Tuamotus Favorites

We spent a few months in the Tuamotus, and would gladly return, because the water is beautiful and the living is easy. We visited several islands in the archipelago, enjoying our experiences in each. Read on for our Tuamotus favorites: where to anchor and eat and fun activities to enjoy.

Favorite Anchorages

This is for the sailors out there, and is based on our limited knowledge of only a handful of motus. We barely scratched the surface in this archipelago. Still, we can’t talk about our Tuamotus favorites without mentioning our favorite spots to stay on the boat for a while and these are definitely worth mentioning.

anchorage, sailboats, Fakarava, Tuamotus
Boats at anchor in Hirifa, Fakarava

Hirifa, Fakarava

Hirifa is paradise for liveaboards. It has almost everything a cruiser needs: good internet, calm water for swimming and paddling, nice beaches for chill time, and for the kiteboarders, a sandbar for launching and consistent winds. Friends spent so much time there, they started a cruisers net.

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Diving in Fakarava

Before coming to French Polynesia, we hoped to see big mantas and Pacific fish, all the marine life we couldn’t find in the Caribbean. In addition to seeing all that, we are learning what else makes diving in Fakarava so excellent.

One of the World’s Best Dive Destinations

We are very lucky scuba divers, diving in amazing places like Bonaire, Utila and The Galapagos. Our boat is equipped with all dive gear minus a compressor to fill our four tanks. We haven’t found room for one! This experience gives us the perspective to realize how incredible Fakarava diving is. We’ve been on some of our best dives ever in Fakarava.

Fakarava: A Protected Place for Diving

The Fakarava Biosphere Reserve includes seven atolls, including Fakarava. Registered with UNESCO, the reserve is a special place where biodiversity and conservation are promoted. In addition, French Polynesia has been a shark sanctuary since 2012, meaning no fishing for sharks or their fins anywhere in FP. These designations combine to make Fakarava one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks. The sheer number and diversity of sharks draws divers to Fakarava.

shark in Fakarava
We see lots of sharks diving in Fakarava
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Rainy Season in French Polynesia

The rain started early this year in the South Pacific. Rainy season normally hits The Society Islands in December. This November, rainy season in French Polynesia has already begun.

About The Tuamotus

The Tuamotu Islands are a French Polynesian archipelago located south and west of The Marquesas and east of the Society Islands. A natural progression for sailors is to visit The Tuamotus after landing in The Marquesas. Since we have a year in French Polynesia, we’ve already visited this area once, before Tahiti, and now again for part of cyclone season.

Map of French Polynesia
Where in French Polynesia

The motus (islands) are basically big sandbars interspersed with strips of coral. The atolls make nearly circular shapes, surrounding water, known as the lagoon, and creating nice protected anchorages. We visit the atolls with entrances, called passes, where the water between sandbars is wide and deep enough for boats to pass. While there are almost eighty islands, we can probably enter twenty on our sailboat.

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Marine Life in Moorea

After spending so much time on land in Tahiti, we felt lucky to escape to its beautiful sister island, Moorea. Located 11 miles northwest of Tahiti, it is busy and tourist-filled, but still feels like a tranquil getaway. On two different getaways from Tahiti, we spent four weeks communing with the marine life in Moorea.

About Moorea

First, a little background. Like Tahiti and The Tuamotus, the island of Moorea is surrounded by coral reef, providing protection from big ocean waves. Moorea allows us to anchor in beautiful places with close proximity to shops, restaurants, and other amenities of civilization. One of the highlights is the marine life in Moorea.

The water in Moorea
Water in Moorea’s lagoon
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Bahamas Favorites

Last Friday we departed from the southeastern end of the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. After Long Island, we sailed to Crooked and Acklins Islands, followed by Mayaguana. From there, we tacked to the upper reaches of Turks and Caicos. We are no longer there but we will always remember our Bahamas favorites.

Bahamas Outer islands
From Long Island to Acklins and Crooked to the Mayaguanas, Bahamas

We spent more time in the Bahamas than expected, and we would have preferred a longer stay. There are still so many islands we didn’t visit. Here’s a look back on our favorite Bahamas memories.

My recommendation to you if you come here: get out of Nassau. If you have more than a weekend to spend, take a prop plane to any of the other small islands: the Berrys, Crooked Island, Compass Key for example. Enjoy the quiet and calm, the wildlife and the people. You will not be disappointed.

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