by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog
Waking up to see an island and then see it disappear was an interesting experience.
We anchored about three-tenths of a mile from the Fakarava, Tuamota Island. As soon as the clouds rolled in the visibility of the island was gone.
This protected barrier island together with its six neighboring islands, originally including Taiaro, makes up a UNESCO classified nature reserve, which is the proof of the richness of the ecosystem of these atolls.
Things to see and explore on the island are: the ancient village of Tetamanu with one of the first Catholic churches built in coral and dating from 1874 and walk through island from one side to the other to enjoy the spirit of this remote island.
Among the things to be explored here are : a pearl farm visit and the fairly a colorful visit to the sea slug smoke house, the rori highly prized by Asian gourmets, and the ancient village of Tetamanu with one of the first Catholic churches built in coral and dating from 1874.
The real draw to the island is its snorkeling and scuba diving which had areas that are virtually untouched spots where there is to be found a concentration of lagoon and ocean fish such as loach, meru, barracuda, rays and the highly memorable hammerhead and tiger sharks.
Our adventure started on the tender as we waited for the rain and fog to clear so the tender driver to be able see the location to dock on the island. It was pouring down rain when we began our journey to Fakavara.
Once off the tender there was a small information center which had a map of the island. From the area view the island just looked like a long strip of land. It is very narrow and took us less than five minutes to walk from one side to the other.
Rain, rain, and more rain… most of our time on the island we experienced hard rain showers. No thunder or lightning but hard pelting rain with wind. It was hard to use the umbrella, but we were dressed in our swim clothes and walking in water shoes; so, we didn’t mind so much getting wet.
On one side of the island, the ocean had strong waves and currents. The other side where the ship was anchored was smooth and ideal for snorkeling.
We walked around most of the island in two hours; stopping to look into local shops (which look like people’:s homes) and taking pictures along the way.
At times the sun would peek through and that is when we tried to get as many pictures as we could. We even have a picture of one side showing blue skies while the other was dark clouds.
The last activity we did before the tender was snorkeling. We were already wet so it didn’t matter if it poured while we were snorkeling. The coral and fish were wonderful to see. On this trip I have definitely become more comfortable with snorkeling.
Once back on the ship, we cleaned ourselves up, had lunch, took a nap and played Euchre with our friends.
We are so glad we have done this once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing French Polynesia and such a remote part of the world.
Tomorrow will be our 21st sea day. We can’t believe this trip is winding down. Only one more port after tomorrow, then seven days on the sea after that.
All I can say is ‘wow’ what an amazing vacation and opportunity.