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Raiatea / Faaroa Bay
(votes: 1)
Type Anchorage
Country French Polynesia
City Faaroa
Available places 10
Max depth 5 m
Views: 1359

For boats

This deep, long fjord is very beautiful with spectacular mountains on both sides and a view down the valley of Mt Tefaatuaiti, the highest point in “Iles Sous-le-Vent”. The water is clear of dangers to the natural end where the river Aopomau flows into the bay.
The passage south to this bay should be navigated with care. Follow the markers, with red cylindrical beacons to the shore side of you. At the entrance of the bay, the area is shallow with coral heads (but not less than 6 m). Once past the point which marks the start of Baie Avea, there is plenty of water with an average depth throughout 10 to 15 meters. The bay is well protected except during strong southerly and westerly winds (rare).
You can use a mooring buoy for the night, they are at different position. We used that:
16 48.772S and 151 24.794W
There is 3 buoys and next 3 you will find at the end of the bay.
If all buoy are taken, drop the anchor at:
16 49.083S and 151 24.948W (15m, bottom mud, good holding)
It is easy to discern the shallows where the outflow of the river joins the bay.
No fuel station around.
No water avaiable around.
No shops around.

For crews

From here one can make the only river trip in French Polynesia. You can dinghy to the shallows at the entrance of the river. It is quite shallow and strewn with waterlogged tree trunks and other natural debris. So it is wise not to use the out board engine or with do it with care. Enter slowly to the river (the left one, located in the center of the bay’s end. Keep the drift wood, limbs, and tree trunks in the delta of the river to your starboard side while heading up river.
Once through this tangle, the slow running river narrows and deepens to over 4 feet. With care you can use your dinghy outboard to motor about a mile and a half up the river. In general, motor in the center of the river when it is a straight section and navigate the outer edge area on the turns. During the dry season you can see the bottom of the river in the shallow spots. Watch for sunken logs. At the end turn the engine off and drift or row back with the current. The peace and quiet of the natural tropical jungle is delightful, with only bird songs to accompany you. Because of the unspoiled beauty, one feels like talking in whispers so as not to intrude upon the beauty of the surroundings. Above the trees, catch glimpses of the magnificent, towering rock wall of Mt Tefatuaiti, soaring to a height of 3,400 ft.
The length of the trip depends on the overgrowth and the amount of debris in the river. The land and plantations on either side of the river are private, so don’t help yourselves to any fruits without first asking permission from the nearest house.
If you proceed more than mile up the river, it will take a sharp turn to the left.
On your left you will see many banana and coconut trees, and a valley farm. The
farmer, Taeuro is working his field. We got a tour of his acreage. By the end of the tour we were loaded up with huge squash, papaya, a hand of bananas, coconuts, and taro, all for a fraction of the cost of local markets.
At the east end of Baie Avea, the inner passage comes to an abrupt end and the barrier reef meets the island at Pte Tiva.


Mooring buoy – free of charge
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