The Society Islands

The Society Islands were the third and final major island group we visited in French Polynesia. With mountainous shorelines and fringing reefs, these islands felt somewhat like a combination of the previous two groups: the Marquesas and the Tuamotus.

Our first stop was in Papeete, the capitol of French Polynesia. Here we did our first major provisioning stop since leaving Hawaii. Our staples and dry goods should last until New Zealand–we mostly bought produce, meats, wine, beer, sorbet, and dozens of baguettes. We also swapped 4 5-gallons pails of used engine oil for 4 18-liter pails of new, and took on a load of gasoline and diesel. And we picked up a few hardware items.

And we had a chance to try two pieces of equipment we’d not used before: our pasarelle and pigtails for adapting to different power supplies.

The Society Islands are more populated, and had greater diversity and infrastracture than the other two groups. We used pretty much all our recreational equipment there: hiking, kayaking, biking, diving and touring by dinghy.

We also had several excellent restaurant meals.

And throughout it all, the scenery was amazing.

Click on the image at left for a live map-based version of our trip log through Society Islands (including the content from June 8-June 15 that was unavailable during our web site outage).

On the live-map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

Overall, we very much enjoyed our trip through French Polynesia: the people were friendly and helpful, the infrastructure was good, the scenery and diversity of activities was impressive, and we never got enough of those delicious baguettes and pamplemousse (local grapefruit). If our schedule allowed, we definately would have spent more time there, and would love to visit again.

If your comment doesn't show up right away, send us email and we'll dredge it out of the spam filter.

4 comments on “The Society Islands
  1. Hey John, thanks for the heads up to look for On Ice John. We have been keeping our eyes out for her but haven’t seen her on our Tonga treking. We’re checking out later today but we will keep an eye out for On Ice.

    Fiji Next!


  2. Jamie asked if Dirona was bound for New Zealand? Absolutely. We’ll be there in October and we’re really looking forward to it.

    –James Hamilton, N5263 Dirona, Tonga

  3. Laysan says:

    Hi James and Jennifer,

    Glad to see your trip is going so well. We are enjoying your blog from afar. Only day trips and a two week cruise to Hanalei for us this summer.
    Keep a lookout for our friend, Don McIntyre, on Ice, his red boat similar to ours. He is doing a major underwater archeology expedition there in Tonga this season. Might be an opportunity for some interesting tag along diving on old British wrecks from the first contact times there. Say hello to him for us.
    All the best,
    John Douglas

  4. Jamie says:

    You’re coming to NZ? Going to be anywhere near Auckland perchance?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.