Sailing away from Auckland, the next three days were sea days. Now if you have not been following along with this cruising series you might be wondering “what is a sea day” and if that is the case you can read about that here:
Tahiti has a long and rich history. The islands were first settled by migrating Polynesians as early as 500BC. They were later discovered by European explorers during the 16th century and eventually colonized by France. Now officially known as French Polynesia, Tahiti is an autonomous overseas country of the French Republic.
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, the South Pacific archipelago. Shaped like a figure-8, it’s divided into Tahiti Nui (the larger, western section) and Tahiti Iti (the eastern peninsula). With black-sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and 2 extinct volcanoes, it’s a popular vacation destination. Explored by Captain James Cook in the 18th century, it was also often painted by French artist Paul Gauguin.
Papeete has scores of bijouteries (jewelry shops) that carry black pearls in a variety of settings. Some stalls in Papeete’s Municipal Market sell pearls, but give them a pass and buy yours from an experienced, reputable dealer. Liz waited until we visited Moorea (the day after this Tahiti stop) and was able to buy some really nice black pearl jewelry for herself and some family “back home”.