Leaving Rangiroa through the difficult Northern pass of Avatoru and coming to Tikehau

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Wed 20 Apr 2016 00:15
15.00 S
148.15 W

On the 20th of April we left Rangiroa and took the northern pass, Passe d’Avatoru. With Heidi in front of us we felt safe…we thought!


We did see Heidi struggling with the waves so Jörgen was prepared but it did not seem that bad until we got to the waves.


Due to the current going out from theatoll meeting the waves coming in from the sea, we were metting short standing waves of approx 2-3 m! 

And they were high and short! The waves lifted Take Off high up and just dropped her into the water. The noise while landing on water was terrible. It felt like the boat was going to brake in any minute. Every banging down onto the water felt like the bow was going to brake in 2!

It only took 10 minutes and we were out of it, however a bit shaky!

After a few hours of motoring, 15 km west of Rangiroa, we arrived in Tikehau: a coral ring of 26 km in diameter. Tuherahea is the only village, where the majority of the 500 inhabitants live. With its long and wide street lined with pretty houses, trees and flowers, this Tuamotu atoll is surprisingly lush. All around the Curaçao coloured blue lagoon, the coral reef opens up to the ocean through the small Tuheiava pass.

We stopped here for one night on our way down to Tahiti. Inez snorkling with Daddy and Alex with Eric.


Leaving Tikehau we found this empty hut… we guess it is one of the hundred abandoned pearl farms.


We left Tikehau on 21rst of April and after 2 days and 2 nights of sailing we reached the outskirts of Papeete, Tahiti on the 23rd of April. At sunrise Heidi called us asking if we had some diesel to share. They were running out of diesel as the wind was dropping. Better be safe than sorry we started operation “sending-over-diesel-to-Heidi”! 

Heidi approaching behind us as close as possible so that Eric could throw the rope over to Take Off.


We attached a jerry can of diesel and put it back into the water for Heidi ...


… to bring back on their boat.


Operation succeeded!