The morning of February 26th was absolutely perfect. We began pulling in to Bounty Bay around 7:30 and the views were incredible. As this is an open bay with little protection, we are still subject to the swells of the sea but from the upper decks it didn’t look too bad. Jane and I were having coffee in the Panorama Lounge on deck 8 waiting for them to unload Zodiacs and give us clearance from the New Zealand government to go ashore. She was a little excited to go ashore as it had been about 8 days at sea plus a chance to land here. We gave up on coffee and went down to get ready to board the Zodiacs. We ended up being on the second one to go ashore and although the sea looked pretty calm from deck 8, it was a different view from the boarding area. The waves were only 3-4 feet but that still meant you had to time when you stepped on to the boats. The crew was on our ship and on the Zodiacs to help, but it was still a slow process. Once we were loaded up, it was off to the pier. I forgot to mention while we were waiting to board the Zodiac, we met Steve Christian a 6th generation descendant. Wonderful guy as all the people we met on the island. They are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet but keep in mind, except for a few small cruise ships that can go ashore like ours, it’s 45 people who live there, so not much outside entertainment.
Once we landed, they had a few vans that would take us up the hill to the village. It’s a almost a half mile up a very steep road to get there. Everything on the island has names such as Bitey-Bitey Point or the Hill of Difficulty which is the road we took up to the village. Once there the town square is a few buildings including the post office and they had tables setup there with some of their local crafts and of course t-shirts and hats. The anchor from HMS Bounty is on display there in the square and we have a picture of that along with a cannon from the Bounty. The actual ship was set a fire and sunk in Bounty Bay after they took everything of value from it. It’s now a dive site, for what’s left of it, in Bounty Bay. As I mentioned Steve Christian earlier, on the way back down the Hill of Difficulty, Steve was our driver.
We were supposed to land in Fakarava tomorrow in a protected bay with incredible marine life. The main industry there is pearl harvesting and they are most well known for their black pearls. I say supposed to land because yesterday morning we were informed that the government of French Polynesia has stopped all landing there until you clear in Papeete and then you can proceed. The problem is we won’t have time to land there, go to Fakarava and then get back to Papeete by Sunday, so we’ll have to miss it. There are still a lot of great islands ahead which are the ones known for things like South Pacific.