Exploring Fakarava

Mark & Sue Owen
Tue 30 Jun 2015 02:58

French Polynesia comprises five archipelagoes – the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Australs, Gambiers and Society Islands – 118 islands in total, over a surface area as big as Europe. 


The Tuamotu atolls are very different from the mountainous Marquesas, being instead low lying sandy motus (Polynesian for islands).  Virtually all are rings of coral reef with a central lagoon.  Over millions of years some of the reef has become land where salt tolerant vegetation has established itself.  Entry in to the lagoons is via gaps in the reef and, even though the tidal range is small, a lot of water has to move in or out of these small openings in a short period of time, so the current flow can be fast – hence the need to time one’s entry/exit around slack water, particularly in brisk conditions.


During our stay at Fakarava the weather has been very benign, offering a stunningly beautiful picture postcard setting.  We hired bikes for the day with friends Alan and Diane (sv Moonfleet) and explored as much of the atoll as feasible (52kms!) with an excellent lunch along the way.  It was a very enjoyable day and a welcome break from our respective boat jobs.


Sights around Fakarava:


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