Arriving in the Tuamotu Islands: Takaroa in Les Iles du Roi George

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Thu 7 Apr 2016 09:08
14.29 S
145.00 W

On the 7th of April at 12.00 we arrive in the Tuamotu Islands and our first landing is the atoll Takaroa, aslo called Les Iles du Roi Georges. The Tuamotu Archipelago are the oldest islands of the French Polynesia. An atoll are coral islands like a ring with a huge "sea lake” in the middle and has often only 1 or 2 passages possible in and out to the sea. These passages into the atolls are often very tricky due to the strong tide coming in or out. The current can be up to 8 knots! So we had to know when there was slack water for our entry to be more smoothe. The chart detail our good, however a proper lookout in the bow is an essential aid to safe avoidance fo the coral heads - with the light behind us and preferably polaroid sunglasses. So we were glad we arrived by day, we did no want to navigate into the atolls by night! However knowing approximately our speed we calculate when leaving the previous place so that we arrive with the sun light.

The Black Pearl industry is a major activity and we had to be careful no to foul the beds when anchoring.

Take Off arriving in the Tuamotus after 4 days of sailing. 

Our first view of the outside of Takaroa. Not very promising!


Take Off passing into our first atoll: Takaroa.

Coming into the atoll by the Passe de Teauonae (try to pronounce that!)



Eric and Brigitte on Heidi.


The village of Teavaroa. We are motoring over the atoll to the other side to find a nice place to anchor….


… and we found it!


Lunch with two “guignoles”!

In the afternoon we went off to snorkel and look what we found… beautiful corals.


Snorkeling with Daddy and relaxing with nice dry towels on Heidi.


Drink and diner onboard Heidi after a lovely day of snorkelling together. Morning light on Take Off in Takaroa.


The day after we motored back to the village of Teavaroa and took a walk on the main road. 


We found one shop and were told that the ship had just arrived in the morning so there were some fresh vegetables and fruits left. However we were a bit late, most of the inhabitants had already done their stockage.


Walking into town this is the only “bridge” over to the main motu (small island) where the church and the dock are. Raphaël and Alex chatting along on the steps of a shop.


The beautiful Polynesian flower that all women were in their hair.

A house and a remaining working (!) telephone booth with card. 

We passed the Passe de Teauonae that we passed by yesterday entering the atoll. Here we can clearly see the current coming in! Amazing how we can see the water move its way through.


Walking back to our dinghies we found this man who privately cultivates salad by his home and provides this to his surrounding. Salad was a long time ago we had the chance to eat so we took a big bunch each!



And yes they do have wifi and access to satellite. Nearby Takaroa’s school.


Walking back the “bridge”… wonder if any has ever managed to drive off the bridge?


There are approximately 800 people living on Takaroa where more than half are under 20 years of age! A young population and lots of kids everywhere.


Before it got dark we left Takaroa to sail further to Fakarava. Beautiful sunset!

Just before going to bed Alex and Inez where play-fighting and suddenly Alex shouted “it’s loose, my tooth is loose!”. Alex has now lost his first tooth!! So proud… And yes the tooth ferry found her way to the French Polynesia and came this night with a little French Polynesian penny!