Cruising The Tuamotus Atolls: Fakarava and Toau

Fakarava
After Tahanea Atoll we did an overnight sail to Fakarava Atoll, some 50 miles west. We had heard a lot of amazing things from other cruisers about Fakarava, we were looking forward to exploring it.

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Glenda at the helm driving the boat through the south pass which ended up being a piece of cake.. Glenda relieved!

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We went straight to the Hirifa anchorage to pick up Cyrille who was staying with a local Jean for a few days. At Jean’s place we enjoyed fresh fish and coconut bread for lunch cooked in the traditional way on a bonfire.

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Saying goodbye to Jean..  We had to leave for the south anchorage in Fakarava to get protection from a Mara’mu (frontal system) expected the next day.

100_1138 South Fakarava was amazing.. Tetamanu the town on the south pass was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!

100_1274 The picturesque restaurant on the water, where we were invited to have lunch..

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The edge of the restaurant was like an aquarium.. Glenda saying hello to jaws1 and jaws2

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The pensions (hotels) were amazing as well.. This one was on a small island that you reached by crossing the bridge..

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We drift snorkeled in the pass towing the dinghy with the current coming in at 4 knots.. The coral was pristine and it was amazing to glide over it and the sea life at 4 knots.. it was like flying..

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Glenda free diving to get up close and personal..

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We did a couple of spectacular dives with the local dive shop (Tetamanu diving).. We dove to a depth of 90 feet to reach the sea floor and then drifted along with the current until we saw hundreds and hundreds and sharks soaring above us in about 60-70 feet of water.. Amazing sight. Definitely one of the most amazing dives I have ever done!! Pity my camera doesn’t go that deep 🙁

P6110899 We found out the hard way that the Butane we filled our tanks with in Marquesas lasts shorter than propane, so we decided to bake coconut bread on a bonfire on the beach for dinner..

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Glenda putting the coconut bread dough in between leaves..

P6110896 Baking the coconut bread on the bonfire..

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Viola! Delicious coconut bread made the traditional Polynesian way!!

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Approaching Fakarava north anchorage.. After a week in south Fakarava we headed to north Fakarava to provision after nearly 4 weeks!. We had a glorious 30 mile flat water sail inside the lagoon..

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Stops enjoying the sunset at anchor in south Fakarava..

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We visited the Havaiki pearl farm and pension.. Another beautiful place..

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The pension’s quiet contemplation area was pretty cool…

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We had dinner at the pension where they had a traditional Polynesian dance show.. Glenda was pulled by one of the boys..

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Still sleepy, we left early for the next atoll Toau, a day sail some 50 miles to the west..

Toau Atoll We went to Anse Amyot which is a false pass on the west side of the atoll..

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We picked up a mooring.. a welcome relief from anchoring in coral..

100_1486 Stops with Valentine and Gaston’s house in the background.. they cooked up a feast for us and 4 other boats.. Lobster, poisson crew, mahi mahi and coconut cake for dessert. Yum yum..

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The reef was only 30 feet from the boat, so we didn’t have to go far to snorkel.. We saw some rays

100_1418  Beautiful parrot fish.. We found tonnes of fish in a fish trap.. It was like an aquarium..

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A couple of sharks were also caught in the fish trap.

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We got up close and person to this black tip shark.. it wasn’t scared of us..

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Goodbyes from Valentine and Gaston. After a couple of wonderful days in Anse Amyot we set sail at sunset for Tahiti, some 200 miles to west..

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Tahiti ahoy!! Sighted land after 2 days at sea..

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Author: Chet

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