After our 5-day passage, we arrive at the Tahanea pass with 4 knots of outgoing current. Not ideal for our incoming arrival. But we power up the engines and make it through the pass with no problems. Yeah us!
Anchoring in Tahanea can be “tricky” as you have to avoid getting your anchor stuck or your chain wrapped around one of the gazillion bommies (little black marks in the photo). In the middle of the photo is shows the pass where you enter the lagoon. You can see there is an outgoing current at the time of the phot.
As we were approaching the Tahanea pass we saw a rather large cruise ship on AIS. Super strange as these are not the “normal” cruising grounds for that type of vessel.
A completely foreign occurrence happened the morning we arrived in Tahanea. Typically, you will only see a small handful of other sail boats here. However, a rather large, 196-meter cruiser ship entered the pass and dropped the hook right behind us! WTF! Seriously, why would you bring tourist here when there are NO services. OMG What is this world coming to?
The cruise ship is called “The World” and it is the world’s largest privately owned yacht. All of the cabins are privately owned (like condos) and evidently you have to be worth over $5M to be considered for a cabin. A 700’ cabin will run you about $300,000. But you will be draped in luxury. Lucky for us, they left around 5:00pm the same day and we had our anchorage all to ourselves again. Matt said it “farts rainbows.”
Boobies, Boobies, and more Boobies
As you know by now, boobies are a type of bird that are super common in French Polynesia. There are red foot, blue foot, and brown foot boobies. And they are all super fabulous
There are lots of nesting motus where the a large variety of birds mate. We enjoy seeing them, but keep our distance so as not to scare them off.
The adolescent boobie (top left) was with a friend and they literally walked or rather waddled up to us. I took the funniest video (check it out on my instagram account).
The boobies in Tahanea nest in the trees and on the ground!
Some of the young adult boobies are super curious. One little guy decided he wanted onboard Sugar Shack!
On one motu we spied these tracks from the water to a spot below a tree. They were turtle tracks – most likely a large turtle like a leatherback! One set of tracks left the momma up to the nest and one set of tracks left her back to the water.
A little Relaxation Station
We head to a motu near the eastern most pass and discover a small village. It is used as a communal area for locals visiting from other atolls. They even built an outdoor seating area.
The anchorages here are simply breathtaking! It is so difficult to express in words so here are a few photos.
And my favorite anchorage, called “7” The reef makes a natural “7” in the lagoon.
So very beautiful. Our anchorage near the pass at sunset.
We take our time migrating from Gambier to Tahiti (see migration post). The migration began 25 Feb. in Gambier and ended on 26 March in Tahiti. Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.