Hi Everyone …

Today I am in Tahiti – that is the name of the island I am on.  The town is Papeete (Papa – ay – tay) and the country this island is part of, is French Polynesia.  Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia..  Everyone here speaks French and they have the Nouveau (new) French Franc for money.  Everything is thousands of nouveau french francs, GD says because the country is french and it takes about one hundred french francs to make a dollar.  It is very confusing for me.  GD has an app on her iPhone that tells her how much everything is.  When I get older, I want to have an iPhone to play games, figure out what stuff costs in foreign countries and, of course,  to call my parents.  Anyway, we are docked in Papeete and we get off the ship and wait by the gangway until all our group of divers is there.  We even have another lady who booked her dive with the ship, but is going to the same dive company we are.  Her name is Mary and she is really nice.  We walk out the gate and there, right in front of the ship, is a little boat that will take us to the dive shop. It is a fun ride because we go right past the airport!  After we get all signed up and paid for, we get on the dive boat.

Dive Buddies

Our guide is Fanny, who is French and really pretty.  The first dive is not too good, but we see a few things like Regal Angelfish and Sling Jawed Wrasses.

Regal Angelfish Sling Jaw Wrasse 1

GD is having trouble with the focus on her camera – but she is hoping that it’s just that she can’t see very well.  The second dive is a shark dive, which is ultra cool.  They take a big pot with holes in it filled with fish, down to the bottom and leave it.  Then we get in a little way away and swim over to where the pot is sitting on the bottom.  By now, the sharks have smelled the food and lots of them are coming over to check it out – along with lots of other fish and eels.  We sit on the bottom, as still as possible since the ocean is moving us around quite a bit.  The sharks are swirling all around us everywhere I look.

Shark 4

Fanny says we saw Lemon Sharks, Black Tip Sharks and Grey Sharks.  Finally it is time to come back to the surface and go home to the ship.  I did not want to leave – it was sooooo cooool!

Now it is evening and time for dinner.  Tonight, we are not going to eat in the dining room, but we are going to eat from the food trucks by the pier.  It sounds weird, but my good friend Barbara says it is just the best.  Barbara knows all about food in foreign countries and I believe her.  We get off the ship, walk past the craft market – oh, excuse me … we walk THROUGH the craft market because you can buy stuff there and GD has not been there yet!  Mercifully, she does not buy anything – just looks and looks quickly.  I guess even GD gets really hungry when we spend all day underwater!  Anyway, there are all these trucks – like delivery trucks – in a big lot and all of them have kitchens in them.

Le Truck Dining 2

GD and GW have to walk around and see each and every one and read all the menus.  I was starving so I didn’t care where we ate and it seemed to take them FOREVER to make a decision.  Finally we found one that they liked that had steak, french fries and Poisson Cru (a Tahitian dish of raw fish ‘cooked’ in lime juice and coconut milk).  We ordered, but the lady said we ordered too much and we must share, so we got one steak, french fries for GW and me, salad for GD and Poisson Cru.  When it came, it turns out the lady was right … the steak was so big even all three of us could not finish it and there were enough french fries to fill a basket ball.  The Poisson Cru was not disgusting, but I noticed that GD did not insist that I eat more than one bite – just to taste it.  It seems she really liked it a lot and didn’t really want to share with either GW or me.  We sat where we had a really good view of the ship and all our friends walked by out table and stopped to chat.

Amsterdam in Papeete 4

It was really fun!  Then we took a walk along the water front, but someone had put up screens, so you couldn’t see anything.  GD had wanted to get a photo of the ship from there, but she couldn’t.

Papeete Waterfront 1

Finally it was time to go back to the ship and see the Tahitian Show.  There were all these people in costumes made of straw and pretty colors.  Then men jumped around a lot and the ladies wiggled their hips so fast, you could hardly see them.

Polynesian Cast 1

When they were finished, I cheered and cheered.  It was really fun to see.  When I get older, I will come back to Tahiti and learn to dance like that – maybe even with one of the pretty girls who was there!

Tomorrow at 4 o’clock in the morning we are going to sail over to another island called Moorea.  You can see Moorea from Tahiti, so it is very close.  I am going to get up and watch, but GD says she doesn’t think so!

Lots of Love …Flat Stanley