600 miles to the WSW of the Marquesas lie the coral atolls that form the large Tuamotu archipelago. The slow journey took us a week, during which we celebrated my birthday! Atolls are a circle of small islands that form an enclosed lagoon, entered by a pass. The timing in the passes is critical if one is to avoid strong currents are awfully rough seas. We visited 2 atolls. Ahe was a small atoll with one village. After the Marquesas where we constantly rolled at anchor in the exposed bays Ahe was a lovely change. The village was small and the people friendly but we felt that one day was enough here so we sailed on to Rangiroa, the worlds’ 2nd largest atoll. Here I did some spectacular dives into schools of sharks, barracuda, turtles and rays. The water is exceptionally clear. Again the friendliness of the locals was overwhelming, we travelled by hitching lifts and the local storekeeper kept giving us many gifts.
Date(s): July 2007. Album by Gerard Coulson. Photos by Gerard Coulson. 1 - 39 of 39 Total. 3420 Visits.
Meta underway from the Marquesas
My 42nd birthday, celebrated underway from the Marquesas to the Tuamotus
Homemade cake and cards
Not a breath of wind. So we go for a mid-ocean skinny dip!
300 miles from land, depth over 12000 feet!
Flat calm. We can't sail and do not want to motor!
The sun should be setting ahead of us as we head west!
In the lagoon at Ahe, our first atoll in the Tuamotus
Monica keeps a look out for coral heads that could spoil your day
at Ahe the water is clear and there are no sharks, so we can SWIM!
Our little ship off Ahe
Locals swimming late in the day
Meta and Clarabella off the quay at Ahe
The local church in Ahe was decorated inside by thousands of tiny shells
Jonty and Jeniya from Meta explore the reef between the islands that form the atoll
On Rangiroa we visted a pearl farm. Here the pearl is seeded
Each oyster is opened slightly to receive its seed
Clarabella and Myrdinn kids enjoy a computer game
Dancing in a local hotel
Our anchorage in Rangiroa
We anchored off the Kia Ora luxury hotel
Other boats at anchor
Leaving Rangiroa through the pass where the current can run at up to 9 knots.