As we were waiting for a weather window, we encountered many magical moments in Oponohu Bay, Mo’orea. We are anchored on a sandy shelf about 2 to 3 meters deep between the reef and the island. Late one afternoon we spotted two huge nurse sharks (about 3 meters long) just hanging out next to Sugar Shack. We think they were nurse sharks, but they could have been lemon sharks.
One night, just before sunset, the clouds rolled across the caldera and provided this beautiful photo.
We had the most enchanting sunset another night. It started out with a little beauty and then blossomed into this firey red across the entire sky and reflecting onto the water. None of these photos were enhanced or tweaked…just nature’s beauty.
Some of these photos needed to be shown as stand alone images.
And this has no filters or changes – just pure magic.
Even the rain brings magical moments
It is not always sunshine and rainbows in French Polynesia. It does rain a lot which is good because it feeds new life into the land, mountains, trees, and flowers. But sometimes it is a torrential downpour which keeps you holed up in you boat.
I actually got cold and snuggled up.
But the huge rains brought several beautiful waterfalls – just magical.
And another pretty sunset.
Underwater Tiki Garden
Across the channel is a shallow anchorage called Tiki Village. Matt and I have anchored here several times and never knew there was a tiki museum nearby (we also did not know this anchorage was called “Tiki Villiage”). Our friends Steve and Lili on Liward took us over there to explore this amazing underwater museum.
The legend has it that when the missionaries came to Mo’orea they built a protestant church right on the Marae, their sacred grounds. The missionaries forced the locals to either destroy or toss their monuments / tikis in the ocean. But the inhabitants outsmarted them. They strategically placed the tikis underwater, clustered together directly across from the church in the village of Papetoai.
There are 7 tikis gently laid in 3 meters of crystal-clear water. And despite the efforts by the missionaries, the Tahitian culture is very much alive today.
We found all 7 tikis, but some were hard to distinguish. They are just starting to get growth which is fascinating. This one we could not figure out – or should I say, I could not figure out. Lili pointed to what she thought was his head and face…I just don’t see it.
I love this tiki called “the twins”
Matt liked it too and gave me a smile hidden behind his bubbles (he took his mask off).
I think this tiki is a woman, but what do you think? It actually looks more like a mermaid, but either way female.
This was a great tiki with little growth.
This is my favorite tiki. I love how the soft coral grew right at his head giving him hair. And do you see the fish at his head too? This tiki is a man sitting down while holding a bowl in his hands.
This magical man brought shivers to me as I explored his carvings.
Another difficult one to decipher.
The final tiki had three carvings on it. Not sure you can see all 3 faces, but they were wonderful.
It was magical to find these tikis knowing their history. It brought shivers to me as I examined them. I hope they are honored for decades to come.
Super good times with our friends Josh and Rachel (“Agape) and Steve and Lili (“Liward).
Fruit shopping on the side of the road…don’t you love the pretty decor?
The Opunohu Anchorage at sunset
View facing the mountains from the same anchorage
Events from this blog occurred during the first week of November, 2020. Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.