Nuku Hiva, Tahiti and Moorea (Fall 2007-Winter 2008)
Oh, the magnificence that is French Polynesia! This is truly a wondrous place, with a unique natural beauty that is found no where else. After sailing into the scenic Hakapehi port in Nuku Hiva, a group of us, now salty, rugged (often bearded) sailors, explored the island’s interior via hiking and four-wheel driving. I witnessed free-raoming horses in the mountains, pre-historic jungle peaks, and surreal coastlines. At the conclusion of the research cruise I was able to explore the island of Moorea, another Polynesian gem that is just off the coast of Tahiti (our final port call). Here I biked the entire 40+ mile perimeter of the island with two of my fellow ship watchmen, allowing us many side adventures in addition to beautiful sunsets and panoramic views of Tahiti. Fortunately, I will be conducting some of the research for my dissertation on Moorea in the summer of 2010, so keep an eye out for some eye-catching photo updates!