South Pacific

For Jeff’s family

July 2014.

Two weeks of island hopping

Dear Jeff,

Your South Pacific Diving Adventure begins as soon as you and your family arrive in Fakarava. The dives and sailing routes we have arranged, based on your current level of experience, will give you a truly immersive sense of this beautiful archepelago. The delightful thing about traveling in this style is that you can truly customize your trip to challenge yourself and broaden your horizons: always, you will be free to alter the difficulty and destination of your dives through consultation with your assigned dive master.

Day 1: Fakarava

Your yacht will be waiting for you, anchored by a beautiful beach, and you will be welcomed aboard with champagne and refreshments. After a brief safety tour of the vessel, suit up for adventure. Garuae Pass, whose cobalt-blue waters are home to hunting sharks, manta rays, and schooling fish, will be the site for your first dive.

Day 2: The Corner

Today you dive The Corner, a secret spot coveted by divers for its unparalleled marine life. The clear blue waters and comfortable currents attract sharks and manta rays, while the shallower waters of the nearby reef house a rainbow of coral and fish unique to this part of the world. After diving, we have arranged a visit to a pearl farm, which Maxia will love. The cultivation of Tahitian black pearls is an important industry in the Tuamotu Islands, and a fascinating process. Reboard your yacht and let the warmth of the ocean breeze caress you as you cruise south towards the Fakarava Sud, and anchor off of a deserted beach by sunset.

Day 3: Diving Fakarava Sud

Have breakfast of local fruit this morning as you watch the sun glimmer on the waves. You will awake at the Fakarava Sud anchorage, located on the southern end of the Fakarava Lagoon. Here, the water is more shallow and the currents calmer than in previous stops, making it a suitable dive for all members of your family. The atoll is rich in biodiversity, and the pink coral, which lends itself to the exquisite pink sand beaches, is not to be missed.

Day 4: Exploring Fakarava Sud

Dive at your leisure today, perhaps returning to a favorite spot, or relaxing on the quiet beaches. Chris may enjoy kiteboarding lessons, laser sailing, waterskiing, and beach volleyball, perhaps the whole family can join the challenge, or learn something new.

Before sunset, take the tender to Ua Pou, a nearby deserted motu. There, you will find a prepared picnic under a canopy, an idyllic place to savor the Pacific sunset.

Day 5: Tahanea Atoll

This morning, you will depart early for Tahanea, an uninhabited atoll in French Polynesia. Be sure to set the trolling lines en route to Tahanea Atoll. The deep waters offer wonderful fishing opportunities and you may even catch lunch! In the afternoon, drop anchor by Passe Teavatapu to enjoy some fantastic dives. Visitors to this islet often report an escort of dolphins as they make their way into the anchorage.

Day 6: Exploring Tahanea

Spend the day exploring a magical group of sandy motu inside the lagoon. For nature lovers this is a true paradise, as many birds’ nest here—in fact, you can see baby chicks in all stages of development. Depart after dinner for an overnight passage to Toau, toward the northwest.

Day 7: Toau Atoll

Wake up this morning in Toau, a memorable stop wonderful whether you are drifting in the pass or diving the corner. By now you will be comfortable with the daily rhythm of sailing and diving, and so will be ready to dive right in to this beautiful site. Here, lots of wildlife and beautiful clear water make this a particularly memorable stop.

Day 8: Tehere Pass

Watch the magnificent sunrise as you sail to Apataki, a coral atoll that is part of the Tuamotu chain. Depending on the winds, you should arrive at Tehere Pass around lunchtime.

Apataki has less than 500 inhabitants, and no land-based accommodations. Its untouched nature makes it home to an exquisite anchorage and dive location: the diving and fishing is superlative.

Day 9: Apataki

Explore the reef with a guided dive, or stay above the surface today. There are water sports—kiteboarding, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking—for your enjoyment, or you may relax under a palm tree on the pristine sands of the atoll. After dinner, prepare for a night of stargazing and warm ocean breeze as you sail to Rangiroa Atoll, approximately 75 nautical miles away.

Day 10: Tiputa Pass

Perhaps the most well known of the Tuamotu dive areas, Rangiroa is considered by some to be the world’s largest natural aquarium. Begin your exploration of this wonder at Tiputa Pass, on the north side of the atoll. A world-class site, its natural currents attract an abundance of marine life, and you should expect frequent encounters with dolphin, sharks, turtles, mantas, and more.

Day 11: Rangiroa

Because Rangiroa is so abundant, we have scheduled another day for you to continue exploring the vast blue lagoon. In the evening, you may take advantage of above-water life, strolling to do some shopping and bicycling.

Day 12: Rangi Pink Sands and Otepipi

Cruise within Rangiroa Lagoon, the second largest atoll in the world, to visit “The Pink Sands,” a remote and beautiful motu at the eastern corner of the atoll. A deserted beach of pink sand and tranquil flora, this magical beach captivates the imagination and quiets the soul.

Then sail south, dropping anchor at Otepipi. Visit St. Anne’s church, a classic example of French Polynesian architecture. Each July, a pilgrimage is organized to celebrate the feast of St. Anne at this Catholic Church.

As you return to your mooring, keep an eye open for dolphins who might provide an escort for you.

Day 13: Avatoru anchorage

No dive trip to Tahiti would be complete without a shark dive. Rangiroa is known for some of the most exhilarating shark encounters, and at certain times of the year can play host to migrating Whale Sharks, the largest known fish in the sea. Challenge your senses and skills on your last diving day on a shark dive, where you can expect to encounter the bold and inquisitive Silvertip Shark—Maxia will be delighted.

Day 14: Departure

Relax on board, snooze on the beach, or trade fish stories before heading home. Rangiroa Airport is accessible by tender, and conveniently located just meters from the dock, allowing you plenty of time to breathe in the beauty and splendor of your South Pacific adventure.

Jeff, it has been a pleasure getting to know you and organizing this itinerary for your family. Please do call if I can be of any assistance.