110821 Raiatea 21 August

We are on Board – our first cruise on the ocean together.  Lyn has done a few cruises over the years and last year we did the River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest.  So this is a new experience.

After a ‘day at the pool’ yesterday, we were collected at 3pm from the Radisson and transported to the ‘Paul Gauguin’ by bus.  Luckily, we were amongst the first to arrive at the ship to fill out forms and become regular cruisers of the ship as it does take some time.

We had a very sumptuous dinner in the main dinning room while awaiting the final guests to arrive from USA.  A large number of guests come from USA but there are a few from Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.  We departed Papeete at 11:50pm and watched the lights of the town as we left for a great cruise in the islands of Tahiti.

We have travelled overnight to Raiatea.  Raiatea means bright sky.  It was the starting point for all the migration to the Hawaiian, New Zealand and Easter Islands.  Raiatea was famous thoughout the Polynesian triangle and long double canoes came from distant Hawaii and Aotearoa, the old name for New Zealand, to pay their respects.  It was here that Captain Cook first had a glimpse of Polynesian navigational acumen.

The surrounding reefs and motu offer excellent diving and great snorkeling opportunities.  The chief town on Raiatea is Uturoa, administrative centre for the Leeward Islands.

We were having breakfast as we arrived at 9:00am so we had a great entrance to the port from the dining room.  There are 5 places to dine on the ship  Our program today includes Tahitian Legends, and “Children of Raiatea” Show.  This is a traditional show of the color of the Tahitian Islands.

While most of the guests are out snorkeling and experiencing what Raiatea has to offer, I commence a Photography Workshop taken by a couple of famous photographers who have exhibitions at Smithsonian and the Louvre in Paris.  I am looking forward to it as it is my birthday present from Lyn and I do enjoy photography.  I hope the workshop will improve my presentations – somehow.  We do 2 field trips, one on Bora Bora and the second on Moreea.  Included is a photo shoot of a model – wowowowow!

It is Lyn’s 60th birthday today, which is why this cruise idea was first mentioned.  She had a special birthday cupcake at breakfast brought to her by the Filipino waiters.  Lyn forgot to do the most important thing before leaving – apply for her Seniors Card, but that can come I suppose.

Must get going and enjoy the day.  All the best to all.  If you want send an email, please send to spain@cdi.com.au

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