Snorkeling the False Pass, part 1

By Spencer

The weather was calm with 10 knot East winds. We anchored Aldebaran in 35’ of glassy water, surrounded by coral heads, in the lee of a very long “motu” (flat reef islet) on the far eastern side of Gambier.

The motu has a name that is a mouthful: Tarauru-Roa. It is more commonly known as ‘the False Pass south of the airport’. The gap in the reef looks like a good entrance for sailing ships; but upon closer review it is only a foot deep in places (hence, it is a ‘false pass’)

We motored the dinghy carefully through the pass to take our first swim outside of the barrier reef in Gambier. As soon as I had jumped over the side to scope it out, I was leaping halfway out of the water like a dolphin exclaiming “Holy Guacamole it’s incredible!!!!”


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