We visited three bays on Taravai, some several times. One of the joys of Mangareva is the day sailing aspect in which everywhere we transited was less than 10 miles and most of the time “the village” (Rikitea) was en route so we would often pop into the village for one night for food, beer, gas and internet…you know, the basics.
Most of the anchorages in Mangareva are deep which, as owners of a manual windlass, we can tell you officially sucks great big donkey balls. We also hate not being able to see where we place our anchor in areas where there might be coral. We always ask around about the holding/bottom but sometimes cruisers will tell you mud/sand, the charts say nothing, and I feel a rumble in the chain when I drop that means coral (or rocks). Coral rubble? Live coral? We do our best to avoid this whenever possible and we move when we aren’t sure.
The bays around the island are vastly different. Agakauauitai has a rich, steep, rugged coast line. The island of Agakauauita is an excellent kayak spot. Edward and Denise live on Taravai on that bay and are warm and welcoming. The bay can hold a lot of boats and has great holding.
On the West side of Taravai are a series of bays the most protected of which is the smallest and furthest south – Onemea. Onemea is paradise found. Absolutely incredible and you’ll have it to yourselves. It is the site in which we filmed our upcoming comedy “Gravity filling our propane tank in paradise”. Release date to be announced.
Even though it is perhaps the least beautiful of the three (although still beautiful), the bay at Taravai village (on the North side) is our favorite by far.
With them, we hunted (fish and goats), we gathered fruit and vegetables, we played almost every yard and beach game imaginable, we feasted, we kicked back a few cold ones and our memories of their family will be in our hearts as leave French Polynesia.