We arrived in Tahiti at 10pm the previous night. Because of the time difference, we were up at about 5:30am the following day. We had exercised and eaten breakfast before 8am and had about five hours to hang out before heading to the cruise ship. Katie passed the time by watching movies on my iPod by one of the pools at the hotel.
This is called a "motu", which is a small, uninhabited island. We passed several on our trip from Tahiti to Raiatea. The cruise sailed through the evening while we slept and we woke up a few hours before our arrival in Raiatea.
We had a little balcony in our room where we ate breakfast every day and had a front-row-seat view to the islands during the cruise.
Here we are arriving in Raiatea, getting ready to go on a long hike up to some waterfalls on the interior of the island.
We were fortunate to be on the cruise with some great friends. Here are some of them who joined us on the hike to the waterfalls. It was a pretty rough hike...it took almost 2 hours to get there and involved scaling steep hills with rope.
After the 2 hour hike...it was nice to be able to cool down in a pool of water at the waterfall.
The water was cold, but even Katie couldn't resist getting in the refreshing water after the long hike.
Here we are on our hike back down after the waterfall.
This is the dock at Raiatea as we left and headed towards our next stop. The island of Taha'a.
From the island of Taha'a, you could see the island of Bora Bora in the distance. Very cool picture.
The ship dropped anchor just next to the island of Taha'a as it doesn't have a dock for large ships. We took a boat to a nearby "motu" where we spent the day snorkling, playing volleyball, eating some great food, and drinking all the Pina Coladas we wanted. This is a great picture of the ship with the island of Taha'a in the background.
Katie and I on the dock of the motu next to the island of Taha'a. Yes, it really is that beautiful.
Here we all are at the motu near Taha'a.
Katie enjoyed many Pina Coladas during the trip. Most were served in glasses, but on the motu they were served with ice in a coconut. Cool stuff.
Here is Katie playing some sand volleyball. I think she played for nearly 4 hours that day on the motu...no wonder she had so many Pina Coladas!
Here we are after a day on the motu leaving Taha'a and heading over to Bora Bora. The ship left as the sun was setting and we snapped this before we headed off to our nightly seven course dinner (which is one of the reasons why I put on seven pounds on the trip...wow).
Breakfast on our balcony as we pull into Bora Bora the following morning. Did I mention I gained seven pounds?!
Bora Bora is absolutely beautiful. Here is one of the many bays inside the lagoon that surrounds the island.
The peak behind us is in the center of the island and is the most prominent feature of the island. We were on a "off-road" trip that took us around the island and to several spots on the interior of the island as well.
Bora Bora is surrounded by tons of these little motus. The water is incredible...We were at Bora Bora for two days and spent most of the time just relaxing and enjoying the beauty. At the end of the second day, the ship headed to my favorite island, Moorea.
We played a lot in Moorea. The first morning, we rented some "dunebuggies" and drove around the island and up to a few lookout points.
We drove up to Point Belvedere, where you can see the two major bays on the island of Moorea. Cooks Bay is on the right and Opanohu bay is on the left. Amazing.
Still driving around Moorea and I felt like having a moment to reflect. You can see the hotel bungalows common to the Tahitian Islands behind me...
More dunebuggy fun!
The second day on Moorea, we took a boat to another motu to spend the day. Here we are on our way to the motu.
Before we got to the motu, we stopped to do a little snorkling with some of the local residents. Some Rays and Black Tipped Reef Sharks....again, the water is incredible, look how clear it is!