No bus tours. No taxis. No guides. So how do you sight see in the atolls of the Tuamotus? You get in your dinghy with a full tank of fuel and just head out! We started with "our" motu and the next day walked around the next motu. There we saw some very cool giant clams – not quite as big as the ones that would always grab Tarzan's foot – but certainly bigger than the steamers you get at a New England clambake! The cool part of these clams is the bright colors on the scalloped rim. These were a magnificent bright green.
We watched some black tipped reef sharks feeding off the coral patch near our boat (and now we're supposed to jump in and shower???). There were probably five sharks and you could clearly see the shark fins with their distinctive black tips skimming the top if the water. Michael did go in the water after that sighting to change the zinc on the shaft. He was quick about getting it done!
On Monday, we took a longer dinghy trip past several other motus to the one that the Kon Tiki raft landed upon after 4300 sea miles. There is a small memorial on the motu, buried in the trees, that pays tribute to Thor Heyerdahl and the crew of the raft. We had to do some washing of the plaque so we could read it – so not many visitors to this sight. We did the obligatory photos.
We walked around that motu and it wasn't as rich with sea life as the others – perhaps a different time of day and tidal action. But it's always fun to look and wonder. The island did have a lot of these pretty white sea birds nesting in the trees. We aren't sure exactly what they are – but they are very white, rather small for sea birds and have big black eyes. They are quite magnificent fliers – making quick turns and often flying in formations of two or three – very synchronized.
We worked our way back towards Astarte and stopped at an all sand motu to collect a float that had drifted up on the shore. There are lots of floats on these beaches from all the pearl farms in the area. We are planning on using them to "float" our anchor chain off the bottom to keep it off the coral heads and rocks. This is something we hadn't heard of before – but have read about in all the cruiser information we have about the Tuamotus. So we may try.
Today we were going to do some dinghy repairs – but unfortunately the glue we have has no instructions – so we may have to postpone that project until we can get some info.
Bread baking day – no handy french "patisseries" on the motus so no baguettes or croissants. Bummer.
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