Three years ago, we approached our very first reef pass in Tahanea, in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia. After reading horror stories about strong currents, standing waves that threaten to broach the boat, and eddies ready to twirl the unexpecting helmsperson toward deadly rocks, we felt more than just a bit nervous. We were almost disappointed when the broad pass lay quite unspectacularly ahead at slack water without showing any of the expected phenomena. Since then we have spent three seasons in the Tuamotu and Society Islands of French Polynesia, explored numerous atolls, and managed to enter through the infamous passes of Maupiti, which are negotiable only in calm conditions, and Maupihaa, which is less than 200 feet wide. Still, a certain tension remains whenever we approach an unknown atoll.