Moorea is just 16 miles from Tahiti, a smaller sister island with two
majestic bays: Cooks Bay and just around a headland the Bay of
Gryphon ll anchored in Cooks Bay
quite staggeringly beautiful with little of the intensive development of Tahiti.
There are numbers of luxury hotels but they are tastefully done and do not
impinge too much on the landscape. The saddest introduction is that of jet skis.
There are not many of them but they are used intensively and disturb the most
beautiful of anchorages.
The water is gin clear in the reef anchorages, the sun reflects off the
sand metres below so that it looks as though there are lights on the sea bed.
This makes it perfect for doing a little underwater cleaning and
The anti-foul we put on in the Canaries is now wearing very thin and we
have a continuous battle with weed and barnacles to prevent our hull becoming a
mobile reef. The underside of the keel had no anti-foul on it and already
resembles a coral garden
The snorkelling here is again wonderful with a good complement of the
usual fishes, some of these like the bossy unicorn fish and the gorgeous laid
back picasso fish we have only seen in French Polynesia. At the far end of the
island we visited a fairly shallow reef location where rays have been fed for
many years and are very tame, coming to the hand to be fed.
of the school of about 25 rays. The edge of their territory was patrolled by
black tip reef sharks about 1½ metres long but annoyingly we only have them on
toured the island by car and visited a good viewpoint but with a spoilt view due
to the poor weather we had on the day..
Ratui towering between Cooks Bay and Opuhonu Bay
However, we had an interesting walk around an agricultural college which
had a good variety of tropical plants and some intensive agriculture. The main
crop is pineapples but there are also citrus orchards, vanilla (grown under
netting), and a variety of other fruit crops.
Citrus trees with Tahiti Queen pineapples in the foreground
most remarkable aspect of Moorea though is the contrast between the dramatic
volcanic landscape and the reef protected coastline, as seen here at Opunohu
This must have been much the same view that Cook had
all those years ago.....