Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Burning the Remains of the Kon Tiki Raft

We motored over to the east side of the Raroia atoll, dodging the corals and reef along the way for 7 miles. In between the reefs the water is 80 feet deep. We caught up with some friends on a catamaran --  yes, we do actually have cat friends. The boat’s name and their faces have been obstructed – for soon to be obvious reasons. They invited us over to the small motu(island) that is where the Kon Tiki raft wrecked in 1947 for a bonfire. What we didn’t realize was that they were collecting the left over parts of the raft to burn for the evening!
raroia2IMG_0735 There’s a small monument to the Kon Tiki on the motu. The next night we watched the Hollywood version of Kon Tiki. Pretty tacky movie, but what a great venue for a showing.
raroia2IMG_0737 Here’s the actual reef that the Thor and his buddies crash landed on. He did manage to show that 5 or 6 Norwegians led by a charismatic non-swimmer could take a  leaky raft from Callao, Peru, to the Tuamotus, French Polynesia, in 101 days at sea. Today, most of his theories about Polynesia being settled by early South Americans have been discredited.
 atuonaIMG_0716 Before we left the Marquesas we stocked up on pamplemouse (Polynesian grapefruit) with this 60 lb bag that was harvested for us by tour guide extrodinaire, John, on the north shore of Hiva Oa.
raroia2IMG_0738 Exploring one of the many small cuts between the uninhabited motus that make up the Raroia atoll.
There’s even some pink sand beach walks available.
The Fairy Terns were not too happy about us walking on their motu. They would raise up into the wind and stay in one spot right over our heads keeping a careful eye on us.
raroia2IMG_0749 The blue-gray noddies were not happy about our presence either, but they keep their distance.
raroia2P5140082 We snorkeled a reef just NW of the Kon Tiki island. We weren’t expecting much as it was a bit windy. Turned out to be a really nice snorkel. The shallow corals are a hang-out for small colorful reef fish, you can see some hiding down inside the crevices of this coral.
There were dozens of these Giant Clams. When ever you approached them they closed up and hid most of that blue mantle.
There were a few big fish around, including this shy grouper.
We think this is a Pacific Pearl Oyster, about 10 or more inches across. We didn’t check to see if he had a pearl inside.
The corals were healthy with some amazing colors.


  1. Great photos--especially of the Fairy Tern and blue clam. Love reading about all your current adventures. Meanwhile we aren't having much of any adventure but any day now one is surely going to find us.

  2. Lucky bastard, maybe one day I will stand there.....thank you V.Powers