We chartered a Moorings 3900 catamaran and spent ten days on the water in Tahiti. As you can see from the maps below, the main island of French Polynesia is the island of Tahiti and the primary city on Tahiti is Papeete. That's where the international aiport is. The islands we sailed at are about 170 miles northwest - Raiatea and Tahaa -- which are both contained within a single reef -- and to the Nortwest Vaitape, the main island of which is Bora-Bora. These islands are all surrounded by barrier reefs that form a lagoon around the islands. There are typically smaller islands on the reef, particularly on Bora-Bora, and these are called motus.
The first two pictures, although blurry, are the only ones we have of the pearl
farm where we bought Debby a nice pearl necklace. The farm surrounds the
hut, which is build close to the reef. That's where
they actually do the work of seeding the oysters and harvesting the pearls. The third photo shows one of the many hotels that are on the motus. They typically consist of a bunch of huts built over the water
and a large central building.
A better view of a hotel and some sunsets.
The last picture above shows the surf which crashes constantly on the reefs surrounding the islands. The water breaking over the reefs produces a current in toward the islands from the reefs and
out from the lagoon in the passes. These currents can be quite strong. The two photos on the right below are the lagoonarium, which is a place where they have built pens next to a small gap in the reef
(between two motus) and stocked them with many fish. So you can swim amongst the sharks, mantas, turtles and so on.
Bora-Bora from a distance (from Tahaa), and closer. We had some weather,
as you can see.
Above are two examples of extremely steep roads on these islands. I cannot imagine that the one on the right is passable when it rains. Below - burning trash in an almost dead calm and parasailing.
Sunset and the hotels begin to show lights. Debby makes dinner in the cabin of the boad.
The pictue on the right is dingying into the mouth of the large bay on the East coast of Raiatea. At the end of the bay is a river that you can travel up for several miles.
The last picture above and the first below are looking into that bay and out of it from our anchorage. In the last two pictures note how still it was. As you saw above, we had some weather systems
come through that produced some rain (mostly at night, I think), winds from funny directions and some dead calms. Eventually, of course, the trades start to blow again from the SouthWest.
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