Blacktip reef shark in Fakarava South

Tuamotus – wunderful weeks on Fakarava and Toau

Diving in Fakarava South

We enjoy another couple of days in Fakarava South and get our dive equipment ready again.With the dinghy on a long line we dive down into the pass during the incoming tide. Within the first minutes e see our first group of sharks deep down below us.

Tetemanu Lodge and dive center in Fakarava South
here with the view to the south pass, a real paradise for divers

A bit further we suddenly see the next group coming straight up front – shit, diving right into the group is exactly what we shouldn’t do… But changing direction is not so easy with the dinghy in the current above us. I give a bit more line and just manage to escape to the right. After a few minutes same story again, but now we are getting used to it 😉

The following day we head out to the pass for our second drift dive. Just before getting into the water Reto realizes that we have forgotten our weight belts on the boat. Damn, the pizza party at the Pandora the previous evening did leave some effects on us… Since we don’t have enough time to go back and get the weights and only took one snorkel I do a short drift

Kahui and the Cruisers in Hirifa

Kahoui and the cruisers, this time in Hirifa with Martin, Reto and Jacob
Laiza and her niece join in the session
and my camera is happy to find such happy faces and coulorful clothes
at the time of the Sundowner on the beach at Laiza’s
and the sun goes down in paradise
our She San in front of the beach bar and our favorite Yoga place just to the right below the trees
the little one is curious but still a bit shy
Peter has constructed a chess bord , so now it is time to play

In the afternoon we promissed to be in Hirifa which is 6 miles further east. Hirifa has a beautiful and mostly well protected bay and Laïza’ snack is a beautiful place to relax, have a beer and chat.

This afternoon there is another session of Kahoui and the Cruisers with Steve, Martin, Jacob and Reto and in between the music we enjoy an excellent buffet from Laïza with raw thuna, chicken and beef and the best french fries since a long time!

The coming days the wind turns to northeast and we are well protected in Hirifa.

The ladies meet every morning for yoga on the beach, the men meet for chess and every evening we enjoy the sundowner together either at the beach or on one of the boats.


Next we head 20 miles up north to Pakokota. The sailing in the lagoon is awesome, there is not one wave, because we are just behind the reef and She San smoothly slides over the water.

Attention, not all the reefs and coral heads in the lagoon are a easily seen as this on in Rotoava in Fakarava North

But we learn that we have to pay attention, there are a few small reefs right next to the logical path from bouy to bouy and we almost hit one while are not looking out for a short moment.

In Pakokota at Agnes and Mathieux’s Pakokota Yacht Services we enjoy the best internet of the Tuamotus and finally get some of our internet things done.

Rotoava, Fakarava North

Finally another day on the bike!
In the beginning we wonder about the staples of coconut shells in the village of Rotoava…
then we meet Vaiteiki, who shows us the process of copra production again – first the nuts are cut open and left to dry for 3 days..
then the meet is taken out with the help of a bended knife
and afterwards the parts are left for another week to dry in the sun before going to Papeete to the oil refinery
the pearl farm in Rotoava is well decorated with buoys and shells

Our last stop in Fakarava is the main village Rotoava in Fakarava north and we decide to stay for another couple of days. We explore the village on foot and the island as far as the road goes by bike.

On our way in the south we meet Vaiteiki who originally is Marqusian.

She explains the copra process to us and gives us a piece to try.

While I sceptically look a the grey film on the coconut, Reto dares to try it and finds that the taste similar to old cheese.

After going both directions we count 58 km at the end of the day and even though it was all flat we feel quite tired in the evening.

Sextant training on SHE SAN

For a change there is Sextant sundowner session on board of the She San

On Thursday evening for a change we combine the sundowner with a training on how to use the sextant and Jacob explains us how to shoot the sun or a star using this instrument.

On Friday evening we visit the Rotava Grill toghether with Franzi and Peter from the Pandora

The last evening in Fakarava the Rotoava grill is open, so we join Franzi and Peter from the Pandora for a hamburger.

In total we spent two wunderful weeks in Fakarava which originally was not even on our list of atolls to be visited.

Parasailor sailing to Toau, Anse Amiot

She San with the Parasailor on the way to the Anse Amyot
and what an amazing picture under sail from above!
and because it is just too beautiful, here another one from the front 🙂
we arrive in the Anse Amyot

On Saturday morning we lift the anchor at 6 am and start towards the Anse Amyot on Toau together with the Pandora. It is peaceful sailing with not much wind, so get out our Parasalor and ask our friends to make some pictures.

After a while we hear the sound of Peter’s drohne and just hope the he manages to get it back to the boat while sailing. He does and that’s why here can see some of the resulting pictures ;-).

In the Anse Amyot Jacob helps us to attach on the last two buoys. This bay is like a false pass only open to the West and protected by either island or reef from all other sides.

For the buoys you either have to pay or participate in one of the dinners that Valentine and Gaston make for the sailors, when there are enough together.

the lobster tails on the grill continue to move for quite a while..
and afterwards Valentine is singing and playing the Ukulele while Gaston is on the bass and the guests accompany them

We are lucky and get the next evening fresh lobster and parrot fish from the grill. The lobst halves still continue to move on the grill for quite a while…

Afterwards the instruments are taken out, Valentine sings Polynesian songs and plays the Ukulele and Gaston the “buket bass”.

And then we start to dive down…
and to explore the world of the corals and fish
Lemonpeel Angelfish
Reto installing a new dive buoy on the Soggy Paws spot Nb.1
this one should hold for a while !
another Raccoon Butterfly fish
one of my favorites, the cute little Ornate Butterfly fish
and these just turn their rounds in front of our nose
of these guys I still have to find the names…
Raccoon Butterfly Fish
Emperor Angelfish

Since the Anse Amyot is recommended for diving (when you have your own equipment on board) we start to check out the dive spots and are amazed especially by the numerous fish we find everywhere.

On the dive spot nb 1 we place a new dive buoy to attach the dinghy while diving. The way Reto strengthened the weak points we think that this one should hold for a while now.

After our dives Reto also checks the mooring buoys of the yachts and gives Gaston a report of their condition. As a summary all but one he found still in very good or ok condition.

and a bit later we meet some of them again on the grill…

On our visit on land we find out that some of the beautiful reef fish also do land on the grill.

Well, for the people here the fish are more important as food that for looking at..

Gaston getting a green coconut from the tree
Reto is enjoying the professional tool for peeling the coconuts

We collect a few coconuts and understand from Gaston that the green ones that fall on the ground are not good.

With a knive on a long stick he gets us some green nuts from the tree.
Afterwards Reto is happy to use the professional stainless steel coconut peeling stick, which indeed is a lot easier than using the dinghy anchor…

While making coconut milk and rasps for cereals and cake is already standard on She San, we now continue to professionalize the production of coconut ice cream and beer.

This is the second time for both and the results (especially on the beer) are definitely getting better than the first time.

In the following days a depression is moving through in the south of us. We are happy about the good mooring buoy in the well protected bay.

One morning the french family across from us are very lucky. At 6 am their attachment line breaks and the ship drifts through the middle of our two neighbors right to the reef at the end of the bay. Our neighbor sees them and starts to shout, then I see it and scream what I can and finally the father comes out and startes the engine some very few meters before putting the ship on the reef. Wow, that was really a matter of seconds!

and also the pigs like the coconuts
“Bernard l’ermite” in the evening sun
a large Napoleon Wrasse shows up regularly on the pier

We check out the island, meet the pigs, huge numbers of crabs and a large napoleon wrasse that regularly comes by and almost counts to the pets of the house.

a bit further down the palm trees I find the can and bottle disposal…

Strolling through the palm trees we also find a lot of old cans and glass bottles that are left here for disposal… some of the cans start to rot, I wonder how many years there are already lying there…

Lili, Lulut and Rockie welcome us on the pier, especially since we start to bring their food for a few days
hmmm, what a treat! rice with meat and coconut they do seam to like

When Valentine and Gaston go to Fakarava for a few days she asks us to feed the 3 dogs and the cat. Every time our dinghy approaches the small pier the dogs come out to great us which almost makes it hard to get of the boat.

Then the forecast says there is a good slot to go to Papeete before the next depression reaches the area. We take it and leave after two coffes and a last extensive swim for the 230 miles direction Southwest because we don’t want to arrive too early in the morning.

Sun set on the way to Tahiti

But instead of being too fast we once again habe a lot less wind than in the forecast. Well, with a few hours of motoring we make it nevertheless in a bit more than 50 hours and arrive on Friday early afternoon. We make our way down to the Marina Taina, where we attach to a mooring buoy.

We hope to get a few things done here and then move on to Moorea as fast as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *