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Hi everyone.

I have just signed up for the 10 day Developing Your Eye photography course. I’m using my Galaxy S8 phone camera. I’m a complete novice and am keen to learn.

Developing Your Eye, Day One, “Home”

I’m from England where we still have a house but some one else lives there, so I don’t think of it as home. In 2010 my husband and I set off in our small yacht to sail around the world and this is our home. We have visited many places so don’t have a permanent address. However we have been in French Polynesia for a long time and consider our yacht in Tahiti home.

This photo was taken to celebrate New Year 2018.

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Smack

Meet “Smack”. I think Smack is a male Yellow Box fish. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_boxfish

But I’m not an expert and am happy to be corrected.

Every morning we hear a loud smack noise alongside our yacht and know that Smack is having breakfast. Some unsuspecting crustacean has become a tasty meal.

He’s quite an extrovert and swims to the surface when we stand on the swim deck or jump ashore.

His small mouth is deceptive, judging by the amount of green weed which he chomps off our lines in search of creatures.

I think he prefers the meaty bits to the green stuff.

He looks as though he’s whistling.

Smack has a buddy, a larger, shy fish, who disappears when rumbled . I’m not sure if it’s Mrs Smack.

Be careful what you wish for.

On board Shiraz, I’m sipping tea in the cockpit and wave at my reflection in a large mirror window on the super yacht opposite.

It reminds me of a mirror, mirror joke cracked by a school friend. The joke had something to do with a man being granted his third wish and his legs dropped off.

I expect there are many young adults who wish they could be employed on a super yacht. Imagine the kudos of successfully being selected as one of the crew.

Kitted out with a new set of deck clothes emblazoned with the super yacht logo, you are ready to start work. I can only imagine the reaction when directed to the cleaners cupboard, with instructions to clean the deck, then polish the topsides.

For someone whose bedroom has never been tidied, this could be a bit of a challenge and not quite what they had in mind.

Pick Your Nose

When I was a kid I loved making Plaster Of Paris models. My favourite was Pinocchio but his nose always fell off as I pealed away the mold.
The Tahitians like to make Tiki statues. Many are ancient but more modern ones are springing up in the Papeete Paofai Park .
The Tahitians don’t have a problem with the noses dropping off, they are flat.
Banksy style flat nosed Tiki , recently moulded and spray painted.
Newly finished stone carved flat nosed Tiki in the Paofai Park.
Moulded modern flat nosed Tiki light
No nose, in fact no face. I don’t think that was the intended prominent feature.
Flat faced Tiki in the Paofai Park.

Ginger

The house of Green Ginger was a coffee shop in my UK home town. Green Ginger sounded exotic when I was a teenager in the 70’s . It was the sort of place where I would rendezvous occasionally with my father on a Saturday morning, knowing that he would pay for the coffee and I would get a lift home. The only other ginger thing in my life at that time was my hair.
Fast forward to present day and I’m retired, living with my husband of 36 years on our yacht in Tahiti. I feel very special because I’m regularly presented with a fabulous bouquet of local flowers from the Papeete market.

These locally grown flowers are totally exotic. My previous assumption of exotic ginger being green in colour, went clean out of the window.

Look at the vibrant colours and look at the stunning textures.

A bright glossy red exotic flower bloom filling the frame, with a few green leaves in the background.
The grand ginger flower

Isn’t nature wonderful.

Red torch ginger (phaeomeria magnifica)

Hawaiian golden beehive ginger (zingibar spectabile)

Wild Crape ginger (costis specious)

Giant spiral ginger.

Also Opuhi rose de Tahiti (alpinia purpurata)

Parrots beak (heliconia psittacorum hurcules )

Bag a baguette 

Today I cycled to the supermarket to purchase my groceries and a baguette.

The trick, is to return with the baguette in one piece. This is difficult when I’m balanced on Green Dragon with a heavy rucksack on my back, a saddle bag bulging on the back rack and hanging over the handlebars is a cloth bag full of fruit and vegetables, amongst which sits the 67cms long baguette.

Today I returned with my baguette intact.

I paid 50 xpf for the baguette in Carrefour. Most baguettes in French Polynesia cost 53 xpf. They are all subsidised and mass produced.

President Macron wants UNESCO world heritage status for French baguettes. I don’t think he eats the supermarket mass produced ones which are pretty tasteless really.

Bougainville, the  good old days. 

Weaving through the crowded streets of Papeete today, armed with my baguette, I cross the Parc Bougainville and head back to the Marina.

Ha, how times have changed since Admiral Louise – Antoine De Bougainville‘s days. He was an interesting French chap. Having battled alongside Napoleon against the Brits, he then took to the sea again and became the first French explorer to circumnavigate the world with naturalists and geographers aboard two ships. A bit of a scandal here. Botanist Philbert Commercon had a valet to look after him on board. She was Jeanne Baret his mistress and fellow botanist, however, she had to disguise as a man. Jeanne became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. The pair of them named a flowering plant which they collected in Rio de Janeiro and called it Bougainvillea after their boss. The vibrant flowers reflect the vibrant past.

Bougainville liked Tahiti. He must have been pretty cross to find that a Brit called Wallis discovered Tahiti first. However, he wrote a travel log and the best bit was Tahitian society, describing it as “an earthly paradise where men and women lived in blissful innocence, far from corruption of civilisation”

I dash across the road at the crossing, dodging the vehicles reluctant to stop. It’s a non stop flow of traffic.

I wonder what the great Admiral’s travel log on Tahitian society would say today for his not so earthly paradise. However, the flowers remain vibrant and so does the modern Tahitian society.