Coral Garden on Taha’a. 16:36.3S, 151:33.5W
We had a lovely sail from Raiatea to Taha’a. The two islands are within the same protective reef so the water was completely smooth, and with a brisk breeze we stormed across the lagoon between the islands at 7 knots, decreasing the size of the main as we went. Once we were in the lee of Taha’a, we dropped the main entirely and drifted gently up the west side of the island, with occasional flurries of activity when gusts came down the valleys.
Phil enjoys a relaxing sail up the side of Taha’a
Bora Bora formed the backdrop to the trip
Looking back down Taha’a to Raiatea
Our main reason for going to Taha’a was to see the coral gardens ,they are by a motu on the reef where the snorkelling was said to be good. We looked for an anchor spot in the bay on the island opposite the site, but the 3 mooring buoys were taken, and it was too deep for us to anchor. We then spotted a vacant mooring just north of the bay near a small restaurant, so we picked it up thinking we could go ashore for supper. When we finally met the owner, he charged us the twice what we had paid at the marina on Raiatea, and told us the restaurant was closed that night.
The next morning we moved to the anchorage off the coral gardens. Here there were rocks amongst the sand and it took us three attempts to set our anchor, finally ending up just behind Bonnie. We have probably been spoilt with the snorkelling in the Caribbean, but we found the coral garden disappointing. It was very shallow, and except for getting close up to some reef fish there was not much to see, but it was a lovely spot with white sand beaches and palm trees.
The beach by the coral garden with the anchorage in the background
A motu, or coral island, on the reef.