November 4, 2012
Call signs WDF2150 & KF7TDY
TIME: 2012/11/04 03:37
Anchored off Manuae, Cook Islands
Found a decent anchorage on the West side of Manuae outside the reef... there is no big boat pass. On our first try we dropped the anchor on the edge of the reef where the anchor landed in 16 meters and the boat in over 90 meters, the limit of our sounder. Kathy and I both jumped in for a swim to check out the anchor and found it precariously perched on the edge of an underwater cliff. So, I swam back to the boat and raised anchor and Kathy stayed in the water to guide the boat to a better spot. On the second try we had the anchor in 10 meters and the boat was just on the edge of the cliff in 26 meters. To protect the coral we utilized two large buoys to suspend the anchor chain off the bottom. Once everything was set I was ready for a nap having only slept for 3 hours on our overnight sail.
Around 2PM we launched the dingy and made for the small boat pass near 19°15.5'S 158°58.0'W (not exact) and with the calm seas were able to time our run through the small pass, but unable to make it all the way into the lagoon. So inside the reef break we anchored the dinghy in the pass at the point it got too shallow. Then we walked about 100 yards to shore. Wow the reef is healthy with tons of giant clams in a very high density. If our PhD Clam expert Charlie is reading this the good news is we have lots of GPS referenced photos for you and the bad news is that there is someone on the island poaching the clams. We found lots of piles of shells that had been recently pried from the coral and shucked. Lots of foot prints in the sand, but who ever is on the island kept concealed. Probably, due to the fact that they are poaching.
We took a long walk around the large motu enjoying first the lagoon side and then the ocean side. Very beautiful.
Tomorrow our plan is to try to walk the dingy all the way through the reef pass where it gets shallow and then explore the other motu and parts of the lagoon. Hopefully, the weather holds so we can enjoy another day here at Manuae, Cook Islands.
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