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Date: 01 Aug 2012 09:21:58
Title: And then there were two...

Lat 16:30.02S
Lon 151:45.21W

It's finally time to say goodbye to French Polynesia, after two incredible months in some of the most beautiful places we will ever see. The underwater life has been an absolute highlight, and we've had some amazing experiences on the islands too. We checked out with immigration at the Bora Bora Gendarmerie this afternoon, and had to state the date and place of our entry into French Polynesia - Hiva Oa (Marquesas) on 29th May. It seems more like 6 months ago that we were arriving into Hiva Oa after our 20 day passage from Galapagos! We have done so much, I really hope we never forget any of it. I have over 1300 photos which should help!!

Top 10 highlights of French Polynesia:

1. Diving with 300 sharks in Fakarava - watch this space for the video
2. Tahanea atoll in the Tuamotu's - the most beautiful place and an idyllic anchorage, as well as superb drift snorkelling
3. Diving with Manta rays in the Marquesas - a complete surprise and very special encounter
4. Walking the 17km track into the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva with Dad - breathtaking views and a good chat!
5. Ricky Marlin - our 7ft Marlin expertly reeled in by Jamie Reel Reid
6. Watching the Heiva festival dance shows in Tahiti and Tahaa - 130 dancers on stage and the incredible sound of 30 drummers drumming
7. Our first camp fire on Tahuata in the Marquesas - the only boat in the bay and a great sunset
7. Dinner at Mai Kai marina in Bora Bora with Harry and David - delicious French cooking and 5 star service over looking the bay
8. Archie's downwinder kiting session around Tahaa
9. Arriving into Hiva Oa after the 20 day passage from Galapagos and the awe inspiring peaks in Atuona Bay
10. The outstanding crystal clear waters and beautiful bays of Moorea -and feeding the rays

We dropped Harry and David off at their hotel this morning - they have two more nights here before flying back to Santa Cruz. The boat is suddenly very quiet! Archie and I are on our own for the first time since 7th April! We've loved having other people on board, it has really made the trip for us. But we are now very much looking forward to having some time on our own and doing some exploring by ourselves.

We set sail for Aitutaki in the Cook Islands tomorrow morning. It should take us 4 days, the wind is currently from the south but increasingly in strength and becoming increasingly easterly towards the end of the week which should give us a nice push into Aitutaki. We're not quite sure what to expect when we get there - the entrance channel through the reef is VERY shallow but it is sandy and one guidebook advises that it is therefore "a good place to use some force to get into the anchorage"!! We plan on being there for 2 days, and then continuing to Palmerston for another 2 days, before heading further west to Niue which we are very excited about. It's a bit unusual to stop in both Aitutaki and Palmerston but it helps break the journey up a bit.

Here are some photo's from the last few days in Bora Bora...

Did you know sea urchins glow psychedelic colours when you look at them from directly above? "Trippy"!

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More underwater Tiki - the dude on the right seems pleased to see us :-)

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Fun times in the Bora Bora lagoon

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Harry at 37 years old - Happy Birthday Monster!

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Archie and David completely surrounded by tropical fish in the lagoon!

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Harry's birthday meal at the famous Bloody Mary's restaurant last night

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