Happy Birthday S! We hope you are having a great birthday! We wish we could be together to celebrate it.
We’ve been thinking of you a lot - especially when we see the kids on their way to school from the motus. Motus are the little islets that have formed on top of the walls of the volcanoes. As the volcanoes subside - sink – the peaks become the islands and the little low spits of sand that form on the coral where the walls were are called motus. Between the two is the lagoon which can be anywhere from a couple of feet deep to hundreds of feet deep.
For the people living on the motus this is also how they get to town to shop, go to church and visit friends. How would you like to go to school in a boat every day?! These kids literally have door to door service!
Because the islands in the Societies have steep mountains at their center, everything is built near the water which means that the schoolyards are often on the waterfront as well.
When we were in the Tuamotu island group anchored near the south pass there was a lot of coral and the water was pretty shallow as you can see from this shot under the boat.
To keep our anchor chain off of the amazing coral formations we put buoys on it. Here is Uncle Darren adjusting the floats to keep the coral safe.
Fortunately the water was so clear we could just swim or row over our anchor each day to check that it wasn’t moving towards any coral. This also meant we could see the sharks clearly! Here is one from when we were snorkeling in the pass. It is a Mauri, a black tipped shark, about 4 feet long. We think the little long fish above it might be ‘Aupapa (Flutemouths) and the one below it with the little bit of yellow before its’ tail is definitely a Maitoa ’au (Whitecheek Surgeonfish)!
Here are some of the fish from the same pass. We’re not sure what they are - we are really wishing we had bought the fish guidebook for here.
We did see, but didn’t get good pictures of some Paraha Ave (Longfin Bannerfish) and Ume Tahiti (Shortnose Unicornfish) which are really fun looking! I’m sure you can find some pics with Google.
In some societies they have 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' monkeys. In Bora Bora they have 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' tikis!
This cookie is a bit small for someone as big as our buddy Andy, but we thought it might be just about the right size for you! Happy birthday and we hope your piece of cake is bigger than this cookie!
Lots of love and hugs,
Aunt Jodi and Uncle Darren