The Polynesian are well known as the greatest sea voyagers in history. They carried out these voyages on outrigger canoes perfectly designed to carry people efficiently over long distances. Today the Tahitians are the world champions of outrigger paddling. With this unique expedition we invite you to experience a part of Polynesian culture that has crossed from ancient times to the present.
Moorea lies just across the Sea of the Moon from Tahiti and experienced tropical island travelers will tell you that it is the most beautiful island in the region, and possibly the world. It is a high oceanic island with an encircling barrier reef that is home to an amazing array of tropical fish and coral formations. It's deeply eroded valleys are rimmed by magnificent peaks and cliffs, and the coral reef creates a wonderful calm lagoon, perfect for paddling and exploring. The people here have yet to be overwhelmed by the tourist hoards as on some of the other islands and there are still places on Moorea that are relatively unexplored. This trip is set up to take advantage of these facts and get to know an island that in some ways is still as stunning and welcoming as when Captain Cook first visited it in 1777.
We will time our days so that we can take in the amazing coastal scenery at a comfortable pace, paddling through crystalline lagoon waters, into magnificent bays, and taking time to get out of our boats with mask and snorkel, and explore the coral reef up close. Along the way we will see why the legends of Moorea liken it to an octopus, as the brilliant greens of the mountain slopes shift colors with the angle of the sun and cover of clouds. We will also lead some hikes through the tropical forest of the island’s interior, and over ridges connecting dramatic valleys. On these trails we will see the traces of ancient Polynesian villages – their houses, agricultural fields, and worship sites – and will hear the amazing story of the formation of the island and its coral reef, from underwater volcano to the island you see today, teeming with marine and terrestrial life. Along the way we will explore the human story of the Polynesian people who first settled these islands and thrived in this earthly paradise.
Our outriggers (in Tahitian called va’a) are state of the art racing canoes that we have outfitted for expeditions. Each one carries a maximum of 5 guests and 1 guide who sits in the stern seat and steers the canoe. They are very comfortable, stable, and easy to paddle.