Rangiroa, Tuamotus, French Polynesia

Apr 19, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


Just after sunrise we entered the pass into the massive atoll of Rangiroa.  An escort of bottlenose dolphins guided us into this magnificent blue paradise.  From here, it was time to play!  Either in the water or on shore, Rangiroa did not disappoint.

Some of us went on a tour of a local pearl farm.  The Tuamotus are world famous for the quality of their pearls, and certainly the pearls today were exquisite.  It was interesting to learn about the culturing of pearls, and of course the shopping opportunities.

Our water exploration today was focused on either SCUBA diving outside the reef, or snorkeling at the “aquarium.”  Divers saw sharks, a turtle, and – incredibly – at least 7 sailfish.  Snorkelers were swarmed by fish.  Calm conditions and abundant fish, the “aquarium” lived up to its name.

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About the Author

Mike Greenfelder

Undersea Specialist

Mike learned early on that the best way to escape Ohio was to become a marine biologist.  During college at Wittenberg University he attended a semester at Duke University's Marine Lab — that time only confirmed his love for all things oceanic and maritime.  After graduation, Mike promptly moved to Catalina Island in California where he taught marine biology to school kids.  Since 1999, Mike has been working and traveling chasing his three loves: marine critters, photography, and birds.

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