Monday, July 19, 2010

The itch

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.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Diving Bora Bora

I have been diving with Ken on s/v Trim and Eric on m/v Oso Blanco with all the incredible sea life here which include some of the largest specimens of sea cucumbers I have seen.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pure fun in Moorea

Here is some footage of playing with the stingrays in Moorea.

Bora Bora Lemons

July 15, 2010

Play time! We have been diving and snorkeling every day, all day. Yesterday I dove the outer reef with four Lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) that were 3-4 meters (9-12 feet) in length. It was not so much the overall length that was impressive but the girth of these animals. They were just so large that I was completely dwarfed by them. They were not whale-shark large, but they are just such a cool big bad ass "shark" looking shark, with large protruding rows of teeth and an awe inspiring grace about them, that to be in their presence was humbling. I was diving with my partner Ken off sv Trim, at about 90 feet when I saw movement of something large behind a corral head. I thought it was a large fish heading our way, which of course it was, but when the whole of this animal came into view, I to take a deep breath and focus on identifying which species its was. We descended right to the bottom and grabbed onto a rock for stability while this exceedingly large animal moved directly for us. The shark gracefully swam unswervingly toward Ken until it was less than a body length from him, face to face, before it veered off. It was then I noticed three more animals circling the coral-heads that we were holding onto. We just sat there, hanging on to the rock, amongst these massive animals swimming all around us, slowly, gracefully.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Bora Bora

We have just pulled into Bora Bora after a quick trip through the rest of the society islands. They have been picture perfect and beautiful, but very populated. The weather has been a bit unpredictable and we broke our main sail traveler so we had to get that fixed in Raitaea. Other than that all is well but I am looking forward to getting back to places remote.