Lazing About in the Tuamotus

We have spent the past couple of weeks sailing from atoll to atoll in the Tuamotus. Atolls are basically a ring of low lying islands that surround a lagoon. The atoll where we are now, Rangiroa, is one of the largest in the world at about 45 miles long by 15 miles wide. Others we have visited are as small as 5 miles long. The water inside the lagoon is quite calm and very warm (82-84F). The bottom can be sand or coral reef and varies in depth from a few inches to over 100 feet. Navigating in the atolls can be treacherous, but there are some charted channels that we try to stay within.

Anchoring is fraught with the potential of getting the anchor stuck on a coral "bommie" as the patches of coral are called. Even in crystal clear water it is difficult to see the bottom in 30-40 feet of water which is a typical anchoring depth here.

Entering and exiting the lagoons from the ocean should be done at "slack tide" when the water in the narrow passes is fairly calm. Standing waves and strong currents are present at non-slack times. These make navigating through a pass extremely "sporty". Although we have tried to time our passes for slack tide we have not always been successful. The result has been some pretty exciting arrivals and departures.

Next week we head to Papeete, Tahiti. We will be in a marina there for about a week. I will stay on the boat while we have the rig inspected and tuned and deal with the broken wind instruments and radar. Fiona will be flying to LA for a couple of days to have her hair done, see grandkids, and get our Starlink dish.

5 thoughts on “Lazing About in the Tuamotus

  1. Kristin

    Lovely. Swimming in an atoll sounds heavenly. And there’s a little dash of adventure sailing in and out. Totally understand about the hair though!


  2. dawnliles1

    I’m tired just reading what you’re going through. But the atoll sounds beautiful. Happy for Fiona! Hope you and Matilda get some rest and fine-tuning!!


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