|Maupiti pass, narrow entry through its first two motus. Water|
roiling the day after we entered and even the fishermen refused
to pass through. View from Mt. Teurufaatiu, Maupiti French Polynesia.
We’d heard Fakarava’s entry in the Tuamotus spoken of with fear, especially the South entrance, where we came in. Either we were really lucky, even though according to the tide tables we didn’t come in at the optimal time, or it’s a piece of cake compared to the crashing waves amid shallow entries like Panama’s Rio Chagres, Bahamas Long Island Little Harbour and a host of really narrow rocky passages like Hatchet Bay in Eleuthera.
|Maupiti pass, the day after we entered and even |
the fishermen refusedto pass through. View from
Mt. Teurufaatiu, Maupiti French Polynesia.
Still, the weather forecast didn’t look too bad, and based on our Fakarava pass experience, we figured the fears were overblown, at least up to 2-3 meter Southerly swells and we’d still be ok. We checked out of Bora Bora, ready to sneak in one last French Polynesian island.
|Maupiti pass, waves looking off our stern as we entered.|
Once through, it’s instantly apparent why entering Maupiti’s pass is worth the effort. Calm water. Sparkling sandy, coconut palm covered motus gently rise from clear turquoise-colored waters. The island of Maupiti’s gentle peaks jutting up against the skyline, providing the perfect panorama viewpoint. We’d also read mantas hang out at one of the motus just inside the pass. Dropping anchor off town, we were greeted by a small turtle and some stingrays. Kiteboarders were making the most of strong winds across shallow flat water off a motu. (Watch for more posts coming up on Maupiti).
|Maupiti pass, waves just outside its narrow entry.|
We were lucky. The day after we came through the pass, even the local fishermen refused to go through. However that was only one day out of our week on Maupiti.
“Are you stopping at Mopelia*?” asked the cruisers from Holiday. “We love it… 20 people live there. Tons of fish, even tuna on the protected side of the reef. We rode out 50 knot winds there and were fine. The entrance is less tricky than Maupiti. We’re looking for another couple boats to join us to bring in food to the locals there….”
|Maupiti pass on a really calm day from Mt. Teurufaatiu.|
Much clamer than when we went through.