Today, we continued our course to the northeast and came to the fringes of the Tuamotus. Our destination for the day, the Raroia Atoll, is our last stop before sailing through a large stretch of open ocean to the remoteness of the Maruqesas. It took a morning of sailing to reach the atoll, which allowed time for presentations on iPhone Photography and Coral Ecology from the natural history staff.
Once we arrived to Raroia in the afternoon, we explored the features that make this atoll stand out from others we have visited so far. While some guests snorkeled and explored the abundance of the corals here, others stayed onboard to hear Cultural Specialist Heidy Baumgartner share stories of the history of the region. We learned that the atoll is historically significant; it was here that the famous Kon Tiki crashed into a reef nearly 80 years ago at the end of a voyage meant to prove the theory that Polynesia was settled from South America. But, like the course of our journey, the history of settlement actually went east to west, against the trade winds on account of an incredible culture of wayfinding.
Our last stop in the Tuamotus was another reminder of the biodiversity and the human history that make French Polynesia such an incredible destination. Next stop: the Marquesas!