On the southeast corner of the Gambiers lies two motus: Tarauru Roa and Gaioio. The wind shifted and we decided to move to the more protected anchorage of Tarauru Roa. We had never anchored in this area before and had to dodge many pearl floats on the way from Ile de Akamaru. Once we arrived, we determined that we needed to float our chain to avoid getting tangled with the bommies. Always a fun chore to add floats to the chain every 7 meters while setting the anchor. We finally set the anchor after a few failed attempts.
A very stunning sunset behind Taravai. Looks like the orange was just painted into the sky.
The False Pass
To the north of us is a “false pass” where there is a gap between the Tarauru Roa motu and Totegegie but the reef still creates a barrier between the lagoon and the sea. Our friends on Leela told us it was great snorkeling there so met them for an adventure. We drove the dinghy as far up the gap that we could without getting stuck during a change in tides. We then had to swim against the current to the “pit” where we encountered lots of black tip and white tip sharks. They have been trained to follow humans as they dive below the surface. The sharks think we are all spear fishing and they want the easy pickins.
We found lots of fun sea life in the coral and on the sea wall. Most wouldn’t sit for a photo session, but I was able to capture a few.
My little fish just loves hanging out near the bottom.
The coral was just starting to grow and come back to life. It was beautiful to see the brains, tables, staghorns and more thrive in this false pass.
Walk Around the Block – Tarauru Roa
Walk Around the Block
Our blocks are considerably different than yours. Just south of Tarauru Roa is the small motu Gaioio. Matt expertly weaved our dinghy in and out of the coral reef to get to Gaioio. Along the way, we found this boobie hanging out on its own thrown.
We wanted to walk around the motu along the coral shore. It was lovely, but a little challenging walking on the debris.
The center of the motu is covered in greenery. You can certainly tell the windward side (short bushes) from the leeward side (tall trees).
The view was considerably better as we got back around to where we left the dinghy. Back on sand. Can you see sweetie in the lower photo?
On the uninhabited motus you come across a lot of trash. Primarily from the windward side (brought in from the sea). With nobody living here to clean up it is worrisome to see. At some point, someone made a plastic pile to burn and someone cleaned out a bunch of oyster shells.
Another pretty sunset. It looks like the island of Mangareva is on fire, but in reality, the sun set just as a storm passed by and it provided this awesome photo.
Tarauru Roa proved to be a peaceful and quiet motu that calmed our souls. With so much drama going around the world (covid19) it was nice to be completely disconnected.