LE MS PAUL GAUGUIN, NAVIRE DE CROISIÈRE, AU MOUILLAGE DANS LES EAUX PROFONDES DU LAGON DE TAHA'A Cruise ship ms pAul gAuguiN, mooriNg iN TAhA’A’s lAgooN’s deep wATer
Dance of the Sails For connoisseurs of the Leeward Islands, the double lagoon of Raiatea and Taha'a is an inexhaustible playground. All the shores of Taha'a oﬀer the most spectacular aspects of it. All around Taha'a, the reef is continuous, punctuated by more than 40 motu (coral islets), with only two passes to the south on both sides of the island The ﬁrst thing to do is to sail inside the lagoon. Throughout the year, you can cross many yachts, with single or multiple hulls, some coming from the other side of the world, or simply from Raiatea, which is home to the major boat rental bases in Polynesia. Thus, the majority of sailing vacations fans, owe their ﬁrst emotions to Taha'a, whose lagoon allows you to stroll, anchor, engage in all water sports, as freely and safely as on a lake. Moreover, being able to go around the island without leaving the lagoon is a speciﬁcity such that the most important festive regatta of the Paciﬁc islands, the Tahiti Pearl Regatta, schedules this race each year, and
oﬀers to the people of the islands, as well as visitors, a ballet of colorful sails and spinnakers competing in an uncommon setting. The same way, cruise ships like to sail through the lagoon, so that passengers can enjoy Taha'a from the upper decks, like on the MS Paul Gauguin, who comes three times a month to drop its anchor in front of Patio (on the north side) and takes all its passengers to a motu reserved for this purpose, for a day of guaranteed calm, charm and scenery. Each year, more than 700 residents of Polynesia embark on this ship with visitors from all over the world to rediscover the happiness of life in the islands. Admittedly, the lagoon of Taha'a, for which the municipality just passed a resolution to create a marine areas management plan (MCCP), is of a remarkable beauty, shielded from most of the problems that generally threaten coral reefs. The island is very little urbanized, villages and houses are scattered all along the coast. Agriculture is still practiced the traditional and reasonable way, no signiﬁcant chemical pollution is seen. For the moment also, no over ﬁshing or tourism over activity constitute an important risk.
© philippe BACCheT
DANS LA PARTIE NORD DE L'ÎLE, LA CEINTURES RÉCIFALE AVEC SON CHAPELET DE MOTU PARADISIAQUES oN The NorTh side oF The islANd, The reeF, wiTh iTs sTriNg oF pArAdise-like moTu