Coming to Raritonga through the pass into the lagoon followed by dolphins was a nice welcome!
We anchored up in Tiputa outside the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa in the shallow, crystal clear water. The colour of the sea was unbelievably beautiful, more green than blue, shifting to light green when in shallow water. Raritonga is the largest atoll of Polynesia and the second largest in the world. The lagoon is 77 km long and 26 km wide. 280 km in circumference. It consists of nearly 250 islets separated by shallow channels. Approx 2500 inhabitants live around the two passes into the lagoon. Today tourism, copra harvesting & fishing are the main activities on Rangiroa, renowned for its rich marine life, with world-renowned diving sites.
The day after arrival, we took a coffee in the Spa Resort before wandering around the small community. By accident, we stumbled upon a small restaurant opposing the pass, called Chez Josephine. What a charming place it was! Sitting practically on the sea, overlooking the dolpins playing in the big casino online waves in the pass, we were served by the most friendly staff. We soon decided that we would eat a 3 course set meny dinner the next day. Because of the free wi-fi connection, this obviously was popular to many visitors. Inside the lagoon, opposing the pass, was a little islet with coral heads surrounding it, where snorkeling & diving took place every day. We also went there, and I have never seen so many different coral fishes in my life! They came in all colours of the rainbow & all kinds of shapes. It was like swimming in an Aquarium. Truly the best snorkeling place ever. Small sharks gather around the islet, but we didn´t see them when we were there. Both Michael, York & Frank saw them though. Rental bikes can take you around easily, and one shop not far from the main dock, delivered fresh bread every morning.
The sunsets in the lagoon was exceptionally beautiful, and one night the stars & the moon gave a magnificent black/blue colour up above the yachts. Those nights you don´t feel like going to bed.
Unfortunately we had to leave this tranquil paradise yesterday to set sails for Papeete, Tahiti, where friends of Michael will board the boat with their family. That´s when Glenn & I have to leave “Polaris”. After 14 days in different hotels & Resorts, we are lucky to continue this fabulous ARC journey on the Norwegian yacht “Saphir”, something we really look forward to.
So this will end my English blog on “Polaris”. Hopefully new crew members, friends or family can continue this English blog.
From Glenn & Anita: Safe & happy sailing on “Polaris” in weeks & months to come 🙂