Snorkeling the Bommie, Tahanea

Melanie “flying” over the shallow coral.

“Nobody around, and incredible marine life”, was our friends’ description of Tahanea atoll, 80 miles south west of Makemo. The uninhabited atoll has few visitors besides passing sailboats and occasional dive charter trips. We chose to anchor near the middle pass, which has protection from the east wind  (there are 3 passes on the atoll, all near each other on the northern side).

Tahanea atoll is 30 miles wide, located in the central part of the Tuamotos archipelago in French Polynesia.

Coral formations in Tahanea were extremely healthy.

1/8 mile east of Aldebaran’s anchorage lay a “dangerous” coral bommie marked in the charts. We took Lambordinghy to the bommie and I dove down to attach her painter line to a rock. The coral bommie was shallow and extremely pretty, like a natural aquarium.

Lambodinghy with her painter line attached to some rocks in the coral garden.

Corornel with a “five finger” clam as they call them here in French Polynesia. He left it behind as it had a living mollusk inside. We later learned that this type of clam grows slowly and is protected from harvesting when the mollusk is alive.


Amazed by the diversity of life at the coral bommie, we now looked forward to doing a drift dive at the pass in the following day… where we hoped to find some larger critters.

5 thoughts on “Snorkeling the Bommie, Tahanea

  1. Have you been able to test the rudder arm yet? The visibility looks simply delicious! I enjoyed the end of dives in Fiji at ten feet or so. Looks similar. Enjoy it, kids! Snorkel one extra minute for me!

    • Yep, we sailed from Tahanea to the next two atolls (Faaite and Fakarava) without a glitch so far… only about 65nm total so far but she seems to be solid!


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