Day 18 Jan 21 (Tahiti)

Took video of docking in Tahiti harbor. At 9 AM the SCUBA group met on the dock to catch a cab to the dive center. It was the Aquatica Dive Center at the Hotel International Resort - Tahiti.

We had two dives but had a long break between to eat lunch on our own. The first dive was pretty interesting. We saw a wrecked small airplane and a wrecked small boat. I swam through the upper part of the boat but didn't go in the deeper part. Some others did. I'm a beginner right? The maximum depth I reached on the dive was 45 feet.

Lunch was at the hotel nearby. The food was overpriced but not bad. Couldn't tell you exactly what I had. It was some kind of chicken stew involving coconut milk. Also some rice and a few strange looking veggies. Very adventurous for me. I paid about 2000 cfp (that's Polynesian Francs and they are trading at about 80 to the US dollar at the moment). That works out to be about $25 dollars for my lunch. We were warned that everything was expensive in Tahiti. They didn't disappoint.

Dive #2 was more fun. We dove a large wooden shipwreck. Think movie type of wreck. About half the wood had rotted away and the ship was on its side. We swam all around it and peeked into nooks and crannies. Then we went on to another plane wreck. My air was running low - air hog as usual - so I was not allowed to do it but the others entered the tail and swam through the fuselage to the cockpit where a hole in the roof allowed them to exit. Pretty cool. My air was low enough that Patrick, the dive master, shared his air with me to allow everyone to stay down longer.

A troupe of Tahitian dancers came onboard and put on a very impressive evening show. Amazing energy (cover the children's eyes here) and pretty sexy. Who knew hips (both male and female in case you're wondering ladies) could move that way? They received a standing ovation. Amazing!

Have learned that Tahiti is pretty much a pass through location. People at the hotel near the dive site apparently usually stay for just one night. They then take smaller planes or ferries to other nearby islands (on the way in for vacations, etc.). After walking around some in the early evening I can understand that. Tahiti is not too much different from Juarez, Mexico. Pretty seedy looking in many spots and high priced. Rather dangerous looking at night. I think the population is about 32,000. But it is certainly not the lovely island you picture when you hear the name Tahiti. Sad, but don't lose heart. The next two islands are what we were looking for.

17º 32.17 S and 149º 34.15 W

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