Nanumea entrance

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The waves are breaking across the reef pass in to Nanumea. We sail up and down trying to get a good look into the pass. Its narrow very narrow. We call exodus on the radio, Tim is kind enough to come out in his dinghy and scout the pass for us. He comes out and then tells us its go time. We line the pass up and head towards it. The current is chaotic, the waves are breaking everywhere and the turbulance is knocking the boat about. The pass is so narrow and the entrance is hairy. Tim guides us with the dinghy, our depth sounded flashing 0.4m, the current pushing the boat to the edge of the channel, waves breaking either side of us, the flies engulfing our feet. This is hardcore, we are centimetres from running ground the jaggered reef bottom glaring up at us.

Im on the bow yelling instruction, screaming to head towards the green markers, then the turbulance and current dissapear and we are motoring calmly into the lagoon. What a hair raising experience that lasted 6minutes at most, 6 minutes that would easily see a boat run aground or lose control. The reef pass was the most intense pass we have ever gone through. There was so much water moving in such a shallow pass the reef sucking dry meters from the boat.

Once in the lagoon the water was lake like and pristine. Only problem was the entire lagoon ground was coral. We had no choice but to drop the pick and hope that Slade can dive on it to unwrap it when we pull the anchor up.

We went straight over to Exodus and drank brewed coffee whilst battling flies. Exodus are lovely people and are young, in their mid forties, with two teenage boys. Once fuelled up with caffeine we went ashore to the police office to check our permission to stay here. Off course this procedure didn’t go very well.

When we arrived at the police station he asked us immediately for our letter. We didn’t have a letter, our letter was supposedly emailed by immergration in Funafuti. Of course there had been no email received. This was not going very well at all. The police man kept stating we needed an official letter of permission from customs and immergration. What a mess. There government doesn’t work together at all.

He decided that he would email Funafuti and request that they email the letter that states we have permission to stay in Nanumea after clearing out of Funafuti. He then told us to return at 1:30pm tomorrow. With this stress we went back to the boat to rest for the afternoon. Anything to do with the government here never runs smoothly. We went through lots of trips back and fourth to customs and immergration in Funafuti to get permission to stop at Nanumea. It was a huge hassel to get the clearance and then to find out that they never forwarded anything on to Nanumea. So the drama continues tomorrow. For now we sleep.

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