Well, there's French Polynesia.
And then there's Tahiti.
Tahiti felt a little grimier to us this time around, a bit more concrete jungle than we remembered. Everywhere you looked was the scowling embodiment of urban dislocation in a formerly rural people.
But we just concentrated on getting our business done, on running our errands that are only possible in a city and then moving on.
We celebrated a birthday in Tahiti.
And had lunch at the market.
And we provisioned the barky.
And every day ended with the sun setting behind Moorea.
We realized that we weren't really giving Tahiti a chance. We were just hanging out at the Maeva Beach anchorage with the full yachtie scrum, and running our errands in Papeete. But who has time to explore the delightful corners of Tahiti that so rarely get visited by yachts? We've still got an ocean to cross!
After we had all of our business done for keeping Galactic going, we started looking for a spot where I could complete some more science work. We needed wi-fi, a beach, and a bucolic setting, roughly in that order.
Based on the recommendation of some French yachties who have been here for a while, we went to Opunohu Bay in Moorea.
Not bad, we figured! It even featured the view from the 100-franc coin. Compare the mountain in the two pics...
Now, Moorea is firmly not a Galactic kind of place. Too many resorts, not a lot of delight and innocence for the casual traveller, that kind of thing. But for a spell of work, and for keeping the boys happy, it would do just fine.
It helped that our good mates on Pacific Bliss arrived to keep us company.
We could appreciate Moorea a bit more through the eyes of Elias and the kids on Pac. Bliss. For instance, we have always mentally rolled our eyes when yachties tell us about the great spot in Moorea where the resort staff feeds the rays and sharks so you can pet them. But the kids loved it - that's Elias in the foreground below, and a passel of black-tipped reef sharks in the background.
So we settled in for a good productive stay, enlivened by the company of friends. Once my work was accomplished, we'd push off for the leeward Societies, as we continued to march west, west, forever west.
But then, one night, everything changed!