The 15 most incredible stopovers of a round-the-world trip

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Pacific Ocean French Polynesia Tuamotu Archipelago Tahanea Atoll

This uninhabited atoll in the Tuamotus is an incredible celebration of colors between sky and sea. Here we felt a rare and exhilarating sense of infinite freedom. Alone in the world, far from everything, but near to incredible happiness. Brilliant sunshine, scenery of dreams, an unending swimming pool in nature. Also at Tahanea we carried out some interesting tests on the behavior of reef sharks… Located some 50 miles south east of Fakarava Atoll, you enter by the Teavatapu pass. Then you need to sail towards the southeast to the interior of the lagoon for a dozen or so miles threading your wake through the coral formations. It is easier, to reach the anchorage, to follow round the edge of the coral ring, dotted with numerous motus. And then if, like us, you go back to the pass by cutting directly across the lagoon, it’s essential you have somebody keeping a lookout from the spreaders…

The 15 most incredible stopovers of a round-the-world trip

Indian Ocean South Africa Western Cape Province Knysna Lagoon

You don’t get anything for nothing in this world. I must warn you: the pass (known as the Heads) into the lagoon at Knysna (located around 500 kilometers east of Cape Town) is classed as one of the eight most dangerous bar crossings in the world… So I can’t guarantee your survival in the pass, but on the other hand, I can assure you of finding perfect tranquility in the lagoon, once you have crossed the bar, even during the strong gales found at these austral latitudes! The Knysna Pass, the rocky outcrop which opens between two high cliffs overhanging the sea, a good 100 meters up, forms the link between one part of the river of the same name and the lagoon which forms the estuary, and the other part, the sea, often turbulent, which runs along the South African coast as far as neighboring Cape Agulhas. A narrow pass, littered with rocks, of which Emu Rock had the bad idea of setting itself right in the middle of the pass… The current accelerates hard in the bottleneck which is only a few dozens of meters across, and when the southerly swell kicks up, this quickly becomes dangerous. Apocalyptic waves. For us, all the lights went green as we were coming from Richard’s Bay. Not too much swell from the south, and on the last of the flood, we launched into Knysna lagoon. The calm of this spot, well-protected from the ocean, welcomed us in wonderful late afternoon light. We can confirm that the poor reputation of the bar at the Heads encourages cruises to continue on their route toward Mossel Bay, False Bay, or Cape Town. There were only two yachts stopping over here. After three days on a choppy sea, we climbed the small wooden staircase up to the Yacht-Club terrace, and enjoyed a glass of nicely chilled Black Label wine in the company of local South Africans. This is the heart of the Garden Route, one of the nicest regions of South Africa, and we spent more than a month in the lagoon. Knysna is chic yet at the same time ...

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