So goes my introduction of Tahiti. Truer words of the descriptive identity of Tahiti could not be spoken or written. My personal introduction to the islands echoes the same response. As to experiencing the Islands of Tahiti, personal accounts of personal experiences can be as varied as the 118 enchanting islets of French Polynesia. My account of my first visit is just one, maybe two, of the many accounts of accounts that have been authored by countless other visitors adding to the pool of accounts with a focus on or about Tahiti.
In support of my account, I would like to preface with the mention that my account is true the event/events factual and it really happened.
Like most trips to Tahiti by travelers who hail from the Western states of Home Land USA, the jump off point is LAX (Los Angeles). My Tahiti experience began upon take-off from LAX, continuing nonstop to the Island of Tahiti, throughout my sojourn, and during my return flight homeward, some 14 excitement filled days later.
The Islands of Tahiti, officially known as French Polynesia are a gorgeous selection of volcanic islands and atolls strewn across 1.5 million square miles of the grand South Pacific Ocean. Tahiti is the largest of the 118 enchanting islets of French Polynesia.
My comments will dwell on a singular “get-in-touch-with-self adventure on the neighbor Island of Moorea, which has often been linked to James Michener’s mythical and idealized Island of Bali Hai, positioned 12 miles west from the main island of Tahiti. That said, it is for the above stated reason that I had selected Moorea as my sole destination for my fist journey to paradise.
Wow, my accommodations were at the most luxurious hotel on Moorea – located on the most beautiful white sand beach on the island, 5 minutes from the ferry boats and airport. The property fronted by a breath taking lagoon and ocean view, triggered the thought of my manning an Outrigger Canoe and doing some outrigger canoeing across the blue lagoon to the oceans-edge.
Leaving the blue of the lagoon and approaching the Paler rippling waters of the sea I viewed a small motor and a lone diver spear fishing. As I positioned my canoe to get a better view of the divers’ success ratio, I noticed a swirling turbulence near the boat, with-in moments the diver surfaced, pulled himself into the boat and motored off toward land. “Why the haste?” I pondered.
Taking a second glance in the direction of the turbulence, the answer was evident: shark. As in plural.... I to hastened away to put some distance between me, the looming danger, and the possibility of starring as specialty item on some shark menu.
As I paddled back toward the dock, my stately water worthy craft began taking on water. It wasn’t long before the hollow of my canoe was holding close to three hundred gallons of sea water. Now submerged at the depth of sea level. The task of paddling became an almost impossible. I was not aware that my earlier paddle strokes had brought me within yelling distance of the dock. Looking toward it, I noticed that the ferry boat was arriving with passengers from Tahiti for the weekly luau on Moorea.
Apparently, I had been noticed too. “Great!” I thought. So, I yelled, “Help! Help!” Then concluded with a louder, “SOS!” In response was a chorus-blend of voices – flip the canoe over. What a novel idea, with that input I jumped out of the canoe and worked my way to the outrigger. Placing both hands on the reach I kicked my way back toward the canoe.
The outrigger raised effortlessly-- the canoe flipped over, bottom side up. With a cushion of air now entombed inside the hollow of the canoe, it was an easy paddle to the dock.
I was welcomed ashore amid the accompaniment of cheers and laughter. I was safe and sound. I would suppose I was also the subject of a bit of vocal exchange amongst the locals.
The islands of Tahiti: Truly a paradise of clear blue skies, white sand beaches, and lush green islands
I noticed a swirling turbulence near the boat, with-in moments the diver surfaced, pulled himself into the boat and motored off toward land. “Why the haste?” I pondered.
Kim Peterson is a traveler, writer, singer, and all around pretty-awesome kind of gal.