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Google Satellite View of Tetiaroa


Tetiaroa is about 2.5 hours north of Mo'orea in French Polynesia. It is only accessible by boat, and we spent countless days waiting for the weather to be perfect in order for us to go. The island is well known for being a bird paradise, and is also known for being easily ravaged by hurricanes. However, it is best known as Marlon Brando's island, as the actor from Mutiny on the Bounty had bought the island and was planning to build an eco resort there.


The Crazy Boat Ride

We piled into 3 different fishing boats, which offer zero protection against waves splashing over your head in open sea


Learning our seasick lesson from whale watching, we hoarded some ginger medicine. Of course, the lagoon water is misleading; when we got to the open sea, I could barely see anything as we were speeding across the water as waves would be pouring on my head I would close my eyes to prevent salt water from entering them. As we rented fishing boats, the fishermen who boated us there couldn't resist stopping to harpoon some fresh mahi mahi (dolphinfish). We also couldn't resist watching. It was awesome!


Our boat's fishermen successfully harpooned 2 Mahi Mahi fish! Blood was shed on that boat


Island Walk

We finally reached fore reef of the island drenched and all ready to pee. There's something about a speeding boat and being pummeled by waves that made us all want to pee. But first, we had to cross the reef. To do so usually involved us waiting for a nice big wave to push us up and across the reef wall, but we were lucky enough to be able to scramble our way up the tip of the reef and into the warm lagoon waters. After we relieved ourselves, we tried to pick our way by half swimming and half walking across the lagoon to shore, takinng care not to step on any stonefish or other obstacles.


Class taking a walk around the island


It was very hot. After a quick lunch under the shade of a few trees, we made our way on a hike around the island, or rather, through bits of it as the island was so low lying that many parts of it were submerged by water. Stepping through the lagoon water was also somewhat like stepping through the minefield, as there were lots of sea cucumbers. Sea cucumbers eviscerate their guts out when stepped on, which sticks all over our feet and is generally gross.


Sea cucumber guts... lovely.


We also saw lots and lots of birds, which took off when they saw us.


Fore Reef Swim

After trudging through the water and sand, it was time to cool off with a lagoon and then fore reef swim! Some of us climbed up the broken jetty to jump into the big blue. I got to chase reef sharks and other fishies again while waiting for the boat ride back to Mo'orea...


Me practicing free diving