Anaa is a small coral atoll in the Tuamoto Archipelago of French Polynesia. The reef here does not have a pass, so there are only small boats in the lagoon, which is stunningly blue.
7/11/2010: Mike, Barbara and I came to stay on this atoll to see a total solar eclipse. After quite a bit of uncertainty, we arranged to camp at a beach on a coconut farm near the airstrip on Anaa.
I was close to being locked up contemplating the stresses involved camping four nights on a tropical white sand beach next to intensely blue water.
We spent a lot of time walking into town to buy snacks and check out various Heiva and special eclipse events. There was even a disco club in town!
Some of the highlights of Anaa were the very friendly people, our visit to the "blue hole" and the abandoned town on the south end of the atoll, and of course the eclipse.
200 or so people gathered on an oceanside beach on the east side of the island waiting for the eclipse. The locals had swiped up all the eclipse t-shirts to the consternation of a couple tourists who had been part of a charter flight to earlier that day. Shortly after first contact, a huge cloud covered the sun. After about 30 minutes, we resumed viewing of the partial phase, but decided to bail to a more secluded and sunnier seeming area about 1km south of the main viewing area.
We had a pretty clear view with a single cloud threatening as the total phase approached. It was a close call too, as a couple of wispy clouds added some color just at second contact. About 5 minutes after third contact, a cloud came in and covered the sun for nearly an hour.
Of course, on our last day, we found the perfect snorkeling spot. From the yacht anchorage, we were able to see white-tipped reef sharks and lionfish among a huge diversity of fish in the reef.
We left the next day to Papeete, and our hosts, Luita and Henri, gave us the royal sendoff with shell leis and palm hats.
Previous Visit (Rangiroa: 7/4/2010)
Next Visit (Tahiti: 7/13/2010)