Scott and I really enjoyed our stay in Marvelous Moorea for a week in August. These photos show an area we hiked and explored. Moorea was formed millions of years ago by a volcano that erupted, collapsed upon itself, created a massive caldera and caused 2 giant mudslides.
Two beautiful bays are the result of the slides. One bay is Opunohu, the other is the famous Cook’s Bay (where the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” was filmed). The movie, and book are historically fascinating. It’s about in 1788 a true story of Christian Fletcher. He sailied to Tahiti and kidnapped young Tahitian men and women. Fletcher then sailed off with the captured villagers to the southern Pitcairn Islands. He then burned up his ship, leaving them all stranded there. Today, some of their descendants still live there as well as in New Zealand, Australia and United States.
Below are the ancient tribal platforms made for the chiefs to perform the archery challenges. A regular sporting event in those times.
This feels like our Little Private Island…diving the wall outside the pass was breathtaking. We Sailed from Moorea and enjoyed a beam reach sail for over 175 miles. Beautiful, relaxing and pretty simple.
Tahiti and the big city feel were nice for views, boat work and a bit of tourism, but we are now back in “our” sweet spot. Tikehau has about 500 residents, some of the best snorkeling in the Tuomotus…….and less tourists.
Thank you friends on Idefax for the drone pictures.
Our snorkeling adventures in Tikehau brought us to a a small coral area where the Manta Rays get a dental cleaning. These are definitely our new friends. Today off the old Pearl Farm in Tikehau, Tuomotus, we encountered these gentle giants being cleaned by small wrasses and remora which rid them of the parasites they have on the skin and mouth.
Although some cruisers prefer to scuba dive, we find the best colors and the most animals are within the top 20’. We have all the scuba equipment (including the compressor) but we rarely find scuba is worth the time and effort. Believe it or not, the water is getting colder, it’s winter here, in August, and the locals don’t like getting in the water (80f, 27c) lol. We are even wearing shorty wet suits. A bit spoiled we are. It’s supposed to get down to 77 by the end of September. Burrrrrrr, it will be even colder South of here. I never thought I would say we need to go more north to get warm(er) Ha! We even have a blanket on the bed.
A few facts on Mantas: Kathy is intrigued by the Reef Manta Ray. Learning about these new friends; he can grow to a wingspan of 16 ft! But we have only seen these 3 of about 6-9 ft. You can see at the front of his face, he has a pair of cephalic fins which can be either rolled up in a spiral for quicker swimming or they can be flared out in front to channel the plankton filled water for feeding. I watched today that he has a small dorsal fin and a long black tail without a spine or barb like his cousins have.
Mobula Alfredi (Reef Manta Ray)
These Mantas are not afraid of us at all and often turned to look and see where we went. The Tuomotus never fail to amaze us and this atoll Tikehau is no different. We will poke our way around this atoll for a week or so before moving on. We are adventuring French Polynesia, one island or atoll at a time.
This checks off another box of “things we want to swim with”. Lol Adventure never seems to be far away….I can’t tell you how cool it is not to be in a hurry.
The Epidemy of Tahiti Photography. I must have walked 100 miles all throughout Papeete these weeks. Photos really sum it up well. We were lucky to witness a small wedding ceremony and dance. Downtown every corner has either a Tahitian Pearl shop, a pub selling Hinano Tahiti Beer or possibly a cute Grandma lady hand crafting floral headgear. Country Pride is evident with many flags flying and banners announcing the Summer Olympic surf event next July. Resorts are primarily thatch roof huts over crystal clear aqua waters with views of the surrounding coral reefs. Typical fauna includes fragrant pulmeria and vanilla plants, banyan trees, mango, breadfruit and of course coconut. Its typical to find pastel colored churches and yummy fruit stands along the road. Unfortunately the wall art isn’t what we saw in Mexico, and there is quite a lot of Graffiti, as Papeete is a big city of 136 thousand people.
Multiple surf breaks at Tahiti! The world famous Surf spot Teahupoo is a few miles drive south of Papeete. But, this similar break is only a 5 minute dingy ride from Marina Taina. Motoring about half a mile off shore on the outer reef that protects the inner channel of the island. There is always a break from the swell, but usually it’s too close to the reef to surf. Sometimes there are doable surf spots around other spots at this Society Island in French Polynesia.
The surfers are brought out by a speed boat, then they swim to the break. We sat safely just inside the break precariously watching for rouge waves. Lol. (Hand in the throttle and in forward at all times)
Only the best of the best and not the faint of heart, these surfers are in a bit of a different class. They come from all over the world to surf these reefs and a few in Moorea, just a quick ferry boat trip away. Most of the other atolls we have been to do not encourage a lot of surfing because how dangerous the reefs are. The reef in this video is literally right on the other side of those waves!!!!!! We are told this was a very small swell this day. The surfing Olympics (hosted by France) will be right near here next year.