How to cruise in the Tuamotus

Due to the Covid-19 crisis all inter-island travel was forbidden in French Polynesia and boats arriving from Panama/Mexico/Chile/etc. have been ‘piling up’ in the Marquesas and Gambier. It looks like some inter-island travel may be allowed soon and then a fleet will head for the atolls of the Tuamotus.

As we’ve been around the area for 7 years now (and we move a lot and have explored many places off the beaten track) we have seen many examples how not overly well informed ‘newbies’ can make quite a few mistakes at their first encounter with atolls, causing damage to their own boats, but also to nature.

Under our ‘for cruisers’ section you can find lots of blog entries and links to articles about…

- how to enter an atoll safely (not to rely on apps and software, but to arrive early and watch out for phenomena)
- how to navigate safely (not relying on other people’s Waypoints or on charts that are often wrong, but with good light and a look-out on the bow)
- how to anchor around coral (with good light, in water that’s shallow enough to find the sandy spots, with a floated chain and not blindly in the deep with alibi floats)
- how to stay safe at anchor (by keeping an eye on the weather all the time and moving with or in anticipation of shifting winds)
- how to keep good relations with locals (by asking for permission if in doubt and by going to the mayor’s office to find out about local customs/fees)
- how to minimise the impact on wildlife on the few motus that actually still have some (not to greedily stock up with coconut crabs, landcrabs, lobsters as their numbers are reduced already by locals without much sense of sustainability, not to disturb the few motus with bird colonies by having beach parties and bonfires)

If you’re heading towards the South Pacific in the future or if you’re already here, check out our info and feel free to write an email if you have additional questions!

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