We've spent over two months in French Polynesia so far, and are loving it here. Many places really do seem to have the elements of the tropical island paradises we imagine when thinking about the South Pacific.
We first arrived in Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas.
The Marquesas are high, mountainous islands, with beautiful skylines. The anchorages are a bit rolly in some places, but there are some bays, like popular Anaho, which are true coves and are quite comfortable.
We rushed through the Tuamotus, which was a bit of a mistake, since the barrier reefs which form the atolls there break the sea swell, and we enjoyed our first really flat water anchorage in months in Rangiroa.
We zipped off to Tahiti, where we stayed near the capital of Pape'ete for over a month. We were enjoying watching the games of the World Cup (Viva España!!), and exploring Pape'ete and the surrounding neighbourhoods. The Tahitians take their Va'a (outrigger canoeing) very seriously, and we often had large groups of paddlers zipping past the boat while at anchor.
We had an excellent view from the anchorage of the neighbouring island of Mo'orea, and once our soccer watching was done, we sailed across the strait to check it out for ourselves.
There are a couple of deeply indented bays on Mo'orea, and thanks to the barrier reefs, both are excellent anchorages. We spent a few nights in each one, meeting up with our good friends on Sidewinder for a couple of capsize-free snorkel trips, including one to get up close and personal with stingrays and sharks.
We will soon be off to explore the Leeward Islands - Huahine, Raiatea, Taha'a and the famous Bora Bora.