South Seas Anchorage – Rangiroa Atoll, French Polynesia

Bearing down on the Tuamotus, our crew are keeping a sharp lookout ahead. They know now that the first sighting of land is going to be the fronded crown of a palm tree, rooted in the sand of a coral atoll barely above sea level. The expectation of being the first to spy one of these occupies our crew with the formidable fervour of young boys. In the event, a number of these mop tops sluggishly grow out of the southern horizon, bathing in the western afternoon sunlight. Staring at an empty horizon for so long, these rising palms, eagerly awaited as they are, still bring with their languid appearance an almost unwanted intrusion. ‘Another of humans’ trivial life foibles’ our little ship thinks. Willing as they are to have their daily routine disrupted once again, the actual arrival brings with it a momentary, but deeper level of reluctant resistance to the imminent change. ‘Oh my, if I was as confused as that, I would never know which direction to take!’