Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fun Facts

After spending 6 months in French Polynesia and visiting so many of the islands, we have learned how different the island groups are - the people, the culture, the history, and the geology.  Here, you thought we were just goofing off all this time - hah!

Here's what we have learned from talking to the locals, our personal experiences, plus doing our homework:
Makemo, Tuamotu Islands

The Tuamotu Archipelago has 78 islands - all but 2 of the islands are coral atolls.  For sailors, they are considered the "low and dangerous" islands and difficult to spot - even with radar.  These islands were avoided in the past, but new technology has made sailing through the atolls much safer.  But, you still have to be alert - especially through the passes.

The Tuamotu's are the the "oldest" of the island groups.  The island mass has sank completely leaving a beautiful lagoon surrounded by a coral reef.  The coral reef is made up of many motus/islands.

We visited 5 of the atolls in the Tuamotu's - hope to see more next year.
Bora Bora, Society Islands

There are 14 islands in the Society islands and they are the most famous in French Polynesia - Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, etc..  They are high-steep volcanic mountains and are very striking.

The Societies are the "middle-aged" islands.  The islands are sinking, plus the coral reefs and lagoons have formed.  It is estimated that Tahiti is sinking 4 inches a year - oh my.   

We spent lots of time in the Societies and toured 6 of the islands.
Nuku Hiva, Marquesa Islands

The Marquesa islands are made up of 10 islands.  Like the Societies, they are high-steep volcanic mountains that can been seen for 20 miles.  A great place for sailors to make landfall.

The Marquesas are the "youngest" of the 3 island groups.  The coral reef and lagoons have not formed yet, but will - eventually.

We only visited 2 of the Marquesa islands, but would have loved to have seen more.

All of the islands in French Polynesia have been wonderfully different - hope you get to visit them one of these days!

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