Flint Island, Southern Line Islands

May 08, 2018 - National Geographic Orion

This morning we woke in sight of Flint Island, a remote and small island in the Southern Line Islands some 400 nautical miles northwest of Tahiti. As we made our way closer to the island several guests were fortunate to look out and see a double rainbow glowing across the horizon.

Flint Island is covered with planted coconut palms. It is uninhabited and rarely visited. However, this morning conditions were very calm so, with careful planning, highly skilled Zodiac driving, and safety precautions, we were able to make landfall on the island.

Trekking onto this island is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Guests followed expedition staff and trekked below the coconut palm canopy and over fallen coconuts into the interior of the island. It wasn’t long before we started spotting incredibly large coconut crabs. These monster crabs are the largest land invertebrate in the world and can have a leg span of three feet and can weigh up to nine pounds.

Guests and crew alike were all smiling as we safely made our way back to National Geographic Orion for a well-earned lunch.

After lunch we spent several relaxing hours snorkeling just beyond the breakers onto the shallow reef off Flint Island. The water clarity was amazing, giving the impression that your view of the reef and adjacent drop off was endless. It was a wonderful end to a busy few days in the Southern Line Islands. Just prior to packing up at the snorkel platform we were drenched in a tropical downpour and ironically it was warmer in the tropical waters that sitting in the Zodiac!

After another wonderful dinner guests were treated to the world famous National Geographic Orion crew show.

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About the Author

Martin Cohen


Martin grew up in Melbourne playing cricket and Australian Rules football. While growing up, and to his parents’ dismay, Martin brought home and kept a menagerie of wildlife including frogs, lizards, turtles, and even poisonous snakes!

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