Not feeling like St. Francis
We are at Rangiroa, a huge atoll in the Tuamotus in French Polynesia in a very big ocean. The lagoon is 50 x 15 miles in size and we got here by sailing into a single cut in the atoll and anchoring there. Then we took a tender (which holds 80) to a small pier where 14 of us moved to 2 motor boats for an hour long ride across to the other side of the lagoon. Our little boats anchored outside another lagoon within the lagoon and we walked about 1/4 mile through warm shallow water to a motu (islet).
While the boat men gathered coconuts, made a fire, and cooked fish, a dozen folks walked through the lagoon to explore a neighboring motu. And then the skies darkened and a strong wind arose and a fierce storm blew across Tua’ai (the motu). The rain drove sideways and stung our legs as huge waves crashed against the reef. Because Rangiroa is so flat, the weather passes over quickly, but we were very wet for lunch.
Now it was time to return. The boatmen led us back out to the lagoon where the water was quite roiled and FILLED with sharks. They told us that the sharks were safe unless we had fish smell on our hands, so we were to hold our hands up and walk through SHARK INFESTED WATERS to reboard the boat. We did, and climbed quickly aboard. We are now dry and warm and very grateful to be on Deck Seven. The photo of the sharks below is of black tip fin sharks; there were also large grey ones with big teeth, but we didn’t stop to photograph them.