Friday, March 07, 2014

Rangiroa, French Polynesia

One palm tree sandy islet - our snorkeling locationThe pier with passengers, tenders, tour boats and shops, with Statemdam behindSnack Chez LiliTropical dog snoozing in the shadeBall of fishBall of fish
Angel Fish and coral

Rangiroa, a set on Flickr.
March 7, 2014 – Friday – Rangiroa, French Polynesia

The ship arrives at Rangiroa before 7AM, and enters this atoll’s lagoon. Like Fanning Island, this atoll is remote, but unlike Fanning, Rangiroa the entrance to the atoll is sufficiently deep to allow ships to enter the sheltered lagoon through a proper navigation channel. Tendering to the little town of Avatoru is easy in these calm waters.

The snorkeling on the one-hour excursion to the little islet in the lagoon is wonderful. The water is clear and about five metres deep, and there are lots of fish, despite the same location being used by a half dozen boats. There are some sharks swimming along the bottom. The coral is in good shape, and there is no current where we are snorkeling. This is my last opportunity to snorkel on this cruise, and it is probably the best experience of them all.

Although we have clear skies while I’m snorkeling, the clouds soon gather in the afternoon, so it is grey but warm at 29℃ and 72% humidity. Although the islanders have power and communications, they must collect rainwater for drinking and washing. Our snorkeling guide tells us they have just had four days of rain before our ship arrived, which they are very happy about.

I grab a late lunch in the Lido and take it down to the Ocean View pool, a deck lower on the stern. As I eat and sip a Beck’s beer in the shade, I gaze at the view inside the lagoon and soak in the heat of the day. We leave Rangiroa promptly at 5PM, and clear the narrow channel out into the open ocean by 5:30PM. The pilot departs, and we are on our way to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas group. We have a day at sea before we arrive, since the Marquesas are a considerable distance away.

1 comment:

Jon Rowe said...

Its great that you got to do some snorkeling in Rangiroa. Have you ever thought about getting your scuba diving certification so you can extend your bottom itme and see a lot more?