An atoll is basically a big ring of coral, but the pass is where the water both exits and enters into the lagoon. The pass of course is the only place a boat can enter as well. We needed to go to Fakarava, so we made our way back to the North passes of Tahanea. It was still a bit overcast so we were following a Pitufa track on our chart plotter (a track they made before with out hitting any bombies). But we were a bit confused when we saw a dark area ahead of us which we thought might be a reef. With a look thru the binoculars we realized it was a huge flock of Noddie Terns fishing. They were clumped so close together we thought they were a reef!
As we got closer we could finally see individual birds.
The sky was finally beginning to clear as the sun was setting on the anchorage in the North.
The next day we watch a boat heading for the pass thru the shallow turquoise water as the tide was turning to go out.
We wanted to explore the motu where we could see a shack had been built. When we arrived there were no people, but I would guess they were coming back at some point as it was a very well made shack! Note the large coral pieces holding down the aluminum roofing so they don't blow away in the wind.
This looked to be the kitchen area
They had placed some fish net stakes on an area where the water washes in from the outer reef. There were no nets on it now thank goodness.
From the back side of the shack you can see the standing waves in the out going current. This happens on which ever side of the pass the water is going towards. And when it goes out, it usually goes out strong, because the waves from all around the atoll push water into the lagoon, but it can only go out at the pass.
This was an interesting coral formation with a tidal pool inside the outer reef.
As we walked toward the sandy pass we came upon this big dead tree that looked quite wind blown for its whole life.
It made a great cradle for this photo of our friends on Pakia Tea as they sailed into the anchorage from the South side of the lagoon.
We saw many strange coral formations on our walk. This one looked like private parts frozen into a piece coral, washed up in the sand.
The coral even understands the math formula of pie.
So many different types of coral in the sand.
The white dome turned over looked like someone's brain.
A dried out tide pool from when the water was much higher.
The little holes in this piece of coral looked like claw marks had dug them out.
Another cruiser had weaved a palm frond to put her coconut findings on, but the little hermit crabs had found it when she was not looking.
They are very curious critters about the size of your fist.
The pass is on the other side of that motu, but the water and sky are just so lovely.
One of the most important things we learned from Pitufa was how to use buoys to keep our anchor chain from wrapping around the many bombies growing in the sand. It works wonderful!!
Mike checks his work.
No more chain wrapping and no more damage to fish houses!