Photos: Fakarava/Toau/Rangiroa - Part 1
Our second entry inside an atoll, Passe Tumakohua is known as the south pass and one of the best snorkeling areas in the Tuamotus. There is a dive shop and huts you pass on your way in then turn and arrive off a resort owned by Manuhi. He is on vacation so the resort is closed but he opened it up for the yachties. We had a potluck dinner our first night and the next night a big fish fry. He went out in the morning and returned around noon, we all went over to see him clean the fish and feed the sharks. The crazy thing is his dog waits until the sharks come in close to the platform then jumps on the sharks, they scatter and he jumps back onto the platform – he always stayed right beside the platform so he could jump up if necessary, so not so crazy. You never think about sharks being scared…
We spent a couple of days here then moved on to the northern passé Garue and the village of Rotoava.
Lots of shells and beads to decorate the church.
We visited a Pearl Farm, Gunther was the owner, he spoke English so it was very easy to understand what he was talking about and how a pearl is born. This was his shop in town; the farm was about five miles outside of the town right on the water.
Waiting to go to the pearlfarm.
I have his whole explanation on video, I will try to explain the procedure from memory…now what was I going to write next?
has it that Oro, the God of Peace and Fertility used his rainbows to visit the earth. He offered to the oysters’ mother of pearl its iridescence which gave the pearls their amazing spectrum of colours. The pearls accepted his offer and thereafter the pearls from the oysters were beautiful colours from black, blue, purple, green to grey.
The black lipped oyster is used in the production of Black Pearls. The colours inside the oyster range from black, green, purple, pink, blue and grey. The cultured pearls are made up of thousands of layers of nacre which contains organic substances and calcium carbonate. They graft a manmade pearl onto the mantle of the oyster, wait eighteen months, pull the oysters out of the water, clean the outside of the shell, open the oyster a tiny bit, put an instrument in like a dental pick but there is a small basket on the end and slip this under the pearl; remove the pearl and graft another manmade pearl onto the mantle the same size as the pearl that was just removed. The oysters return to the warm waters for another eighteen months and hopefully when removed a larger pearl is there. The bands of iridescent colours vary in widths which of course determine the colour of the pearls.