish I was overwhelmed by a pack of aggressive sharks and made a hasty exit to the safety of the dinghy. No fish for dinner tonight. Another day we walked nearly the length of the atoll, alternately exploring the central road and making forays out to the ocean to beach comb.

We're also enjoying the company of s/v Miss Goodnight with a dinner aboard their Lagoon 440 and also a beach bonfire. A huge south swell has been battering the atoll the last few days and the reef pass is ebbing at an alarming rate, so we'll stay until the swell moderates and the pass again becomes safe to transit.

That's it for now.

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