Clipperton Atoll - General Info

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Where is Clipperton Atoll?

Clipperton is an uninhabited atoll, some 700 miles (1125 km) off the Mexican coast, about four days by boat from Acapulco.   The narrow platform reef surrounding the atoll drops steeply into water thousands of metres deep and except for an isolated volcanic plug some 20m high, the land which is mainly coral rubble, rises only a few metres above sea level.  During cyclones waves wash completely over the island.

It was administered from French Polynesia until 2007, when France assumed direct administration of the dependency, placing it under the authority of the Minister of Overseas France.  For convenience however, the Atoll has been included in French Polynesia.

Entrance Notes and Cautions for Clipperton Atoll:

The lagoon of this atoll has no pass, but the few yachts which stop there can shelter in the lee of the reef. Landing through the surf is sometimes difficult but the diving on the surrounding reef makes up for it.

Cruiser Highlights for Clipperton Atoll:

Clipperton is the only atoll in the East Pacific, completely surrounding a stagnant fresh-water lagoon which is home to thousands of sea birds and millions of land crabs.

Originally discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, the atoll was later named after John Clipperton, an English pirate who led a mutiny against William Dampier in 1704.  There are “pirate tales” that Clipperton buried some of his treasure on the atoll.

Position – SE side of the Atoll:

10°17.43′N, 109°12.27′W

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Clipperton Atoll was last updated 2 weeks ago.


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