Black pearls, blue grey pearls, rounds pearls, peg pearls, pearls, pearls and more pearls. These islands are full of beautiful pearls and it seems the search for pearls never ends! However, cruising this fabulous French Polynesian playground does come to a close for the World ARC 2018/19 fleet.
Precious memories were made exploring the Society Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a and Bora Bora during the free cruising period.
Highlights included: experiencing the beauty of Moorea, the most photographed island in French Polynesia and legendary Cook’s Bay, relaxing in secluded sandy anchorages on the Wild Island of Hauhine, taking the dingy up the Faaroa River learning about the local farming practices from Andre, and reveling in the power of Marea Taputaputea’s spiritual significance in Raiatea.
Taha’a continued to impress offering the participants opportunity to tour a working vanilla plantation and snorkel the famed coral garden river of Motu Tau Tau.
Bora Bora, the “pearl of the Pacific” stands proudly west of the other islands with Mt. Otemanu providing the sunset a perfect silouette. This stunningly picturesque island is where the fleet will say goodbye to French Polynesia.
The starry night sky twinkles as the World ARC sailors of departure Group 1 share a final meal together at the Bora Bora Yacht Club on Wednesday evening. Champagne was flowing and homemade cake prepared for Steve, Skipper of Spirit of Catherine, as he celebrated his 70th birthday.
While it may be difficult to determine which you can find more of in this part of the Pacific- pearls, tattoos, rays or sharks, what is not difficult to determine is the feeling of awe each participant leaves these islands with.The Society Islands are truly special.The Polynesian people graciously welcomed our fleet to their land & waters and their spirit will remain with each participant as they venture off.
After weeks of memorable cruising it is time to focus on the next leg of the journey. Thursday at midday, the first group of World ARC 2018/19 boats will depart Bora Bora en route to Tonga via stopovers in Suwarrow and Niue, continuing their journey west, deeper into the South Pacific.
Mauruuru French Polynesia!