• Polynesia, French Style!

    Noumea, New Caledonia…our last South Pacific stop before heading straight to Sydney, Australia! The French influence is everywhere here from the language to the food.

    I head to Anse Vata beach, making my way past the yacht filled marina. The beach is long with a very narrow strip of sand…the temperature is noticeably cooler than yesterday!

    Instead of relaxing here, I can see Duck Island in the distance and decide to jump on the water taxi…the water is a similar brilliant shade of aqua blue as Lifou but it’s set against a riviera of high rise hotels and apartments. The feeling is much more Nice, France than Paradise, South Pacific! The water taxi speeds it’s way to little Duck Island off shore as the blue water sprays all around us…

    Duck Island is a spot of an island that I am able walk its entire perimeter in less than 10 minutes! But the beach is very French, outfitted with chic loungers and bright umbrellas that can be rented for an exorbitant fee! Again, reminiscent of the French Riviera but here in the South Pacific…

    There is no denying Duck Island is lovely! The island is a natural bird sanctuary and has a more rustic look. The coral here is beautiful all along the sand; this coral of all sizes is mixed with sea shells all in stark chic white! I think how beautiful these would look filled in tall glass cylinders in my home…but unfortunately there is no way to get this back for some decorating magic!

    It’s a nice place, but honestly the more undiscovered Polynesia is much more stunning and makes you feel a world away!

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  • Paradise Found!

    Fiji…it’s like a dream arriving at this famous South Pacific paradise! Brooke Shields made this place famous in “Blue Lagoon” and then Tom Hanks did it allover again in “Castaway”…

    The ship docked in the main town of Suva and I was anxious to see some of the Fijian beaches! I arranged a local driver and for $80, I had his services for the day.

    A 45 mile drive through local villages and we reached the start of the famous Coral Coast! Pacific Harbour is the start of these long sand beaches with amazing snorkeling along the coral laden shores! I wasn’t going to make it to Blue Lagoon this time as it was on the other side of the island near Nadi.

    I spent another near perfect day lazying on the sand at a Polynesian resort beachside! The Uprising Resort hosts visitors to a dreamy palm lined stretch of golden sand!

    The huge palm trees swayed in the ocean breeze and the trade-winds kept the temperature pleasant. Windsurfers also took advantage of the terrific conditions.

    All I can do is marvel at the raw beauty of paradise found! “Bula” or hello from Fiji!

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  • Island Explorer!

    Pago Pago, American Samoa…we arrived this morning to the lush green island of Tutuila in the remote archipelago of the Samoan Islands! It’s great to be on land again, but this island that is seemingly off the map makes me feel like Giligan after being shipwrecked during that famous “three hour tour”…

    Not too many ships stop here, so the entire town seemed to show up for our arrival!

    I headed to Tisa’s Beach for a day on the sand. Nothing prepared me for the surreal beauty of this location; a barefoot bar hut built on a crescent of unspoiled beach! I truly feel like an explorer who just discovered a place all my own! Samoa means “sacred Earth” and this beach delivers that in spades..

    The water is bathtub warm filled with glorious fish and coral and the sands have wreaths of fauna that have washed ashore! I took some time for arts and crafts on the beach, spelling out the name of this sacred place in leaves, fauna, nuts, and flowers that I found on the sand…

    Back on Tisa’s, lunch is served! The Samoan people are so kind and extremely welcoming and they were anxious to share their Samoan delicacies prepared beneath coconut leaves and hot rocks. Tarot, coconut, and bananas cooked with turkey, lamb, and pork for hours until all is falling apart tender!

    Even though I may feel like a rare explorer, my days at sea have brought me to this island that many hearty travelers before me have visited and gone on to tell tales of for years…like James Michener who came here to write his 1946 classic “Tales of the South Pacific”.

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