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In the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia

sunny 95 °F
View Bill and Hope 2019 on HopeEakins's travel map.

We are a long way from home! We are anchored off Rangiroa in the South Pacific Ocean, and you need a geography lesson to understand. Rangiroa is an atoll, a collection of motus (little islets and sandbars) encircling a lagoon. Rangiroa has 400+ motus and the lagoon is 50 miles long x 15 miles wide, so you can't see one side of the atoll from the other. In the NASA photo below, the land is the tiny line encircling the lagoon, like a squashed letter O, with the ocean outside and the lagoon inside. About 2500 people live on this land "mass," a highly exaggerated name for the 1/4 mile or so of terra firma. We walked through charming arches of palm trees to a little cafe by the Tiputa Pass pictured below, one of two passes/cuts/guts (the tiny slits in the top of the photo just left of center) that allow ships to enter the lagoon. Although today is very hot and the water is an inviting turquoise, we declined a swim having been told that the lagoon is filled with sharks "for the most part harmless." Hm, "for the most part" seemed a little vague for us visitors. Love, Hope and Bill

Posted by HopeEakins 18:18 Archived in French Polynesia

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