Sailing Away in Paradise

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So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting still. Last fall when things were just opening back up, I was privileged enough to take a catamaran trip around French Polynesia.

First of all let me tell you a little bit about French Polynesia. French Polynesia consists of five archipelagoes ( a fancy word for a group of islands) in the southern central part of the Pacific Ocean. There are approximately 118 islands that are almost all a result of protrusions of underwater volcanoes. Collectively, the total land area of these islands is about the size of Europe.

I cannot stress enough how amazingly beautiful these islands are and how friendly the people. By far, the best way to see these islands is by boat…and catamarans you can find a plenty in French Polynesia.

I began my journey flying into Tahiti, as you must, and spending the night at a hotel very close to the airport so that I could catch an early flight in the morning to Raiatea. In Raiatéa, I took a tour of a Pearl Farm called Anapaperles which was a very cool experience. Aside from the educational part of the process of insemination of oysters in order to produce these stunning pearls, the bungalow was surrounded by breathtaking corals and brilliant sea life. The tour allows time for snorkeling and provides the gear and it won’t disappoint. From giant clams, sea cucumbers the size of loaves of bread and tropical fish in a multitude of colors, this was an amazing way to kick off the week.

Next it was off to the marina to board the catamaran which would be my home for the next week. Although the cabins are tight, and the bathrooms & showers even tighter, the gentle gliding of the cat over the water was a brilliant way to travel.

The journey across to Bora Bora was a bit rocky but approaching the iconic landscape of this spectacular island was magical. It was as if in a fairytale as we entered the great lagoon escorted by a pod of dolphins. The crystal clear deep turquoise blue water is better than imagined and the view of Mount Otemanu , which distinguishes Bora Bora from the other islands, is both beautiful & impressive.

Once in Bora Bora, there are a multitude of activities on land or at sea…from hiking to Scuba diving. The most memorable activities for me were diving with the illusive manta rays, which has been a bucket list item for sure, and swimming in the coral gardens which had incredible sea life. Waking up and going to sleep on a catamaran allowed me to experience spectacular sunsets & amazing sunrises every day. It felt great to be alive!!!

After Bora Bora, it was off to Taha’a and we had a delicious meal at La Pirogue Api. This private island with adorable bungalows as their hotel did not disappoint. The sunset was the best of the trip and watching juvenile black tip reef sharks get a snack from the restaurant was a true treat.

Taha’a is a flower shaped island that is known for its vanilla beans and we were supposed to take a tour but got held up watching some of the crew kite surfing. I would love to go back to experience this quiet island along with several more.

If you can go in the fall, it is whale season and we just missed the whales in Bora Bora so I would love to do this trip again a bit earlier in fall and swim with the whales.

French Polynesia is a typical honeymoon spot but do not put off going if you are single or want to go with friends. It can be what you make it. Yes, it can be romantic but it can also be a fun family or friend trip that will fill you with memories of a lifetime.

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