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Old 29-11-2009, 23:55   #1
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Hi from a Biologist Looking for Rides within the Tuamotu Archipelago

Hi!
I just registered to this forum because I am seeking a way to get to very remote uninhabited atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia) to conduct research on an endangered bird species there. These atolls are Tenararo (Acteon Group) and Morane, in the south east of the archipelago and Reitoru, in its centre. I can easily get to any place in French Polynesia that has an airport and get onboard there (i.e. Tahiti, Gambiers, Fakarava, Makemo, etc.). I am not a sailer, but would be extremely happy to help onboard (I am a hard worker used to tough field conditions). Ideal dates for me would be anytime from April 2010 to August 2010, but I can be flexible. I need at least 2 days on any of these atolls (longer stays would be better). If you are going this way and are interested in having one or two biologists helping onbroad and showing you the birds, please contact me for more information.
Thank you so much!!
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Old 30-11-2009, 05:37   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Marie-Helene.

That's an interesting proposition, in which I wish you well.
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Old 30-11-2009, 07:21   #3
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Hello Marie-Helene,

Let's give your request a bit of context. First, most boats sailing through French Polynesia will be taking a route via the Marquesas and the very northern Tuamotus, so none of them will be able to consider your request. An alternative route, followed by boats departing along South America's west coast, is via Easter and Pitcairn, and those boats will usually arrive in the Gambiers and then perhaps visiting some of the Tuamotus enroute Tahiti and points west. There are also a very small number of yachts each year that are trying to work their way northward from NZ and call in at the Australs before heading further north, so they would be another potential audience for you.

To reach these yacht crews, I think you should concentrate on a 'specialist' mailing list where you will find most of the boats doing Pacific crossings this coming season. The best one I know of is the Pacific Puddle Jumper group hosted by yahoo.com. Select 'Groups', search for this group and then register, after which you'll be able to post your request via a message to all members (about 500 or so, but only a portion will be making that run in 2010). A total guess on my part...but based on getting emails from boats doing the Easter-Gambier run in 2009, I would estimate perhaps 30-40 boats total which will have an itinerary that would - possibly (see below) - fit your target islands and time table.

Finally, you need to use Google Earth and examine what kind of pass exists for each of the islands you are hoping to visit. If any of your islands don't offer a 'good' (deep enough, wide enough) pass to permit safe entry by a yacht, then you are asking the crew to anchor off the leeward edge of atoll, depending on steady Tradewinds alone to keep themselves off the atoll. Normally, doing this is an unpopular option altho' some boats are comfortable with this if the weather conditions are forecast to be stable and they can leave crew aboard, ready to sail the boat offshore if the local weather changes (which it does). You will find that some of the Tuamotu atolls have pictures posted on Google Earth, and some of these are posted by yachts. This can be one indication - along with seeing the island's overhead picture - that an acceptable pass exists.

Good luck to you. It sounds like an interesting project...but one that the yachting community may not easily help you achieve.

Jack
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Old 30-11-2009, 13:00   #4
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Marie-Helene.

That's an interesting proposition, in which I wish you well.
Thanks!!
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Old 30-11-2009, 13:14   #5
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Hi Jack,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a long reply. Just a few comments quickly:

-just to clarify (in case my initial message was confusing): I am not trying to get a ride accross the Pacific, but just to get small scale rides within the Tuamotu from any atoll or island that has an airport to one of my target atoll. During the 5 months I spent in the Tuamotu last year, I met a fair number of sailors that were spending months and months in the Tuamotu, cruising along and visiting places following their whims. So it seemed reasonable to try this. (Many sailors have actually recommanded that I try it). I am aware that this may not work, but I think it is worth trying
- the pass point: I am very aware of this and it is actually going to be a difficulty. Reitoru has two small passes, but I don't know if they are navigable for a sailboat and the other two atolls don't (they are closed and small atolls). So I know this would require an offshore anchorage

Thank you a lot for the idea to try yacht crews. But I felt sailors that are not in a rush to get anywhere would be a better audiance.

Anyway, thank you!
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Old 30-11-2009, 14:30   #6
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Aloha and Welcome to the forum. I wish you all the luck in the world connecting with a sailing vessel. I'm certain if it works out that you and they will learn many new things.
regards,
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Old 30-11-2009, 15:16   #7
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Fishing or cargo boat?

I found a couple of references to traveling the Tuamotus by fishing or cargo boat:-

To go to the Tuamotu-Gambier Islands

Traveling French Polynesia by Supply Ship Part 3



It sounds like the fishing and cargo boats might do this sort of thing from time to time. Dropping and picking up travellers.

I'd think it would be a good idea to borrow (or even buy) a 4m rigid (preferably aluminium) dinghy and outboard as access to the actual islands does not look possible for a large boat.

I'd also recon it to be a good idea to borrow a satellite phone and an EPIRB for the time you're on the island, just in case something happens to you or your cargo/fishing boat.
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Old 30-11-2009, 15:27   #8
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Aloha and Welcome to the forum. I wish you all the luck in the world connecting with a sailing vessel. I'm certain if it works out that you and they will learn many new things.
regards,
Thank you for the good word!
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Old 30-11-2009, 15:33   #9
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I found a couple of references to traveling the Tuamotus by fishing or cargo boat:-

To go to the Tuamotu-Gambier Islands

Traveling French Polynesia by Supply Ship Part 3



It sounds like the fishing and cargo boats might do this sort of thing from time to time. Dropping and picking up travellers.

I'd think it would be a good idea to borrow (or even buy) a 4m rigid (preferably aluminium) dinghy and outboard as access to the actual islands does not look possible for a large boat.

I'd also recon it to be a good idea to borrow a satellite phone and an EPIRB for the time you're on the island, just in case something happens to you or your cargo/fishing boat.
Hi!

Thank you for the reply.

I do have a small (4m sounds about right) aluminium boat with a small (25cv) motor and of course, I have sat phones. Don't and won't have an EPIRB though.

Thanks for the links!!!! I'll have a look at them.
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