No visit to this part of the world would be complete without the shiny, iridescent black Tahitian pearls. Based on the nippon-developed technique of cultured pearls, locals have perfected their craft over decades to produce a truly unique pearl not found anywhere else.
A skin graft with a small piece of oyster shell is placed in a 2 year old healthy oyster and then put out to sea in an oyster net. After 28 months a first check will show about a 1/4 inch pearl. For each additional 18 months, the pearl grows in size. Only about 45% of grafts are successful and from those, less than 10% are of the flawless A grade quality level. Just like vanilla, this is a labor of love.
Most of these islands transport is done by boat and each journey brings its own magic. We were fortunate to on today’s ride to be accompanied by a leopard ray. This magnificent swimmer followed us at significant speed displaying its beauty and grace.
I final highlight of our day was a private Tahitian dance evening on a small Motu (barrier island) complete with bbq and a live band. These fetes display Polynesian people’s just for life and beauty. A tradition that has not changed in centuries.