As dawn broke this morning, National Geographic Orion approached the island of Ra'iatea via a pass through the barrier reef. First up was a visit to Marae Taputapuatea, designated as a World Heritage Site. This cultural site on the coast was fascinating, with the added bonus of a thirty-minute hike to a viewpoint above the site. In the afternoon, we visited a privately owned motu (small coral island) near the island of Taha’a. We had the opportunity to snorkel and enjoyed plenty of time for relaxation amongst the coconut trees–but NOT beneath them! Coconut trees are far more dangerous than anything one might encounter in the ocean in French Polynesia!
National Geographic Orion
This morning found National Geographic Orion anchored off the southern tip of Ua Huka, one of the many Marquesas Islands. This spot is known for thousands of sooty terns. Even though there was a bit of swell and lots of wind, everyone geared up to explore these small islands by Zodiac. Once in the water, we noticed manta rays feeding at the surface, at first one or two and then at least a dozen! In the afternoon, the ship repositioned, and everyone went ashore in Ua Pou to explore the local village. At sunset, National Geographic Orion sailed off to investigate more of the beautiful Marquesas.