15 July 2010 | Tuomotu Archipeligo
Until you've seen a coral atoll with your own eyes, you haven't experienced everything our great planet has to offer. The tuomotus archipeligo, located between the Marquesas and Society Isalnds (Tahiti), are a series of 77 coral rings that are the barrier reefs of volcanic islands that sank to the bottom of the Pacific millions of years ago. Some of these atolls, have narrow passes thru which dangerous, strong currents flow, but they allow sailboats to enter and delight in a unique island experience.
We feel lucky to have gotten to experience 3 of these atolls during the month of June and made it thru the maze of reefs and atolls without issue. Once we were safely anchored inside an atoll, the fun of 'atoll-life' began:
---Being a gigantic circular reef, the snorkeling was incredible to say the least. The highlights were the amazing coral gardens, swimming with black-tip reef sharks & huge napoleon fish, and the crystal clear clarity of the dreamy blue waters.
---Consuming many hours was the process of exploring mini-motu islands covered in coconut trees, pink sand beaches, and searching for exotic shells.
---Another fun activity was spending time with our friends on other boats, playing music, singing songs, and telling stories.
---We even got the chance to go pearling with a local family. We went out into the lagoon, pulled up oyster racks and opened them to extract their pearls.
We had so much fun and did so much, but after a month, it was time to set sail again, continuing west. Its too bad we don't have unlimited time, as our visa will expire in late August. We still have the Tahitian island to experience and explore, and this next chapter is unfolding before us here in Papeete.