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Exploring the town of Taioha’e

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The landscape of this island, Nuku Hiva, is so extreme it can be hard to find flat ground. That’s why the airport is on the opposite shore from the main town, Taioha’e: there’s only one runway compatible patch of ground. After landing in a small plane, you drive an hour through stunning hills and valleys […]

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Crossing Nuku Hiva to reach the beginning

Flying over Nuku Hiva

The views from the air were beautiful. When we came here by ship, just over a week ago, it took a day and a half to reach the Marquesas, the most distant archipelago in French Polynesia. Now we would return to the largest island, Nuku Hiva, in a matter of hours.   Before traveling here, […]

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Nuku Hiva overview

Overlooking Nuku Hiva, very green with small road below

An overview of somewhere new. Getting ready to explore Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia. Do you see the road down there?

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Harsh paradise

Takume atoll with palms in background, but you can see underwater

Many outsiders think of these islands, the coral atolls of French Polynesia, as paradise, but there is no escaping the harsh conditions here. Although I LOVE to swim, I have never really explored the underwater world. Here, it was more than beauty that called to me from below the surface, it was a curiousity about […]

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Marquesas arrival

almost black and white shot of Marquesan cliffs and palms

Welcome to the Marquesas! I hope these islands will blow your mind the way they are blowing mine. It’s just too much to start with colour, so I’m easing you in with an almost black & white. We are way out in the South Pacific, on the edge of French Polynesia. Kaoha! Bonjour! A place […]

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Perched on the ocean

Low lying coral atoll with line of palms

These islands, the Tuamotus, lie so low and shine so bright. Each one makes a hoop on the ocean — circular from above, but long and linear from water level. So beautiful and so harsh. A perch from which to return to the ocean.

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A new start in the Tuamotus

Coral atoll with palms

And now for something completely different! French Polynesia in the Tuamotus. The coral, the palms, the secrets they keep. What stories will we find here? I am listening.

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Agonizing over packing

A view of some mountains in French Polynesia.

Preparation means packing. I’m away from home five months per year, and I’m still terrible at packing. Especially when I’ve spent the last three years working in the Arctic and now … heat!! I have agonized over sunscreen (reef safe), sun hats (tourist alert), rash guards (new for me), and bathing suits (ugh). I’ve finally […]

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