Closing the loop

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Almost six and a half years and 40000 miles later a 50 year old dream was fulfilled by returning to the same place I left for this journey

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Fiji

Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres.
The majority of Fiji’s islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago.
Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC, and was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century, and, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874.
Fiji was a Crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence as a Commonwealth realm. A republic was declared in 1987, following a series of coups d’état.
Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga. They were described as formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals, builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific, but not great sailors.
They inspired awe amongst the Tongans, and all their Manufactures, especially bark cloth and clubs, were highly valued and much in demand.
Pottery art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled before or around 3500 to 1000 BC, although the question of Pacific migration still lingers.
The population of Fiji is mostly made up of native Fijians, who are Melanesians (54.3%), although many also have Polynesian ancestry, and Indo-Fijians (38.1%), descendants of Indian contract labourers brought to the islands by the British colonial powers in the 19th century.

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Tonga

Tonga stretches across approximately 800 kilometres in a north-south line.
It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west.
Tonga was settled from the west and Tongan were as warriers, war with it’s neighbours was the general past time.
The first European contact with Tonga was in 1616 when two Dutchmen encountered a Tongan canoe near the Niuas, resulting in several killed and captured Tongans. The next encounter was more fortuitous to both sides; Abel Tasman, another Dutchman, traded in Tongatapu and landed in the Ha’apai.
The Kingdom of Tonga ironically acquired the name “The Friendly Islands” from Captain Cook in 1777, on his third visit. The Ha’apai locals had prepared an enormous feast for the sailors, which was, unbeknownst to them, to be the lure for a plot to kill the Englishmen and take all their goods. The plan went awry, however, through a miscommunication between the nobles.
None of the previous Europeans had visited the Vava’u Group, so the “discovery” of those islands was left to a Spaniard, Don Francisco Mourelle.
He claimed the group for Spain, but because of concerns in the Americas, Spain didn’t follow up.
The Tongans have retained whatever part of their culture that was not changed by religion

 

 

 

 

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Palmerston – Cook Islands

Palmerston Island is a coral atoll in the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean about 500 km northwest of Rarotonga. It was discovered by James Cook on 16 June 1774.
Palmerston Island consists of a number of sandy islets on a continuous ring of coral reef enclosing a lagoon. There are only 48 people living in Palmerston, all but three[3] descended from an Englishman named William Marsters.
Palmerston was discovered by Captain Cook in 1774, but he did not land on the island until 13 April 1777. In 1863 William Marsters, a ship’s carpenter and barrel maker, arrived on Palmerston from with three Polynesian wives (all cousins) and annexed the island from the British government. He had a large family of some 23 children, whose descendants now inhabit Palmerston.Marriage between first cousins is acceptable now where at the beginning was between half brothers and sisters Though only some 50 family members remain on Palmerston, all of Marsters’ descendants consider the island their ancestral home. In 1954 the family was granted full ownership of the island. Three branches of the family remain on Palmerston.
William Marsters died in 1899 of malnutrition after his coconut trees
were destroyed by a storm

 

 

 

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Society Island – French Polynesia

The Society islands are the most populated islands of French Polynesia  and the better known ones are Tahiti, Moorea. Riatea and Bora Bora.

These island have been flogged to death for tourism and apart for clear waters and the contrast in colours the coral is dead and marine life is very limited.

Islands like Bora Bora are over built with bungalows over the water and have a minipool on each one

As none of these are in my line of interest I don’t give it  a high rating.

And my memories of Bora Bora  will be  as the place where some F&*&^% PR^%@@CK stole my fishing gear.

 


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Tuamotu Archipelago

Darwin’s theory of atoll formation was that as the volcanic portion of the island subsides, the fringing reef is converted into a barrier reef. After the volcanic core has disappeared completely into the lagoon, the remaining reef island is called an atoll
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Raroia, the atoll where the Kon Tiki ended its journey while trying to prove the theory that Polynesians descended from South America has only one narrow entrance with turbulent currents and overfalls. Navigation once inside is fraught with danger due to numerous coral heads through unchartered waters that raises vertically to near the surface waiting to claim your boat. Diving is the primary reason you come to this part of the world, and the remoteness of this inlands force you to partly hibernate or the least to train your brain to stay in neutral for long period of time.

Fakarava is a larger atoll with two navigable entrances to the lagoon. Black pearls are farmed in most of the Tuamotus and are unique to these islands.

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Slides of Marquesas

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