Blogs from Fakarava, French Polynesia, Oceania


Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava August 9th 2019

Here we are on the slow way to Fakarava, one of these end of the world very special place. We first had the 2 hours 45 minutes twice a week propeller from Rarotonga to Papeete. I have to admit, the ATR42 is wonderful for 60 minutes flight, but clearly not for over two hours.....but it was this or going back to NZ! We arrived in Papeete at 7pm, just behind the new United flight...and welcome back to France, they had only two agents to manage the queue...these are tourists paying big bucks to the local economy....could be wise to give them a first positive impression....but as I say, welcome to France! We are staying for one night at the airport motel. Not a bad deal in a place that is nothing short of expensive. Next day, ... read more
They call this a wall of sharks!
Life the simple way...

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava April 27th 2019

i‘lTravel, in the younger sort is a part of education, in the elder, a part of experience.’– Francis Bacon Another day and another tender port. This morning we dropped anchor of the coast of an atoll called Fakarava. This is much smaller than the previous atoll with only a population of 837. This is more of a rectangular shaped atoll than the circular Rangiroa, with a length of 60km. There are two gaps in the atoll leading to the lagoon (known as passes). The Massdam used the pass known as the Passe Garuae to enter the lagoon. The first Europeans didn’t arrive on the island until as late as 1820. This was the Russian Explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen; a Baltic German by birth but he joined the Imperial Russian Navy where he rose ... read more
Fakarava - not a mountain in sight!!
The buoy decorted trees of Havaiki  pearl farm
A Coral decorated gate post

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava October 10th 2018

Fakarava was my last real stop in French Polynesia, and is my new all time favorite. A tiny atoll (although around one of the biggest lagoons in the world), and an UNESCO Biosphere reserve, Fakarava is probably best known as a diving destination famous for its "walls of sharks". This isn't an exaggeration, there are sharks everywhere. Most of the island's residents (I think approx 800?) live near the north pass, working to produce copra or as pearl farmers. This area was stunning, but my favorite was at the other end of the lagoon near the south pass. There's a mostly abandoned village called Tetamanu - it was originally built to be the center of the island and is made almost entirely out of coral, but today only a handful of families(e.g., 3-4) live there and ... read more
Pier at the dive center next door
Woke up to mostly clear skies, hurray!
More coral than I've seen anywhere in Polynesia

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava June 23rd 2014

Au dessus du Paradis : Faka sud, du Mardi 17 au Dimanche 22 juin 2014. La Polynésie c’est pas l’Asie… Mardi 17 juin, 8h30, ça y est, après dix heures de négo tu as enfin trouvé un bateau qui t’emmène dans le Sud pour un aller simple. En fait si tu veux pas faire de sortie à la journée, ou si tu loges pas au sud dans les pensions clodo en indo qui ont leur bateau, ben ils ne t’aiment pas trop les locaux, et ils préfèrent ne pas te prendre … Ca donne des dialogues de sourds du genre : - Salut, tu aurais de la place pour aller dans le sud demain ? (1h30 de bateau genre petit bateau de plongée en alu). - oui, bien sur et le prix c’est pas cher, c’est ... read more
Au dessus du Paradis : Faka sud
chez mami zaza
Zaza et chiquita au taff

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava June 17th 2014

Sur l’eau, dans l’eau…14-16 juin 2014 Sur l’eau : Ca se confirme, je suis un marin d’eau douce…euh en fait, pour être tout à fait honnête, marin de rien du tout serait plus approprié. Première plongée de réadaptation jeudi 11 juin, on sort de la marina sur un bateau alu à coque plate (détail qui a de l’importance) pour 2 plongées, mais je ne ferai que la deuxième car la première est dérivante et s’annonce très sportive d’après le club (en gros ça veut dire que tu te laisses porter par le courant et que tu peux aller très très vite). A priori, tu vois pas trop pourquoi, le lagon est super calme, il n’y a pas de vent, ça semble plutôt cool ; oui, bien sur, tu sais qu’il y a les histoires de courant, ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava June 13th 2014

L’île de l’île de l’île : à la recherche de mamie ZAZA Fakarava, Faka pour les intimes, c’est pas la porte d’à côté : 40 heures de voyage, vaut mieux éviter d’y aller en weekend… Je t’épargne les détails mais en gros, départ de Paris 10h mardi matin 10 juillet, arrivée Faka à 14h30 mercredi heure locale soit à 02h 30 du mat heure française jeudi 12 juillet, après une escale à Londres, Los Angeles et Papeete (pourquoi Londres ? ben parce que j’aime le fish and chips et surtout parce que quand tu te prends un billet tour du monde tu pars souvent de Londres)… A l’arrivée, c’est bien le coin paumé à l’autre bout du monde dont j’ai rêvé pendant tout ces mois de prépa intensive du concours !!!! Giga sauvage, touristes à base ... read more
2014-06-14 Lagon fakarava nord à côté du club de plongée
Lagon faka nord

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava January 23rd 2014

January 23, 2014 Arrived this morning and on looking out of our stateroom window the first thing that came to mind was; “ Where the Fakarava ?? “ Yes we had arrived in Fakarava, The Island of Dreams. This an atoll about a block or 2 wide but about 60 KM long with only about 800 people total. It appears about 700 are not working as the major hotel is closed for annual maintenance. This turned out to be a great stop, in lieu of the place we were unable to get to. We took a long walk down the main ( almost the only ) road along the beaches. Some good sandy beaches but a lot with coral and rock. Swim shoes, with good soles, are a must here, and most places in Polynesia. We ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava June 10th 2013

Next stop…Fakarava…and don’t worry if you have never heard of that atoll before reading this blog…Rangiroa…Fakarava…these are the Louboutin and the Jimmy Choo of the diving world….and if you are lost here, it’s ok, since when divers know about beautiful stilettos! So 45 minutes little hop to Rangiroa, and here I am in Fakarava. This time staying at Marama pension, managed by Jacques. This place is a small world, I’ve been bumping in the same people over the last few days…that said…there are those in the know…and those who are not. Find out today that some people did get charged a huge premium on what I get charged….for diving…for lodging…who say we are all equal in this world…in the Tuamotus…here it’s all about…contacts...good level diving…and speak French…good luck fo... read more
Trust me...they are shy!
Love the colors...not only sharks!

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava April 15th 2013

Once upon a time, in a beautiful blue ocean far, far away, there stood a family of rugged mountain volcanoes. But there was trouble in paradise. The villainous ocean insidiously attacked and eroded it’s volcanic inhabitants. With time, the mountain peaks relented to the ever punishing ocean and eventually sank away, leaving only perimeter rings of earth material as evidence of their former presence. With time, coral colonized on the land and grew to create strange looking ring shaped islands containing large protected lagoons within. As with all fairy tales though, this ends happily ever after. For within the lagoons, life once again became a paradise providing for all sorts of creatures. Such was how we found existence on and around the atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotu islands. Warm, moist, and oh so colorful. Like ... read more
Our 30 year honeymoon shack
Family owners of Havaiki pension
Matt's office

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava August 13th 2011

This is my first impromptu blog. At this very second I am underway, cruising from our home base in Tahiti to Fakarava in the Society Islands. It’s a 24-hour trip - most of which I will spend Whale watching. I hear the humpbacks are on their annual mating migration and word on the water is that they have been spotted. A 16-day boss trip is approaching. It sits on your shoulders like a 100-pound weight. The amount of work that is only a few days away burdens our every move. So these 24 hours is our calm before the storm. Hours that I hope tick by slowly so I can enjoy my very last moments of being me. Once the boss arrives me becomes robotic. We will cruise through 12 islands in 16 days. The agenda ... read more

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