We arrived just after dawn into Papeete, Tahiti. In the morning, I wandered into the town to see what I could see, including a welcoming musical performance, street-side vendors, and colorful markets.
In the afternoon I joined what was billed as a Whale Watching Experience. Southern humpback whales are often seen in the waters near Papeete (which is pronounced something along the lines of “papa-ATE-tay”). If you can find whales in the open waters, sometimes they will come quite close to boats filled with tourists who may be able to actually snorkel close by. We didn’t. Our guide, May, and boat driver did find a couple of humpbacks but as they were in the relative shelter of the harbor we had to maintain a respectful distance.
During our afternoon on the water, however, we found numerous spinner dolphins. These small mammals apparently enjoy playing in the wake of boats. May (or maybe it was “Mae”?) was surprised to see dolphins at this time of day, but our little group of tourists certainly did not object.
Also pictured above is a view of the Ovation of the Seas, my home for 19 days and some sailboats we observed (with the island Moorea behind them). My final photo of the day was taken at the end of the day. Both first and last photos were taken from the balcony of my comfy cabin aboard the Ovation.
The evening’s entertainment included a performance by a Tahitian group of musicians and dancers. As energetic as it was, I still found myself dozing — at 7:30 at night! I turned in early, and tonight we set our clocks back one hour. Apparently I need that hour for more rest!
One of the truly enjoyable experiences has been meeting and visiting with a variety of passengers, crew, and entertainers including Fr. Mark, the Catholic priest who welcomed me to Mass on Sunday morning and with whom I had a very nice chat this morning at breakfast.