Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tikehau

We exited Rangiroa through the westernmost pass and with a following breeze. We were on our way to Tikehau, another atoll of the Tuamotus of French Polynesia, a short distance away.

Abandoned sailboat and dream at Ava Toru Pass

We followed the north coast of Tikehau and entered its wide Tuheiva Pass with a strong tide running from the west end of the atoll. We dropped anchor before sunset just inside the entrance (S15°00.359' W148°16.227') along with SV Jabula at 17:20 on July 25th.

Fisherman's hut at pass entrance

Jabula graciously invited us to feast on their freshly caught mahi mahi.

The next morning, we pulled anchor to sail further into the lagoon about 8 to 10 nautical miles towards the village. Under a clear cerulean blue sky, brilliant and cloudless in the sunshine, we set anchor at noon (S15°06.951' W148°13.782') in front of the Pension Hotu, a small family-run establishment with 6 bungalows for guests (www.pensionhotu.com).

Peaceful atoll

On the 27th, we snorkelled near the white sandy beach in the clearest water yet. The visibility of all the coral and tropical fish was excellent. It seems to just keep getting better and better at each atoll.

On Saturday, we polished off a delicious but expensive continental-type breakfast at the Pension Hotu and then went for a long walk. We passed the quiet village, the deserted airport, and went as far as the end of the motu where we saw a small stingray swimming in the shallow water near the shore. By the end of our return walk, the heat of the mid-day sun overhead had tapped our energy.

On July 29th, we took Sea Turtle with Bruce and Jeannie (SV Jabula) aboard to a defunct pearl farm about half an hour away where we expected to find several manta rays at their feeding station. We snorkelled all around but no mantas were there at the time so we returned to our anchorage.

Abandoned pearl farm

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