Pacific Ocean

Be & Be: Rangiroa, in the Tuamotus

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“Rangiroa is the biggest atoll in French Polynesia, and could cover Tahiti. It measures forty miles at its longest point and sixteen at its widest. The atoll has 2,500 inhabitants, and its ‘summit’ reaches...12 meters. Navigation inside the Rangiroa atoll is extraordinary, particularly along its windward coast. The reef completely stops the swell, but the few coconut trees don’t stop the wind. About a mile inside the reef, shoals are rare, but you must nevertheless keep an eye open, and night sailing is not feasible, as the risk of hitting a coral head is too great. Only daytime sailing, with the sun at its zenith or behind you will allow you to read the seabed.
We spent the end of year festivities at the eastern end of the atoll, in a place the locals call ‘Les Sables Roses’. The place is only rarely explored, as it ...

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