Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hanamoenoa Bay and Rangiroa

For those of you following the blog, and Facebook, apologies in advance, as the posts are identical! I find Facebook is quicker with the upload of pictures, so when we do have some internet, I quickly upload some photos there, and then if I still have WiFi, I will come over to the blog to try and do an update. Today, in the interest of WiFi time, I am going to cut and paste my FB posts to the blog!  I was unable to upload multiple pictures to this blog...I tried, but I lost connection right before my 5th picture loaded, and I lost everything I had uploaded!! :(  So I'm going to try again with one or two, and get this post posted!!

Below in red is a quick link to the youtube video Dave took from his cell phone in "Bay of Virgins", from the top of our mast 70ft above the water. This was the 1st spot we anchored in after being at sea for 19 days!!!!!:
Bay of Virgins from top of mast!

Gaby enjoying the anchorage with Cool Runnings in the background
As I had mentioned in my previous post, we spent a blissful 2 days in Hanamoenoa Bay on the island of Tahuata in the Marquesas. This anchorage has the distinction of having a beautiful sandy beach, which is hard to find in this volcanic group of islands, as the islands tend to rise out of the sea with huge cliff faces. When we arrived, there was one other boat in the anchorage, but it left the next morning, and we had the anchorage and the beach all to ourselves! We left there on Sunday, July 17th, headed to the Tuamotus group of atolls. We sailed for 4 days and 4 nights, arriving in Rangiroa early in the morning, on Thursday, July 21st.

Our first approach and entrance into an atoll was a little nerve wracking, but our skilled captain got us in, no problem!! The Tuamotus archipelago had, for many years, been a place to avoid, with the rings of coral reefs being feared by many a cruiser! However, with better charts and GPS navigation these beautiful atolls are now visited by many, or most yachts on the way to Tahiti from the Marquesas. Having read about the dangers of the atolls, we chose one of the larger ones, with a deep, well defined entrance to be our first atoll experience. We still had to be aware of the rip tide (up to 8 knots!!) and eddies caused by incoming or outgoing tides and with the help of tide tables (thank you, Tracy for researching and sending us high and low tides for Rangiroa!!), we were able to time our entrance, and it was no problem getting into this atoll. 2 wrecks at the entrance were just a reminder of what can happen if you don't do this properly!

The pass entrance with a wreck to remind us to be careful!

Our own Polynesian beauty!
But we are now anchored in the second largest atoll in the world. It is stunning...the water is a turquoise that we had not yet seen up to this point. Yesterday we went snorkeling on the reef with some black tip sharks (who were not in the least bit interested in us), and saw tons of amazing, colorful fish. We plan to spend about a week here, just taking some time to relax and enjoy. The kids are doing schoolwork in the mornings, and the afternoons are for swimming, snorkeling and exploring. This is what a cruiser's life is all about!!

There are a few more pictures on my Facebook page ( if you would like to view them there. Dave is also trying to upload some videos to YouTube.  Just search david hibberd on You Tube.  Thanks also as always for all comments - we read them all and love hearing from everyone!!

The view from our boat


  1. Wow! It looks absolutely amazing! Stunning photo of your Polynesian Beauty!!!

    Enjoy your time there. You surely deserve it after the early hardships, rough seas and the long 19 days at sea.

  2. David, I've posted notes in a couple other places but don't know that you'll get them. If you are stopping in Tikehau, I have friends who could assist with logistics. They are very resourceful and know how to get things done. They own a small relais on the next atoll west of where you are currently. P.S. I am the sailing friend of Kim S. and we last met in Annapolis for lunch several years ago.

    1. Hi Randy - thanks very much! Tikehau is our next stop and in fact I just chatted with a neighboring boat about anchorages etc. We plan to head over there in the next couple of days. Would definitely like to make contact with your friends there. Always good to have a local connection! Can you send details to Thanks!!

    2. Check your e-mail. I sent them a note last week but haven't heard back from them yet. They tend to travel a bit.

    3. Check your e-mail. I sent them a note last week but haven't heard back from them yet. They tend to travel a bit.