Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Raiatea and Taha'a, French Polynesia

Pierre on the bow as we start our boat ride to Taha'aCoconut drying in the SunBoats hoisted out of the waterCollege kidsDemonstrating how pearls are made using oystersFruit snacks at the pearl farm
Oyster shells in nettingSign for Poerani Pearl farmInlet where the pearl farm is locatedCrab on the shorelineYoung BreadfruitBreadfruit blossom
PlumeriaVanilla farmer explaining how vanilla beans are grownStar fruitDried vanilla beansSchool of blue fish and one yellow fish in the coralPuffer fish
Boats for hire in boat basin with Statendam docked behind Visitors CentreVisitor Centre at the pier from aboveTaaha across the lagoon from RaiateaA Tahitian woman, 2 dogs and 2 kids watch the ship pass from a fisherman's shackA Tahitian woman, 2 dogs and 2 kids watch the ship pass from a fisherman's shack2014JCIMG-1070b.jpg
Raiatea & Taha'a, a set on Flickr.
March 4, 2014 – Tuesday – Raiatea, French Polynesia

My excursion this morning is called Land and Sea of Taha’a, which involves a boat ride to Taha’a, the sister island to Raiatea, where we are picked up by 4X4 trucks and taken on a tour of a black pearl farm, and then a vanilla plantation. Then we return to the boat and go to a motu for a swim and snorkel. I’m very impressed with the island of Taha’a. The roads are paved, the houses is neat and tidy, and the infrastructure is all there, in contrast with Bora Bora, where they have dirt roads and everything is done in a haphazard way. The swimming and snorkeling is in shallow water, and I spot several Puffer fish – a first on this trip.

Our departure this afternoon is most interesting. Instead of leaving through the opening in the reef adjacent to the harbour that we entered through, the captain and pilot opt to take us on a scenic cruise between Raiatea and Taha’a, heading towards Bora Bora, but along the shoreline of Taha’a. A spectacular sunset occurs just south of Bora Bora and was sail away, and there are rain storms and huge cumulo-nimbus clouds to the west of us. We even see a funnel cloud appear out the bottom of a particularly large, dark cloud.

I hoped to see a Green Flash as the Sun set, but it was not to be. Despite this, I take some wonderful sunset photos, some including Bora Bora in the distance. The shoreline along Taha’a is absolutely stunning as we sail along in the early evening hours. It is a beautiful ending to a wonderful day, as I go back inside to get dressed for dinner.

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