A Visit to the Line Islands

Published 10 years ago, updated 6 years ago

Anchoring at Fanning Island

Christmas Island

A good tip is to anchor in front of the “copra” harbor and call our friends Timei & Tima (you pronounce it Simei and Sima because Ti = S).

You can call on channel 23, phone 95093, e-mail [email protected], or just look for them 300 meters northbound from the harbor (they agree to give their contact to all sailors).

They are wonderful people. They run a small hotel business named “Rainbow Enterprise”, but they are very happy to help boat people just for the pleasure to share time together and help people. They helped us very much with the authorities even though it is not their business, and it was very, very helpful. They helped us with internet, laundry, supermarket etc. I tried to pay for the service but they absolutely did not accept.

Timei & Tima have a kind of generosity and sympathy that we do not find very easily these days.

It is also a good idea to avoid arriving on weekends because the authorities try to charge 100% extra. And bring a “clear out” document (Zarpe) otherwise they will fine you. Yes, people are very nice but authorities are not nice at all!

We really liked a place named Paris!


Fanning Island

I remember that there was a difference +- ½ mile between our Open CPN charts and our actual location. We had that same problem in Christmas and Fanning. I wonder if other chart systems have the same problem so it is always good to be aware of that.

In Fanning, authorities tried to charge us extra cost for no reason. Fanning authorities were even worse than Christmas.

Cruisers usually anchor inside the lagoon in front of the village English Harbor. But when wind gets stronger than 20 kts E or SE, it turns into an uncomfortable anchorage with a lot of current. We heard about some boat dragging’s stories.

A nice tip is to look for Bruno. He is a French sailor, he settled down in Fanning 30 years ago. He is married to “Tapeta” a lovely a local women who speaks Kiribati, English and French. They run a small and charming hotel, and they are very interesting, warm and welcoming people. Their bungalows are built in local style and they provide also very good meals. It is amazing the way they prepare delicious food out of a very limited variety of resources. Very natural, healthy, tasty and not expensive at all.

Once the boat supplier (S/Y “Kwai”) comes only 3 or 4 times per year, goods are limited in varieties.  We brought some delis (lentils, beans, olive oil, tomato sauce, wine, rum, pâté, cheese) they were very happy!

Bruno will be happy to give some anchor tips, help fixing things or just chatting. He advised us to anchor in the north side of the pass when the wind became stronger and it worked very well (see photo). There is an old barge beached and you can tie the boat to it. At low tide, we have a clearance of 2.2 meters. It is comfortable, well protected and Bruno can explain how to reach there.

Once again, apart from the local authorities, we really appreciated contact with Kiribati people. Very smiley and nice people.

Alexandre Marques de Azevedo
SY Sargaço from Brazil

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