RSSC Paul Gauguin Cruising Review

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Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, French Polynesia

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Moorea, Tahiti French Polynesia

Moorea 1 Thursday, January 16, 2003
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Papeete
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Bora Bora
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Moorea
Papeete

Off to Moorea

Map of Moorea

We departed Bora Bora with an incredible sunset, which backlit the mountains as we slowly cruised to our next destination, Moorea.

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Paradise Found In Moorea

The Ship Newsletter for the Day- Front

Of all the islands, Moorea is by far the most idyllic. The only island that comes close in the Caribbean is St. Lucia, with it's towering volcanic pitons. The reef system here only enhances the spectacular colors which emanate from the water. At any given time, the colors will change according to the height of the sun and the amount of clouds. The clouds which form around the mountain peaks are nothing but mystical. At times they seem to dance around the sides of the mountain is if hiding some secret.

Moorea is paradise
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Cooks Bay, Moorea

The Ship Newsletter for the Day- Back

Coming in between the reefs with the multitude of colors made our approach into Cooks Bay a prelude of beauty which would unfold shortly. I stopped by the bridge for a few minutes to take some photos, but couldn't stay there because the views from up on deck were so much better. Cooks Bay is one of the prettiest anchorage's in the world with cloud encrusted mountains which seem to slope right to the waters edge. The moods of Cooks Bay seem to be tempered by the time of day, and amount of light which comes through between the cloud banked mountains. Every time I looked outside, the colors were a beautiful new variant of the one before.

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Helicopter Flightseeing

Taking the tender ashore, a group of us were taking to the Moorea airport by van where we went in groups of four to tour the island by helicopter. The Aerospaciale helicopter was quite smooth and circumnavigated the entire island, lending for some incredible aerial photos of the reef, mountains and valley vistas. We hovered briefly at 1,800 feet to view a waterfall. While the tops of the mountains were in clouds we flew around them and still were able to get incredible views of both the island, and the ship in Cook's Bay. The Helicopter Tour was $165 and lasted about 20 minutes. It was worth the price of admission, however I wish they would have just left the doors off, so I could get clearer photos.

Moorea Internet

I tried to get Internet access at Maria Tapas, since they had one French PC, one English PC and a inoperable Apple. I got stuck on the French PC (who designed that keyboard anyhow !) and it was a disaster... the computer wasn't working properly and I just gave up. This is after waiting 30 minutes just to try and get access to it.

Sunset and Tropical Moon

Since Cook's Bay is surrounded on almost all sides by tall mountain peaks, the sunset never really materialized. In addition, the cloud encrusted peaks only allowed intermittent rays of light through. I'd imagine in some of the other bays, the sunset would have been spectacular. The Moon came out in full brilliance shimmering off the waters in a tropical haze.

Morning, Day Two

At sunrise, it appeared to be overcast, but within a few hours all but a few clouds remained around the peaks. The sun here is intense, the most intense I've ever seen (and felt). The teak deck on top gets so hot that they regularly poor water over it so that passengers don't burn their feet.

Additional Photographs: Moorea 1

(click on photos to enlarge)
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CENTER>Photo Highlights from this Day ... for all photos, please click on the < or > as indicated above. There are five sets of photos for each day of the cruise.

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Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, French Polynesia
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