Once again we find ourselves in the airport off to a new adventure. French Polynesia on the Polynesia Master Live-aboard. It’s relatively easy to get here, we took Alaska Airlines to LAX, then we took Air Tahiti, to Papeete. A little more than ten hours of flying, and there is only a two hour time difference between Tahiti and Seattle, so no jet lag. Win, win.
We stayed at a resort for three night before getting on the boat. Since we had never been here before Brad thought it might be nice to experience the beauty of the place. The Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort was the name of our accommodations. Our room was pretty nice, large. Two stories, with a large bathroom and king size bed on the top floor, a couch, bar, fridge, bathroom on the second floor. AC, clean, a bit older so it had a few updates it needed like the paint, some of the tiles on the floor, the curtains. But otherwise, it was a nice place. This is a large resort.
We had dinner our first night, at the restaurant, the food was really nice, the service was decent, the prices were not terrible, though French Polynesia is a very expensive place to visit, so be prepared for that if you are going anytime soon.
There is a nice pool, and the resort is right on the ocean front, you can walk on the black sand beach and hear the waves crashing as you sleep in the evenings.
We got a cab to and from the airport, it was not hard to do and it was not expensive. Most people speak English here as well as French so you are pretty much guaranteed to get around and find what you need.
After three nights we were ready to go back to the airport and catch a plane to meet the boat for a week of diving. We took a small commuter plane it was about a 45-minute flight.
We were met at a VERY remote small airport by the crew of the Master boat we were going to be on. They tagged our luggage for our rooms, gave us water and put us on a bus to take us to the boat.
This Master Liveaboard was very nice. We had a very bad experience on the Bahamas Master so my expectations were kind of all over the place. BUT this boat was NICE. The rooms were very big, large bathrooms, full shower, clean, well kept, etc. It didn’t even smell like a dive boat, which some of them do.
The dive deck is very well planned. I believe in the end it was 24 divers in all. You use a zodiac to go to the dive sites and the back of the boat has a nice huge back platform. They put the gear in the center of the zodiacs and you gear up when you arrive at the site. It can be a bit rough to take a big camera but after a few dives you get it figured out how to maneuver it on the zodiac etc.
They do not dive in pairs because the French have special diving rules. So you have to dive in groups. Usually groups of 4 or 5 with a dive master. And if someone in the group has to abort the dive, then everyone has to abort the dive. It seemed to work for most of the dives. There was only once or twice where a whole group had to come back because of one divers equipment issues, or air problems.
Brad said the diving was good, not the best he has ever had but decent. The water is very warm so swimming and snorkeling are very easy. We had a lot of choppy days so sometimes the visibility was not great and there was no way to snorkel because it’s just too choppy on top.
But in the end I did get to snorkel with the dolphins, they came right up to me and played and I saw Baracuda and giant clams, and plenty of schools of fish. It was a good break and a fun trip.
I am not sure we would go again, there is an odd vibe from the French people and how they treat the Polynesians. And though it’s their country we were not super excited to see the arrogance and the rudeness to their own Polynesian people. And in some places, like hotels and bars, it’s very expensive. This is most surely not a trip on a budget kind of place.
Next for us is more places in Africa this summer. I will update when I can. As always reach out about anything. Travel, it makes you a better human.