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Published: February 13th 2011
Saturday Feb 12th, 2011
Society Islands- Latitude 23 degrees 43 minutes south- Longitude 160 degrees 29 minutes west
Miles traveled- 5965 Pounds lost- 14
Everyone has in their mind the vision of the perfect tropical island. Jimmy Buffett has a classic song called "One Particular Harbor". Moorea is that place. Saw tooth mountain peaks surrounding a tranquil lagoon where the coconut palms sway in the cool, fragrant trade winds. A lush paradise filled with friendly natives, cascading waterfalls and abundant flora and fauna. Now that we have been here, we know we must someday return to explore this island at a more relaxed pace. Papeete,Tahiti was crowded, congested and altogether not the same. The short 10 mile crossing to Moorea was like coming into the Polynesia of old. Much less developed, Moorea still retains its charm and the people have not lost their hospitality like they have in downtown Papeete. Tahiti was still beautiful once you got out of the city and up into the mountains. We took a very muddy 4 wheel drive tour and our guide was friendly and very knowledgeable about the local plants and animals. It is the rainy season and the river we
drove along was raging like a torrent. All of the waterfalls were running and the rain we encountered was actually refreshing and kept us cool and clean. However, it was the next day in Moorea that will linger in our memories. Everyone was up early to see the cruise from Tahiti to Moorea and the entrance into Cook Bay was spectacular. It was actually fairly windy and choppy outside the reef, but once we cleared the cut and entered the harbor a feeling of complete contentment and peace settled on the ship. We dropped the anchor in 80 feet of perfectly clear water and the natives immediately surrounded the boat in their outrigger canoes. Total movie set stuff.
Jane and I had a very active day. I went on a scuba diving trip and Jane took a snorkeling trip on another boat. The scuba diving was very good, although the coral is in very bad shape. The main feature of the dive was the sharks. Lots and lots of sharks followed us around during the dive. There were many very colorful fish all over the devastated reef and a couple of very friendly sea turtles came up to see if
we had any food. The wind picked up and it got much rougher for the second dive. It was a bit of a challenge to get back on the boat in the pitching seas and the French crew of course could not be bothered to help. Tourism is very depressed right now and several resorts have actually closed. The boat was less than half full with only six paying customers. So, the French crew were not in a very good mood, but maybe they are like that all the time. The equipment and boat were all top of the line, but the service was not anything like the boats I used to run in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. In the afternoon we rented a car with another couple from the ship. The drive around the island was beautiful and I took a picture of a great boat fix-up project, don’t worry I didn’t try to buy it. The view from on top of Belvedere Mountain was spellbinding. All in all, Moorea is definitely the best place so far.
So, it is back to sea, as we push on across the Pacific. New Zealand looms on the horizon,
but it is still days away. We will lose a day when we cross the International Date Line. We will actually never live the day Feb 13th, 2011. Well, we will savor the days we do have.
Tot: 2.825s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.03s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb