Fakarava’s South Pass: Aerial Photos

Aldebaran anchored near the South Pass. The pass is located in an area with ideal protection from the prevailing SE trade winds – which is rare for Tuamoto passes

Fakarava is a World Heritage site, famous for diving. First though, we were blown away by the view from the air. Since the sun was shining and winds were calm, we flew the Honey Bee right after anchoring, to capture these pictures. 

Satellite images and nautical charts of Tuamotos seem to indicate they are uniform “rings” of land with lagoons in the middle. Not true… As you can see from this picture, most of the “ring” is composed of sparse bits of land with channels. In fact, the majority of the atoll is just submerged reef for miles on end, with no land in sight.

We’d like thank our Green Coco Patrons (www.patreon.com/greencoconutrun) for contributing monthly to our media & video fund. This fund allowed us to buy the DJI Mavic drone (among other photographic goodies) which lets us see and share these atolls from such an unreal perspective! 



Notice the heart-shape in the coral reef! Here is a closer view of Fakarava’s South Pass, with the dive center & small rustic hotel that houses enthusiastic divers from all over the world. The structures extending across the reef are piers for docking boats; one pier even has a restaurant for visitors.


We were anchored with two catamarans and a large monohull on the first day. Lots of boats come to this spot. Rough ocean outside, smooth lagoon inside


Aldebaran in paradise… so proud of our old trimaran for making it down here!

8 thoughts on “Fakarava’s South Pass: Aerial Photos

  1. Aloha, we LOVED Farkarava when we visited on our SV PEACE AND ALOHA while sailing around the world. We entered the North Pass, sailed to the South Pass and visited with Manihi (he and his family own the B&B and restaurant there), having lunch and fishing with them. We “dinghied” the pass several times and did not have better diving/snorkeling anywhere around the world. We were there in May 2001. Manihi probably does not remember us but we needed to leave early because of other American cruisers who were diving the North pass and ended up spending the night in the ocean inside the lagoon. They were rescued and were safe thankfully but we felt we needed to be at the North pass for the other crew members. Manihi knew exactly where they would be with the currents around the islands and motu. Say “aloha” to him for us! ENJOY your time there and spend as much time as you can!
    We enjoy your blog immensely! Thank you. All the Best! Fair winds and following seas! Be safe!
    Ellen, David, Jason and Eric Ernisse
    S/V PEACE AND ALOHA, Home port Maui, Hawaii
    Sailed around the world 1999-2006
    Ashore, Maui, HI

    • Wow what a story! Did you sail the 28 nautical miles from Fakarava’s south pass to the north pass when you heard about your friends’ tribulations? Tell us the whole story, sounds very intense!

      Diving in strong currents is no joke… we have two Nautilus Lifelines (scuba-ready VHF/GPS units) plus the standard orange inflatable “sausages” on reels, and a brand new RIB dinghy for safety…all which have been super critical.

      We will be going back to Fakarava next spring – it is so stellar we need to spend more time there – and will try to meet Manihi!


  2. Great comment from Ellen and David… such reminiscences seem to last forever!
    I agree with Ellen: ENJOY your time there and spend as much time as you can!

    And I’m proud of you Kristian to make this all possible, for yourselves and for this group of lucky lucky friends and others who have became friends Good on you!
    Missing “Crew Bios – season 3” Who were they?

    Much love

    • You’re right, this is definitely one of those places to spend more time at… we feel like we need to show it to all our friends!


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