Logs of S/V Bravo Charlie III



We're in the south anchorage of Fakarava now (adjacent to Passe Tumakohua) . Attached is a picture of Greg conning for coral heads and pearl farms. Talk about pearl farms... we ran into a huge farm, in the middle of the transit. There were also oyster farms (for food instead of pearls), which are about 4 feet below the water (you can't see them until you're almost into them). We were doing a good job negotiating thru, (pretty tricky with coral, pearls and oysters) when a pretty excited farmer greeted us, and escorted us to the outside of the farms. We went snorkeling yesterday. Also met a local family. This guy named Manihi came from France 20+ years ago. France has a sponsorship program for locals and French; if you have a business plan that generates tourist dollars, they will give you 50% of your 10 year anticipated income! As a result, Manihi built a beautiful pension (bed and breakfast) that is as nice as some of the Pearl Beach Resorts. Its unclear whether he really will generate the income he stated in his plan in 10 years, but he (and his family) is really enjoying himself! He greeted us at 6:00 am with fresh dog tooth tuna. He said the best part of a tuna is the back area, which he gave to us, with a few other steaks. And here's something exciting....one day a year, there's a very large school of bass that makes a run thru the pass here for spawning. Our friend here has fish traps in the pass. Any given week, he catches about 100 fish. On the night of the run, he catches 5 TONS of fish!! Yes, 5 TONS. He hires a large, boat to sell the fish in Tahiti. This happens on the full moon, on Thursday. We're going to be working with him, maybe diving in the pass if we think it's safe enough. Well, we're getting ready to snorkel the pass here; we'll let you know if we meet up with the shark school!


We went on a great dive today in the south pass at Fakarava. The fish were so thick, it was like a carpeting of different types of fish, as far as you could see. The water visibility around here is ~120 feet! We out to sea in a dingy caravan about 1/4 mile just after the turn of the tide. There is a sharp drop off on the outside of the pass and started the dive by going down to about 100 feet where we saw huge wrasses, shark, octopus, and you name it. Coral was also very nice. Ended the dive inside the pass, with a slight current taking us to our chase boat. There are 5 of us who dive; we each take turns being a chase/safety boat for the others. We also snorkel the pass in about 20-30 feet, which is superb. Yesterday I went fishing out of the pass in our dinghy, with 2 other cruisers. Within 20 minutes, I had a nice 4' wahoo, then someone caught a dogtooth tuna. We just got the tuna on board a few feet ahead of several sharks who were a little slow on the draw! We're saving this for the July 4th party we're having, either at the local's place, or on Bravo Charlie. Got just a little wind today; looks like enough to bring out the windsurfers. We still have alot of exploring on various atolls to do. We're going back to the north anchorage on Monday, in time to get some fresh produce off the weekly flight from Tahiti. Starting in 2 weeks we have a pretty constant stream of visitors, which we're really looking forward to.


There's been lots of things happening here, so we're attaching 9 pictures! We're still at the south end of Fakarava, leaving today for Toau. Pic 508 is sunrise at the south pass at Fakarava. 515 is our local friend, Manihi's, daughter. She's always with him fishing. She loves to talk to us (in French) and is a real cute kid. 516 is our friends, Chris and Marcus, on the boat Pez Vela, at Manihi's fish trap. We've been diving and fishing with them. Marcus is a professional fishing guide from San Diego. They're both great divers and fishers. 519 is Greg, Marcus and Manihi, putting the fish from the trap, into a new lagoon at Manihi's house. Since Manihi didn't get a boat to take his fish to market (except for a few hundred) we helped him move the fish to this lagoon. Unfortunately, we had large swell from the south, creating huge breaking waves over the reef (a surfers dream!), raising the level in the lagoon, allowing the fish to escape. Pretty sad for Manihi. 523 is one of the many pink sand motus, at the west side of the south pass. 529 is another shot of another motu. 532 we call 'dances with sharks'. These little black tips come into the shallows at high tide to feed. Also a good place to hunt for lobster. 535 is a pic of this hippie dude we met ;-) check out the colors of the sand and water. We never quit marveling at the beautiful colors, which are more intense and beautiful in person. 537 is a shot of some bones we found on one of the atolls. Supposedly a tsunami washed some bones up, probably from a cemetery, but I'm sure there's lots of stories floating around. Last week a charter cameraman went on the reef outside of Rangiroa, and was a total loss (no injuries). This made me think to remind people who use charter boats, to check the captain's credentials. They should have both sailing experience and local knowledge (and legally be licensed). Sometime charter companies get short captains and hire cruisers. Some of the cruisers don't have the sailing experience you would want, and almost none of them would have enough local knowledge you would want. I don't know what the circumstances of this boat were in that regard. They left the atoll in the dark, and turned too soon out of the pass, right onto the reef. They might have had all of the above but just got careless. This year is lighter on accidents than last time we were out here, although the sailors seem to be less knowledgeable over all.


Since we've been falling down on the job of writing logs we persuaded the kiddies to write one.

Eric: Wow! Windsurfing, tennis, sashimi, drift snorkeling, Hinano, Ridge Zin, Fred's beef, biking, diving, 80 degree weather, WWW surfing, Dr. Strangelove/007, Led Zepplin/Doors, no suits, no traffic, no Starbucks, no BMW Z3s.Rangiroa rocks. Greg and Ruth really know how to do it.

Paula: HAPPY 33RD BIRTHDAY KERI -WE LOVE YOU ! ALAS we met Rangiroa: the jewel of the South Pacific..Can't brag about our mighty sea legs since we've been anchored all week, but am proud of our ability to keep the head de-clogged. Obviously Bravo Charile III edict "you clog it, you clean it" works. Dad (Johnny O), O how you would love it here. The best sashimi ever, crystal blue water, tropical fish galore, and non-stop 'sea legs' talk . have met all of ruth and greg's fellow boater friends; an outgoing little community in the middle of paradise. No seasickness, James Bond movies, crankin tunes, mai tais, mai tias and more mai tias. Have determined that the best restaurant on this motu is chez Page. Ruth is a wicked chef and the best captain aboard (who said that?). I think Greg has discovered his own personal paradise..there's so many things to solve, fix and re-configure. Saw dolphin in waves today, free-diving yesterday, ocean swimming, snorkeling. If we could have one wish aboard mine would be the ability to use more than 3 squares of TP per head usage, and not surprisingly eric's would be to have chloe out on the windsurfer with him. Off to bora bora tomorrow. Lots of love to all, paula (aka pollywog).