Fakarava and Toau Atolls, Tuamotu Archipelago

May 18, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


The first full day of our expedition in French Polynesia began with an exciting passage through the north pass of Fakarava Atoll. It was very impressive to watch as Captain Heidie Norling and our pilot skillfully guided our ship through the strong currents and standing waves into the calm waters of the lagoon inside the long coral reef. After breakfast we went ashore to visit a small town, where we explored by bicycle and on foot, photographing local seabirds, meeting local people, and enjoying some time with friendly local nurse sharks. In the afternoon we had another opportunity to enjoy the beautiful blue water in the lagoon of Toau Atoll, where we encountered lots of black- and white-tipped reef sharks, big coral groupers and clouds of jewel-like damselfish.

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About the Author

David Cothran

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

David has worked for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1993 on six continents and in over 65 countries. David is interested in many of the natural sciences, particularly ornithology, geology and marine biology; he most enjoys contrasting the broad perspectives provided by world travel with detailed investigations of local ecosystems on land and in the sea.

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