The West Pass of Tahanea

Images from drift diving the west pass in Tahanea – our first time going on our own without a local 🙂


We always choose to snorkel passes in Tuamotos during the incoming tide. When the current is flooding into the lagoon, it brings clear ocean water into the pass, improving visibility. 

The outgoing tide can bring some turbid water from the lagoon. Snorkeling in a pass during an outgoing tide can also be dangerous – if the dinghy motor fails, you get swept out to sea without a way to return! C’est pas bon. 

The coral formations in Tahanea are spectacular.


Snorkeling with the dinghy in hand, as the current sweeps us in. Don’t let go of the dinghy! It is our lifeline. Luckily we are all drifting together at the same rate so it isn’t hard to hold on.


At the start of the dive the tide was slack and we went to a shallow spot on the north-west part of the pass, anchoring the dinghy to a rock.


Schools of needle fish hang in the shallows.


Another photo of the sailfish that we came across in the pass during our dive… magnificent. (Read about it in our previous post)

One thought on “The West Pass of Tahanea

  1. Love the realistic and detailed narration of the Tahanea South Pass dives. Kristian was on it – and – really good with the boat, but it did come untied from the reef. Good news was that we saw the boat cruising by us. If not then we would have had to swim fast into the atoll. Kristian held on tight, for sure!

    I have been explaining that the incoming tide was so strong and fast in these passes that I wanted to “push rewind” and stop the film (the one that we were all staring in) so that I could see the cool things swooshing by below me. Arriba – Arriba – Andale! Arriba!

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