Blogs from Rangiroa, French Polynesia, Oceania


Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa October 6th 2018

Tikehau is the first true atoll I've visited - and that an atoll exists at all still amazes me. Atolls all used to have volcanic islands in the center of them - corals form a reef around the volcano, with a lagoon between the reef and main island (this was the stage that each of the previous islands I've visited is at). For an atoll, after a realllllly long time, the volcano erodes and sinks into the ocean, but the reef remains. When this happens, the outside of the reef (hopefully) stays healthy. The inner edge of the reef gets less fresh water (or slightly less nutrient filled water?), and slowly dies off, creating limestone. Somehow...and I can't quite explain it...the limestone contributes to the color of the water inside the lagoon. Over time, the ocean ... read more
Flying into Tikehau
Arriving at Ninamu island

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa June 6th 2015

It was a one hour rocky speed boat ride to our destination but so worth it. We saw a real atoll (a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed of coral) and the beauty cannot be described. Learned that the Indo-Australian plate and the Pacific Plate are crashing into each other and in some places lifting the earth up. Our stop today showed coral that used to be in the water and is now a wall. Incredible scene! The snorkeling today was wonderful and we saw so many colorful fish. After our picnic, our guide asked if we would like to make a basket and I said I would. He was a patient guy and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Meanwhile, the other guide made hats for all of us out ... read more
More Coral

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa January 20th 2015

Land Ho! After seven days at sea we woke up, looked out the window and there was a wall of green. In the middle of nowhere, far from any continent, lies the beautiful group of islands known collectively as French Polynesia. Inhabited for thousands of years and made famous to Westerners by the likes of Gauguin, Heyerdahl and Michener, these lush, romantic specks of land have fueled imaginations with dreams of tropical isles, soft breezes and gorgeous people for centuries. Nuku Hiva, being the northernmost island of this chain, is the first stop for sailors venturing west from the Americas as well as cruise ships making their way to the South Pacific. This small, undeveloped island is home to about 3000 people and is a favorite of French tourists. On the morning of our arrival, ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa June 23rd 2014

II.4) Voler d’île en île : du 23 au 29 juin 2014 Après ces 2 semaines à Fakarava, il ne te reste plus que sept jours avant ton départ pour l’Australie. Tu resterais bien plus longtemps, mais même en voyageant en routard, la Polynésie coûte un œil car la plongée n’y est pas donnée. Tu pensais ne visiter que Rangiroa, mais sur les conseils de Vincent et Mélo tu rajoutes Tikehau, troisième île des Tuamotu et où les Mantas viennent se faire nettoyer. Ton pass inter îles hyper pratique comprend tout ça, mais du coup te fait revenir à Tahiti deux jours avant ton départ. Pas de soucis, tu décides de rajouter Moorea pour les deux derniers jours ; tu iras y plonger avec Pierre copain de Mélo rencontré à Faka sud, à la découverte des ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa February 10th 2014

French Polynesia stretches over an area roughly the size of Europe (which we certainly couldn’t have guessed before coming here), and contains god knows how many islands, so obviously we cannot cover it all within three weeks, but we tried to include some different islands on our itinerary. Thus, after the mountainous, green Leeward islands, we hopped on yet another flight to reach the Tuamotu atoll islands, Tikehau to be the first destination. Seen from the plane, the atolls look kind of like sandy rings with palm trees on them, filled with turquois water in the middle. But once you are on them, you can’t really tell the shape anymore, as at least TIkehau is so big that you cannot see the opposite edge of the atoll when you are standing on the beach. So, the ... read more
Pension Hotu beach
Tikehau had the prettiest beaches of all the islands we visited so far
palm tree filled beach

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa January 24th 2014

January 24, 2014 Our last full day on board the Oceania Marina. Today we visited Rangiroa, French Polynesia. Another spectacular place. We took a glass bottom boat trip ( Alice ) and Snorkel excursion ( Tom ) to the same reef area not far from the main town. WOW !! Tremendous amount and variety of fish and some large ( 2 Meter ) Eels. Great snorkeling in crystal clear water. Close up swim with Black Tip and White Tip Sharks. A short, few blocks, walk took us to the other side of the atoll and some great views of the ocean surf. The place we were at was a narrow channel from the ocean side into the lagoon side so the surf was spectacular. Many dolphins surfing the big waves. We can see why Rangiroa is ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa January 10th 2014

Thursday, December 12, 2013. Now I sea you. Today is a day at sea. A travel day between the islands of Huahine and Rangiroa, the largest of 240 islets in a chain of coral islets making up the Tuamotu Archipelago, 4th largest in the world. Mostly for me it’s a chance to rest although I don’t take advantage of it. Instead I opt to get out my new snorkel gear and head for the pool to try it out. Everything works. Everything but me. I can make it about two strokes before I’m out of breath. But I am determined to get in to the ocean. Dee Dee is checking her email every day for news about her extremely ill brother in Vegas. Today she learns he is continuing to seize. It is a long distressing ... read more
Dee Dee & I
Our table

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa February 11th 2013

After the dramas of yesterday we had to see the Gendarmes about the dive incident but as I didnt speak french and the Gendarme did that oxymoron thing and said I dont speak English (YOU JUST DID!) I was of little use so didnt have much to say or do and wandered back for breakfast. R and his wife and I were all booked on the 12.30ish plane, I say ish because my booking said Dept 12.40, Rs said depart no time for an early dive because packing wet gear is a nightmare. I spent the rest of the morning packing up the little cottage, hanging out any wet gear on the clothesline to dry and generally doing bugger all except sitting staring at the lagoon and breathing in the purity of Rangiroa. Its a ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa April 26th 2012

Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the Tuamotus, and the second largest atoll in the world. There are less than 1,500 permanent residents though. The major attraction to Rangiroa is the underwater life that is enhanced by the strong currents brought by the tides. There are only two main, large, passes (channels) for water to enter the lagoon. There are over a hundred small ones, but only two that you can dive in. Current is life, and no matter when the current is incoming or outgoing, the current is ripping through these passes. The best dives are supposed to be during the incoming tide at the Tiputa Pass, the largest pass on the island. Unfortunately, during our two days in Rangiroa, the incoming tide never came to fruition due to the large south swell that was ... read more
Dolphin Close Range
Silver Tip Upclose
Barracuda Close Range

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa July 11th 2011

Shooting the Tiputa Pass- Rangiora French Polynesia This Blog is just a rough text blog, to see photos please check out my main blog at Rangiroa meaning “Vast sky” in Toamotuan is located roughly 350 km north of Tahiti and is part of the Tuamotu island group. It is recognized as the largest atoll in the southern hemisphere and is home to the second largest lagoon on the planet. It is made up of just over 400 individual motu, small islands, and mere sandbars forming a slipper shaped rim around a turquoise lagoon so large it has it’s very own sunset. The population of just under 2,500 people live almost exclusively on the two large islands at the north end of the lagoon near the Tiputa pass. The lagoon’s crystal clear water is only around ... read more

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