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Blue Pearl - Chez Gaston

Tomorrow evening we are dining at Chez Gaston et Valentine which sounds
like a high end Paris establishment but in fact is the only structure on
the atoll of Toau in the Tuomotu Archipelago. We are looking forward to
it. We arrived here this afternoon and are anchored in about 55 ft of
water in an idyllic harbor type inlet. The inlet does not cut through
the reef so we are actually outside of the atoll.

You already know that we had an enjoyable few days at the northern end
of the atoll of Fakarava. From there we moved to Fakarava south which
offered amazing snorkeling and scuba diving. The water there is crystal
clear, the coral beautiful and undamaged and the fish unbelievable in
number, color, size, shape etc. etc. . Most of all, there are sharks
all over the place in the hundreds if not thousands. An absolutely
incredible experience. And these are the islands where France conducted
their nuclear weapons testing program until the late 1990's, countries
make strange decisions...! At least they stopped.

French Polynesia is an amazing part of the world. More so than we
expected and we feel very privileged to be experiencing all of this. We
still have several weeks left here and other atolls to visit before we
depart for Tahiti and a marina sojourn fora week or so.

Captain Ruud.

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