Archive for September 26th, 2010

Nomuka Iki

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

The village of Nomuka is a regional center of the southern Haapai islands, but it doesn’t have a great anchorage so most people anchor on the little adjacent island of Nomuka Iki. Some people don’t really anchor but end up there anyway.

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K likes “chart anchorages”, anchorages that look good on the chart but have not been recommended or even mentioned in any other way. About half the time there is a good reason why they are not mentioned, but sometimes we end up in fantastic hidden spots.  Getting into a chart anchorage can be a stressful business, with K at his vantage position up in the rigging calling out course changes to S (“Port 5, Port 10, Port 90! Port 90! All Stop! All Stop!”) as we maneuver around the coral. When we get to a sandy spot K zips down to the deck on a rappelling belay and rushes forward to plant the anchor in the sweet spot. It’s a system that we’ve had a lot of practice at by now, and we’re at the point where we can drop a multi-anchor spread in about 20 minutes with remarkable precision and no marital stress (when things go well). 

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We looked at several chart anchorages around the Nomukas and took the boat into some very tight pools in the reef with big surf pounding around us. None of them felt good enough to spend the night so we (K) finally submitted to the guide book and anchored next to a vibrant reef in the channel between the Nomukas – one represented by a nice big anchor symbol on the chart. But the tragic wreck of the Takuo nearby was a good reminder (for K) that safety must remain in at least the top 5 at all times.  

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Nomuka Iki was once a prison island but is now inhabited by free flying things.

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After weeks of trying to take pictures of these huge flying foxes we finally met one crossing overhead on its way to Nomuka.  Nocturnal, black, erratically flying bats rate close to jumping whales at the top of the photo frustration list.

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This patient Halcyon Chloris was glad to just sit in the dark jungley shade.

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With a favorable breeze in the offing we made a batch of banana cinnamon rolls and  prepared to sail for Kelefesia.

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20°16.55’S 174°48.48’W   26-Sept-10 06:45 UTC