Category Archives: French Polynesia

Pineapples of Moorea

Pineapples may be cultivated from a crown cutting of the fruit, possibly flowering in 5-10 months and fruiting in the following six months. Pineapples do not ripen significantly after harvest.

Pineapples can be consumed fresh, cooked, juiced, or preserved. They are found in a wide array of cuisines. In addition to consumption, the pineapple leaves are used to produce the textile fiber piña in the Philippines, commonly used as the material for the men’s barong Tagalog and women’s baro’t saya formalwear in the country. The fiber is also used as a component for wallpaper and other furnishings.

The flesh and juice of the pineapple are used in cuisines around the world. In many tropical countries, pineapple is prepared and sold on roadsides as a snack. It is sold whole or in halves with a stick inserted. Whole, cored slices with a cherry in the middle are a common garnish on hams in the West. Chunks of pineapple are used in desserts such as fruit salad, as well as in some savory dishes, including pizza toppings, or as a grilled ring on a hamburger. Crushed pineapple is used in yogurt, jam, sweets, and ice cream. The juice of the pineapple is served as a beverage, and it is also the main ingredient in cocktails such as the piña colada.

While on the island of Moorea last spring we took a tour that (among other places) went through a pineapple field. Below are a couple of images of what pineapples in the field look like and a third picture that I took just to be a little different. Click on the image to have a larger view. Hope you enjoy them.

pineapple

pineapple

pineapple

Also posted in outdoor, photography

Bora Bora and Maui

I am combining our stops to Bora Bora and Maui because our stop in Bora Bora shoud be called Poura Poura! It rained hard all day long. We did take a tender from the ship to shore but quickly saw that we would soon resemble drowned rats if we stayed. We got underway early that evening and after five sea days arrived in Maui!

The last time I had been to Maui was in 1975 and I was looking forward to going up to the Haleakala crater.  The island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the island’s name in the legend of Hawai’iloa, the navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. According to that legend, Hawai’iloa named the island of Maui after his son, who in turn was named for the demigod Maui. The earlier name of Maui was Ihikapalaumaewa. The Island of Maui is also called the “Valley Isle” for the large isthmus between its northwestern and southeastern volcanoes and the numerous large valleys carved into both mountains.

Haleakala Observatory is one of the most important observing sites in the world. Lying above the tropical inversion layer it experiences superb seeing conditions and dominant clear skies. The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy has managed this site for over 4 decades as a location for conducting dedicated astrophysical experiments. In most cases these are programs that could not be conducted anywhere else on Earth.

The Silversword is an exceptionally rare and endangered plant native only to the island of Maui and the Big Island of Hawai’i (all other occurences being introductions). Silversword is itself a very unusual plant. A very striking silvery-light-green color, this almost metallic looking plant consists of very dense rosettes of yucca type leaves that radiate out from a base. The leaves are thick and taper to a point at the ends. These rosettes can range in size from a few inches for babies to three or four feet for mature healthy adults.

However, what is really strange about Silversword is how it flowers. Silversword will live for 40 to 50 years before flowering once and only once. When it is time to flower the leaves seem to invert and bend upwards and out of the center rises a huge 4 to 6 foot stalk from which radiates hundreds of drooping yellow flowers. The entire result is something that resembles a narrow 6-foot tall mushroom – a very impressive sight. Once the plant has flowered a single time, the entire plant dies.

We left Maui late evening and set sail for Honolulu where our cruise ended. Stay tuned!

Welcome

Welcome

Park Sign

Park Sign

Silver Sword

Silver Sword

Silver Sword

Silver Sword

Observatory

Observatory

Observatory

Observatory

Crater

Haleakala Crater

Crater

Haleakala Crater

Crater

Haleakala Crater

Also posted in art and entertainment, Cruise, Hawaii, Maui

Moorea – Tahiti’s Little Sister

Moorea

Believed to have inspired the mythical Bali Hai from James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, Moorea is one of the most scenically striking islands in French Polynesia. Despite her immaculate beauty, she is far from unapproachable. Possessing a relaxed vibe and welcoming spirit, Moorea is just as warm and inviting as the Tahitians lucky enough to call this island home.

Located only ten nautical miles from Tahiti, Moorea is easily accessible by ferry or plane from Papeete. This proximity, coupled with the island’s receptive and neighborly nature, makes Moorea a favorite destination for couples, families and even locals. Still, Moorea has managed to maintain its small island feel despite this popularity and the presence of a few internationally branded resorts.

The attraction toward Moorea comes as no surprise; the island is a geographical marvel. Eight voluminous mountain peaks rise from its translucent lagoon, creating a distinctive and rugged silhouette visible from the western coast of Tahiti. Splitting the northern shore are two symmetrical bays: Cook’s (Paopao) and Opunohu Bay. The island is roughly shaped like a heart from overhead; and in the theme of love and romance, Moorea is one of the top honeymoon destinations in Tahiti—second only to Bora Bora.

Moorea is the pride and joy of French Polynesia. She may be considered Tahiti’s little sister, but she steals the spotlight every time. The island is a true reflection of the laidback Tahitian lifestyle and the warm, welcoming character of French Polynesia and its people.

solstice

Celebrity Solstice at anchor

Harbor

Harbor view

docks

View from docks

BOP

Yellow Bird of Paradise

Bali Hai

Bali Hai through the clouds

Tiki

Carved Tiki

 

Also posted in Bird of Paradise, Tahiti, travel