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Gambier Islands / Mangareva / Rikitea
(votes: 1)
Type Anchorage
Country French Polynesia
City Rikitea
Max depth 10 m
  • Port of entry
  • Shops
  • WiFi
  • Water
Views: 2334

For boats

The Gambier Islands are in the SE corner of the South Pacific cruising area and a logical point to stop during passage from/to South America. The atoll is a bit off main Pacific routes (Panama – Polynesia), so only a few yachts come there. But for yachts sailing from South America via Easter Island and Pitcairn it’s the best place to Check in to Polynesia (Mangareva is the Port of Entry).
The Gambier Islands are enclosed within a reef which is submerged in many places. There are 3 main passes from NW, SW, and SE direction, but you can cross the reef in more places.
Be careful of many shallows, rocks and reefs inside the atoll, specially in N part.
When you approach the Rikitea (the main village with pop. about 500) a buoyed channel leads into the anchorage across the internal reefs – keep in the middle of the channel). Inside there is enough place for anchoring for 10-15 boats (depth about 20m), and the protection and holding is very good (sand with mud).  This anchorage is sheltered from winds and swell from all directions.
Do not anchor close to the local wharf, leave enough space for ships coming there from time to time.
The best place for dinghy landing is a small harbor with wharf. Come inside and tie your dinghy to small floating pier.
Visit a Ganarmerie ASAP. You will fill some forms, one of them you will sent to Papeete (there is a post office). No extra immigration or customs.
For yachts from UE, formalities are easy, and you can stay in Polynesia for 24 months. 
There is no petrol station. The best option is to buy a fuel when a supply ship is coming (directly from the ship, but you can buy 200l drums only). Use your own jerry cans to refill and delivery fuel to your boat. Other way is ask for fuel in local shops – ‘Therehere’ is best option.
You can by a 1000 liters of water in local Municipal (turn left from the harbor and walk about 400 meters). The cost is 500 Pacific French Franks (XPF). This water is available close to the sport center which is located at NE end of village (about 1km from the harbor). You can get there by dinghy with landing on a wide beach, or at the same place (in municipal) arrange a delivery directly to the wharf, where you can berth for taking a water. Additional cost: 1500 XPF
There is a few shops with limited products (vegetable and fresh products are a problem) and high prices. A shops called Therehere (left from the harbor, walk about 600 meters, with blue signs, on the right) looks for best supply.
The baguette you can buy every early morning (some in afternoon) in local bakery (right from the harbor and about 400m).
There are some products with red prices on, they are partly paid by government so the final price for customers is cheaper than similar products.
Money change
There is no bank or ATM. USD and probably Euro you can change to XPF in most of the shops. A rate in 2016: 1 USD = 100XPF, 1 EUR – 120XPF
No possibility to refill your bottles, but you can buy a new bottles (Polynesian connection) in some places. Easy to find.
Post office
There is a post office (look for a huge sat antenna). A local stamp 80XPF, international one – 140XPF.
There is a WiFi (available at anchorage), name ViniSPOT, but it’s not free and rather quite slow. One hour cost about 4 EUR, 10hrs – 28 EUR, 50hrs - 82EUR (payment via internet with credit card). In 2016 the system worked wrong and with 1hr credit you can surf all the time.
The WiFi is also available in the restaurant (the biggest one, right from the harbor and 500m of walk). It’s free of charge if you order a meal, but still not fast).

For crews

For crew:
The anchorage is pretty, with majestic view for Mangareva Island.
There is restaurant which serve few dishes (meal or fish with fries, a kind of Chinese food or a baguette with chicken and fries). The prices are not cheap, but acceptable (1300-1500 XPF).
There is a main church, you have to visit it during a Sunday service (beauty Polynesian songs).
A walk along the coast or to the other side of the island is a good choice. There is a lot of pearl farms located along the coast.
There is a lot of growing fruits everywhere. It is no problem to get some. Ask locals if the tree is in their garden (usually it’s not a problem).
There is 2 small shops with souvenirs (Pearls), frst called Artesian (before Therehere shop), the second about 200 meters road behind the church.
At the NE corner of the village live a German man (name Fritz). He is not a sailor but loves coming people. You can take a shower there (100XPF) or spent a nice time. He speaks French or German, no English. Worth to visit him.


1 USD – 100 XPF, 1 EUR – 120 XPF (in 2016)  
Anchorage – free of charge
Garbage – 1000 XPF / week – payment in municipal
Water – 500 XPF
Water delivery to the wharf – 1500 XPF
Wifi – 1hr / 4 EUR,, 10hrs / 28 EUR, 50hrs / 82EUR
Dinner in restaurant – 1300 to 2000 XPF
Shower (Fritz’s house) – 100 XPF
A baguette – 80XPF
International stamp for postcard – 140XPF
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