Fakarava atoll

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Yesterday we were alone at Fakarava atoll, but this morning there are 4 yachts and two big gin palaces here. The ARC rally fleet – a collection of some 30 boats cruising in company from the Caribbean to Australia – has caught up with us. Why they choose to sail in company I cannot imagine. A jolly group of EVSC (Eurovision Song Contest) boats, as Ian calls them, they each pay 10,000 euros for the pleasure of sailing in company. They chatter together on VHF and at each port they party. I could think of nothing worse. For me it is the absence of others which is the essence of ocean voyaging.

The journey from Panama across the Pacific to Australia is called the Milk Run – generally easy downwind sailing in warm and easy weather. I have discovered that nearly every yacht now has a website with heaps of pictures and descriptions of…well, everything. Our trip, like this website, is not by any measure a novelty. But what the heck, I will keep posting for my wonderful family and friends.

We have decided to spend 4 days in this idyllic setting to take a dive course with a local PADI instructor. I realise to my horror that it is almost 40 years since I did my first scuba training and, as you’d expect, I remember nothing of it. I had quite forgotten the magic and the mystery of the underwater world. Diving on the reefs here is truly spectacular. We are overwhelmed.

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