Pitufa.at » Photo Galleries » Nengonengo

In May 2019 we made it through the narrow, uncharted pass into Nengonengo, only to be told it was private and off limits. We were allowed to stay during heavy weather and then got permission to visit the bird islands around the atoll. The local pearl farm was abandoned 20 years ago, since then the atoll has become a haven for wildllife.

Click or tap on a thumbnail to view the large version.

1/36: We caught a big mahi-mahi on the way up from the Gambier
3/36: Sounding the narrow pass by dinghy.
4/36: Fully focused helmswoman on the way through the pass.
5/36: Keeping close to the reef and away from current and standing waves.
6/36: The former pearl-farm buildings...
7/36: ...have turned into a ghost town with just one caretaker living there.
8/36: We sat out strong winds on the eastern side of the atoll.
13/36: We got the permission to explore the bird motus around the atoll.
14/36: Endemic shrubs and just a few palm trees are ideal for bird colonies.
15/36: Red-footed boobies are abundant there.
16/36: Red-tailed tropic birds nest on the ground and have been wiped out on most of the neighbouring atolls. In Nengonengo we found a large colony.
17/36: Heron.
18/36: Tuamotu reed warbler.
21/36: Rubbish from the abandoned pearl farm covers the motus.
23/36: We found large frigate bird colonies on the western side.
27/36: Courting red-footed boobies sing to their mates--to our ears it sounds like raucous roaring.
28/36: Bristle-thighed curlew
29/36: Enlightened rubbish
31/36: Bird-hunting equipment
32/36: Anchored off the pass
33/36: Snorkeling the pass was adventurous, the outgoing current swept us towards the standing waves outside.
34/36: Nurse shark
35/36: Many grey reef sharks in the pass.
36/36: Swarms of juvenile unicorn fish.