1. Teahuroa, Toau Atoll On the southeastern side of Toau atoll, enter Otugi Pass and turn left. Avoiding coral heads, go as far as you dare with a high sun. About a mile down on the left is a beautiful romantic little beach. At night we hunted for coconut crabs on one of the small inter atoll islands — delicious on a beach BBQ.
You may need to transit the Fakarava atoll from the north as the south pass can only be entered with a draught less than 2.5 metres. The south pass itself boasts one of the best dives in the world — we were there for a shark-feeding frenzy under a full moon when the gropers spawn their eggs in mid-July. But it is a fantastic place to snorkel or dive year-round.
Rangiroa atoll is one of the world’s largest natural aquariums and should be top of every diver’s bucket list. You must transit the fast flowing and narrow Tiputa Pass to approach the main anchorage (just to the right once through) where Pacific bottlenose dolphins jump alongside the boat. The current roars in and out, so make sure you enter on a slack tide.
Toau has only a handful of inhabitants — just 18 in 2012. On the western side there is a “false pass” which, rather than cutting all the way through, creates a beautiful day anchorage. At 50m we had only about 10m from the stern to the reef. Guests love snorkelling off the yacht on to the reef and you can pick up crayfish for lunch.
Take the north pass into Apataki atoll and turn left for an anchorage with a beautiful white sand beach. The water drops straight off to around 15m down a hard coral wall, making it perfect for snorkelling directly off the beach.
Tempted to visit the region? Don't miss our guide to eight days discovering French Polynesia by superyacht.