The weather gave us a nice window to get from Tikehau to Rangiroa. It was a bit of a challenge to schedule our exit out of the Tikehau pass to the entrance of the Rangiroa pass during slack tide. On top of that we had to calculate the approximate sailing time to get from one atoll to the other. Not hard, just challenging. The best time to leave and enter any pass is during slack tide. Tikehau’s slack tide was at 1700 and Rangiroa’s was at 0800. Which left us 15 hours to make 50 nm. Typically, we could have made this passage during the day in about 9 hours. However, the slack tides forced us to make the passage at night.
We had very little wind so we decided to just go with the flow. This is a very typical sailor thing to do. However, this is not typical for Matt and I. Usually, we turn the engines on if we are going less than 3-4 kts. But, since we were in no hurry we ran the jib and one engine at 1200 rpm.
We managed to arrive in front of the pass at 0730 and decided to hang out for 30 minutes. It was the first time we had timed the pass accurately. It went smoothly and we dropped the hook near the Tiputa village.
Miles Traveled: 50.1 nm
Duration: 14.5 hrs
Avg. Speed: 3.5 kt
Max Speed: 5 kt
Wind Speed: 3-8 kt SE
Sugar Shack at the Tiputa anchorage in front of the Kia Oro Resort. They so graciously (unbeknownst to them) gave us their internet during our stay 🙂
Little Bit About Rangiroa
Rangiroa is the largest and the most populous atoll in the Tuamotus. In addition it is considered the 2nd largest atoll in the world. It has two villages, Avatoru and Tiputa that are located on separate, but connected motus.
Rangiroa was discovered in 1616 by the Dutch, which is approximately 150 years before Tahiti. It has a rather large lagoon at 45 nm long by 18 nm wide. The atoll consists of about 415 motus, islets and sandbars. Strung together in the ocean for more than 110 miles, completely encircling a deep lagoon
There are close to 2,600 Tahitians that live on this motu. Which makes it the greatest population in this remote region. There are only two passes that grant access to the interior lagoon. Each town is located near a pass and the airport is located in between.
Rangiroa is quite possibly the world’s most immense natural aquarium. Blessed with an accessible yet secluded appeal and a large abundant lagoon, this is a renowned destination for diving.
12-Mile Bike Ride Around the Island
We rented bikes and cruised around, across 3 motus and over 8 bridges. It is a 5-mile route from Tiputa to Avatoru if you follow the main road. Of course Matt and I went off roading a lot, stopping at many beaches and several magasins for cold beverages.
We found many gorgeous spots along the way.
A beautiful church made of coral and monument made of pearl shells.
Stop at a local pension (hotel)
Snorkeling the Aquarium
Just inside the Tiputa pass is a protected coral garden called the aquarium. The local government has added wonderful informational signs underwater. It is a popular tourist destination, so we planned our stop around the down times.
Station 1 explains about the reef formations:
The 2nd Station talks about the sea life
On Station 3 it shares the relationship between the fish and coral
Station 4 explains the fragility of the coral
With Station 5 it explains how corals grow
Station 6 talks about the communications between small fish and large fish
More Things to See in Rangiroa:
- Blue Lagoon
- Dolphin Dancing Show
- Pink sand beaches
- Reef Island
We named this boat the mullet (business in the front and party in the back)
We had lots of little squalls come through, but we were often rewarded with a rainbow.