angiroa is one of the largest atolls in the world. It is made up of more than 400 little islands, sandbars, and islets. Only two of the islands are inhabited. People have lived here since the tenth century, mostly making their living in fishing. Today, the production and sale of cultured black pearls are important to the economy. Very likely many of the ship's passengers had hoped for a visit to the well-known Pearl Farm here.
A low atoll, accompanied by high winds
George's Blog:Today we were supposed to visit Rangiroa, but it was cancelled again due to high winds that prevented our ship from entering the lagoon. Unlike most of the other islands that we visited (except Fanning Island), Rangiroa is situated on an atoll with no mountainous interior and is located in the Tuamotus group of islands in French Polynesia. The maximum height of the atoll is only 15 feet above sea level, except for trees and man made structures. The ship would have needed to enter the lagoon to reduce the ocean swell and anchor there, using tenders to reach shore. Unfortunately the ship is higher than the island and the 40 knot winds we had would have hit the ship in the lagoon, making tendering dangerous. Again the ship could not enter the small opening in the reef to enter the lagoon safely. We did see some small dolphins and many birds around Rangiroa today.
We were out on the verandah, watching the sea and Rangiroa as decisions were being made about whether or not we'd be able to call here. Suddenly, one or two, then several small dolphins began to leap in the water. George ran for the camera and tried to get pictures, but the dolphins were very fast. He did manage to get a few shots, and we were able to see many birds as well—the most we've seen on open water this trip. Whatever was churning in the water seemed to be food for them all!
Blog Content & Website Design: Marney Wilde • Photographs by George Wilde