We embarked on the Bougainville A622, the French Navy’s overseas support and assistance vessel Bougainville, on January 18th 2021.
Without the help of the French Navy, we would probably not have been able to carry out this mission, as their help was so precious.
As mentioned in the previous post, we embarked on the Bougainville in Fakarava on January 16th, and she disembarked on January 29th in Rangiroa. Most of the sailing between the atolls was short, between 4 and 6 hours, but we did spend two nights on the ship, sailing from Tekokota and Tikei and returning to Rangirora.
The hospitality of the crew was incredible and for all of us, sharing their life on board was an enriching experience.
Atolls are usually coral outgrowths at the top of a collapsed volcano, leaving only a coralline belt. Thus, today, all that remains around a lagoon is a string of islets only a few metres high; the « motus » are themselves surrounded by a coral reef.
In order to disembark us, the army has entrusted this task to a team of whalers, local sailors who have this science of disembarkation on the Motu, which links knowledge of the atolls, reading of the reefs, the passes, the waves, the current as well as the handling of the whaleboat to surf on the good wave as well as handling of the whaleboat to surf on the big wave which will make pass on the wave-cut coral reef. So impressive! This coral reef makes access to them very dangerous.
The whaleboat a flat-bottomed boat with an outboard motor that can flow onto the reef) was used for the descent, and this boat change was not always easy.
Then the whalers, with their always impressive manoeuvres, dropped us off on the Motu.