Friday, October 9, 2015

Too Fast
By Michael

Kids riding the top of the bimini after school.
Traveling, we wind up in a lot of places that excite us. We also wind up in a few places that aren’t our cup of tea (though this is a difficult assessment because invariably these same places offer experiences or stories, rooted in the aspects we liked least, that prove interesting and memorable and make us happy we went after all). And we also wind up in a very few places in which we toy with the idea of living there someday.

In the Society Islands of French Polynesia, the smaller islands excited us, almost to the point of toying with the idea of living on one someday. They're each surrounded by a South Pacific lagoon like you’d see on the cover of Cruising World and separate from the Tahiti-Bora Bora-Moorea tourist hotspots

Our visits were short (as we were feeling the pressure of having overstayed a French welcome that ends abruptly at 90 days). So we'd tour around on bikes, play in the water, enjoy the bar and the company of our cruising friends, buy fresh veggies from local farmers, send the girls off on play dates with locals, hit a bommie pretty hard, provision, Skype family, take on water, and then set sail.

Which is all awesome, and we're all grateful for having been able to spend more time than most people ever get in places like these, but I want to acknowledge that we barely scratched the surface. Every place we've been fortunate enough to travel to, our visits have been long enough to realize how much more there is to experience—we need a dozen lifetimes. And that’s perhaps the most important life lesson, realizing how short one life is.


Here the surf breaks on the fringing reef of Huahine as we sailed abeam the island.
A photo can't do justice to how beautiful this was. The waves curled up, the turquoise
water showed through the backs, and the wind blew the spray over the tops
like smoke over an airfoil in a wind tunnel.

A rare family photo.

On our way to find blue-eyed eels.

Yep, blue eyes. never in my life have I seen an animal move faster than
these slow-looking creatures. Dangle food in front of them
and you'll never see them grab it. We all learned after watching
Frances get bit. Her finger bled for a while. These guys are
huge too, up to 6- feet long.
The girls trying to get counsel from a
local boy, in French. How close can we get?

While this big guy rubs against Eleanor's leg, Frances dares to pet his

Frances with some of the kids who live near
the eels.

Frances looking across the lagoon. Still didn't have my polarizing filter at this
point, or I could share how stunning that turquoise water was.

Eleanor and her new friend at the start of getting towed.

This is Paul. He can't speak, not at all, but he lives on-island and paddles
great distances to get visitors to sign his guest book. A big-hearted
guy who I can't imagine without a smile on his face.

Wow, two family portraits in one post.

1 comment:

  1. So would you have rather applied for an extended visa before you left? Thanks again for sharing your lives and experience!


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