French Polynesia consists of 5 archipelagos, 118 islands and 78 atolls. Located right in the middle of the largest ocean, the Pacific, and situated some 6000 km off Australia, 9000 km off Japan and more than 6000 km from the USA, these islands are among the most isolated in the world.
Although all the archipelagoes of Polynesia feature spectacular underwater attractions, the archipelago of the Tuamotu counts as one of the most beautiful spots in the world.
It consists of the atoll of Rangiroa with its two underwater passes, Avatoru and Tiputa, the atoll of Tikehau and the atoll of Fakarava with its famous south pass and incredible walls of sharks.
French Polynesia established the largest Cetacaean sanctuary in the world in 2002 and since 2006 all species of sharks have been protected there too.
Thus it is one of the rare places in the world where you can swim with more than six species of sharks in the same dive, blacktip shark, silvertip shark, coral shark, grey reef shark, nurse shark, blackfin shark and both great hammerheads and tiger shark are frequently seen..
The passes of the Tuamotu also abounds in life with thousands of fish either in separate groups or in one gigantic school. All the fauna entering or leaving the atolls has to pass through these “corridors” which are the links between the ocean and the lagoon. Hence they are overflowing with life.
Vincent Truchet has lived in French Polynesia for 5 years. To see more of his work, please visit his website.