Rangiroa 14:58:00S 147:38:00W
We are currently stuck in Marina Taina,
Meanwhile, back to happier times. Rangiroa. This has
been our favourite place to date. We thought Manihi was fab’, but this
was one notch up the wow scale! Rangiro is the largest and most populous of the
Tuamotu’s. The lagoon is 45nm long and 18nm wide. There are two passes
into the lagoon. The largest being
On our first attempt, we did not get the angle of entry right, and got a bit confused on the leading marks. As there were standing wave over 2 metres high we decided to abort the attempt and so stood off and had a cup of tea.. On our second attempt some 20 minutes later, the waves were only 1 to 1.5 metres but at one stage the boat was surfing down a rolling wave at just under 10 knots through the water, but we were only doing 3.3 knots over the ground. At this point good old Perkins was using all of his 135 horses!!
The highlight of our trip through the pass was the Dolphins. These are a local variety. About the size of Bottle Nose Dolphins, but a light brown colour with cream underside. At first, as I saw one next to the boat, I though it was a coral head……not a good moment. They play in the surf and jump right out of the top of the waves. One of them jumped right across the bow of the boat some 3 metres above the water, narrowly missing our forestay!!
The show was soon over and we motored another mile to the anchorage opposite the Kia Ora hotel village.
This is a Pearl Hotel. It is everyone’s dream of the perfect hotel in paradise! The food was good, but the prices are eye watering. About £100 a head for evening meal with a bottle of wine. All presided over by the most camp waiter I have ever seen!!
This was a truly idyllic spot. The water was crystal clear and we could see the anchor chain some 17 metres below the boat. The water was teaming with fish. Every so often we would be treated to the Sooty Tern Show………..
There were rafts of hundreds of these birds. Then a shoal of small bait fish would appear at the surface, being chased and harried by the Sea Bass, Unicorn fish and the like. This forces the Bait fish to the surface where the Sooty Terns descend on them. Each feeding frenzy lasts no more than 10 minutes, and the noise is deafening whilst it goes on. Then the birds settle on the nearest yacht for a rest and to preen themselves. Very pretty they are too, with their white fluffy patch on the top of their heads, and long crossed beak.
On our first day there we went to an enchanting small
restaurant that is on a deck, at the western side of the
The second one, on the right above, was an enormous building given the size of the village and had the major advantage of being really cool inside due to the fact that it had a really high ceiling and plenty of ventilation.
The following day, Terri from
The boats arrived in the shallows on the Muto, and we waded ashore, through the crystal clear warm water (30°C), admiring the purple, green, and yellow corals. Oh and the dozens of black tip reef sharks……………..
As this picture clearly shows…..loads of Sharks. A couple of seconds after this picture was taken, the chap with his hand in the water grabbed a shark by the tail. He then threw it in the air!!! One of his mates tried the same thing a bit later and got his timing wrong. The shark bit off the top of one of his fingers…….frankly it served him right in my opinion.
The setting is well, it just doesn’t get any better, and as you can see from the picture, I was well and truly chilled out and a very happy chappie.
The boat boys lit the BarBQ, using drift wood and dried coconut shells. They laid on a veritable feast, whilst we went off snorkelling at the edge of the reef.
How is that for a feast?
There were loads of different fish dancing around the coral heads as the light shimmered through the indescribably beautiful water. There were Rays too, and the odd Reef shark to add to the excitement.
After lunch of fresh reef fish, marinated chicken, salad, washed down with coconut milk from freshly cut coconuts and the odd beer or three, one of the local chaps started drumming away on a log, and then another joined in with an instrument reminiscent of the skiffle bands in the 1960’s.
They then tried to teach Bradley from Hakuna Matata how to play it…….
At the end of the day it was back to the speed boats for one last piece of entertainment before we departed once more for the anchorage. This is the local form of waste disposal. The dustbins in this case being the local sharks. This almost certainly explains why there are so many sharks here.
These fellow Ralliers were (in my humble opinion) daft enough to get in the water whist the boat boys threw the leftovers in to the water in front of them.
Well fed Sharks…….Really?
As this was going on, the boat boy in the water with the bucket full of food, suddenly threw the bucket and contents as far away from the folks in the water as he could and told everyone to get back on the boat as quickly as possible…..without splashing! The reason for this was that the Reef Sharks had been joined by a pair of very large Lemon Sharks. Now these chaps are VERY dangerous. In fact the Lemon Sharks started to attack the Reef sharks, so nobody got hurt. But it could have turned into a very ugly moment.
The next day I booked to do a couple of dives. The
first of these in the morning on the outside of the main reef, near the
entrance to the
Then it was time to depart for
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