July 19, 2010
We have enjoyed our time here. But now the itch grows and grows. So far on this South Pacific trip we have been to island groups that although remote, were accessible to others. Both the Marquesas and Tuamotoes had regular flights to at least the major islands and many of the outlying islands were not out of reach for those who are willing. And of course the Society islands (Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora etc.) are very popular. However, where we are going now is truly remote. There are no flights, or transport freighters that go here. You cannot access these islands unless you own your own yacht. I have been told they are pristine and represent an oasis of biological diversity that can only persist when humans are a rare occurrence. Our next intended stop is Suwarrow Atoll which lies nearly 700 NM (1300 Km) West-North-West of Bora Bora, about a week at sea for us. We are currently provisioning, making last minute repairs and constantly checking the weather looking for a good window.
French Polynesia has been fun. We have enjoyed the French influence of morning baguettes, Nutella and cheese. The Chinese influence has filled our bellies with Chow Main, which is a Polynesian favorite and can be purchased at any of the evening rouletts - a van parked on the side of the road that is the local restaurant.
We have been in the South Pacific for almost three months now and looking at the chart reveals that we have barely covered 1/3 of the distance to Australia, a distance that we have to cover before the South Pacific hurricane season begins in November. Given that there are thousands of islands that one could visit between here and there, and we have barely 4 months to get through here (with over a month of that as sea time), we have to choose our destinations carefully and not lament about the countless places “we could have gone”. However, our experiences so far has been that we have enjoyed each place we have stopped to the fullest and we were always sad to leave, which I guess is the best way to go.