Friday, 26 April 2019
on the chart caught our attention. Makatea, 4 miles across: not a coral
atoll like the Tuamotus, nor a volcanic peak like the Marquesas, but a
flat topped ancient atoll which was lifted out of the sea 60 million
years ago when Tahiti's volcano erupted.
Makatea stands alone, 60 miles away from the Tuamotus and 150 miles
from Tahiti, and not far off our route between the two. The sea
shelves very steeply just off its shore to 400m deep and more.
From our pilotage information about French Polynesia we learnt that
there are 3 mooring buoys on the leeward side of the island, in 50m
depth, just as the reef shelves up steeply. We also found a phone
number for Julien, the mayor of the village who is willing to show
people round. So we rang him up and arranged to get in touch on our
arrival. We set off from Rangiroa at tea time, out through the pass in
gentler conditions than our arrival, and set sail overnight for Makatea.