Pacific Ocean

Ekolokat: vive le Pacific!

Published on 18 may 2017 at 0h00

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We started with the Leeward Islands: Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, then Maupiti and the wild island of Mopelia with her ten or so inhabitants.  The engaging Hio warmly welcomed us, sharing his catch and his table.  Out of ironwood, he carved us a pick for husking coconuts, which was to become very useful to us.  The day we were leaving, he gave us some fresh lobster straight out of the vivier.  From the western side of the atoll which is the outbound gateway from French Polynesia, we set a course for the Cook Islands, specifically, the charming atoll of Aitutaki.  Our route then took us through the thousands of islands of the Vava’u Group in Tonga, then Fiji, overflowing with the energy of the Indian residents, especially in Suva.  Fiji is vast and varied.  It warrants the time to explore fully.  We spent two months there, before carrying on to Vanuatu.  We have fond memories of Pentecost Island, where we saw the Nagol land diving ceremony, where they jump into the void from a wooden platform some thirty meters up, with vines strapped to the young men’s ankles to stop them splatting into the ground.  This rite of passage is an offering to the gods, and the aim is for these brave souls to touch the ground with their shoulders, fertilizing the ground for the forthcoming yam season.  We were amazed by the volcano on Tanna, where our catamaran became covered in fine black particles, and by the floating pumice stone, which we hesitantly, and noisily, crossed when sailing at night.  The Loyalty Islands and then New ...

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