We spent a couple of weeks at Ahe many years ago. Outstanding diving
, flat water
anchorage, easy pass and unspoiled small village at that time. Definitely recommend stopping at any of the islands that haven't been developed/no hotel/airstrip. Stopped at Rangiroa but it was too civilized for our tastes and diving not nearly as good as Ahe.
Anchored off Makatea, a raised atoll unlike most of the other Tuamotus that are low atolls. Diving was great but didn't go ashore because the anchorage was insecure. The bottom drops off almost vertical beyond a small fringing reef. Dropped all 250 of chain and it went down vertical. The wind
pushed us in towards the Island so our stern was only a few hundred yards from shore. A change in the wind
and the boat would have drifted out to sea. Wanted to go ashore because the Island had an abandoned guano mining operation and supposedly all of the equipment
including a steam strain. Yeah I know, sail to SoPac so you can see an abandoned industrial site.
Our experience may no longer be the case as navigation
in the pre GPS
days scared off many cruisers going to the Tuamotus. Ahe had a reputation as being cruiser friendly then so there were a few other boats there both times we stopped but not enough to feel crowded. With the many Islands in the Tuamotus, shouldn't have a problem finding an unspoiled one.
FWIW, there were a lot of reef sharks inside the lagoon
. The black tip sharks are very passive and will not attack unless severely provoked. I counted more than 30 sharks one day I went spearfishing by the time I'd speared a couple of groupers and had them on a stringer. This was in one location across the lagoon
from the village. There was an Italian Swan 65 there the first time we anchored who were avid spear fisherman. One of the crew speared one of the sharks and didn't want to lose his speargun so he hung on with the shark towing him around. The shark eventually got tired of the sport and bit the guy on his thigh. Guess that's what you get for wearing Speedos.