Saturday, May 12, 2007


It's that time of year in Los Angeles when you can occasionally detect the scent of night blooming jasmine over the odor of cars and smog. This year, with the devastating fires that we've experienced, the familiar aroma may have changed a bit, but, the calendar doesn't lie. It's time for a well deserved break! Start thinking....VACATION!!

As you can see from my usual photos, I like to be where there's something good to capture in my camera lens. The fairly recent addition of a Sony Alpha A-100 digital SLR to my photography arsenal, only makes me more eager to get out there and shoot some great pictures of anything that I can find (preferably on a beautiful deserted beach.) Of course, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't hoping to get a couple of new lenses to go with my new gear, but, Woo-Hoo!! on the new acquisition!!

This year's a little hectic, so, we may have to bypass the amazing shores of Tahaa in French Polynesia (see above photo of deserted lagoon), and pack up the 4x4, dogs, cameras and lenses for something a bit more local. Yosemite is always a photo favorite. Ansel Adams was no slouch, and, his favorite photo spot is definitely worthy, but, the onset of summer usually means, the onset of the hoards. Not exactly my idea of an escape. Anyway, I'm not ready to give up on an island just yet, but, it doesn't look too good right now. Still, I'll keep one of the over 100 Tahitian islands and the Bahamas Out Islands on the back burner, just in case! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

One of the most memorable "photo moment" vacations that I've ever had, was on Ahe, which is part of the Tuamotus in French Polynesia. We stayed at a cute place called the Pension Coco Perle. Our plane landed on what was questionably referred to as their "airstrip", but, the pilot, showing vast experience with landings in extreme circumstances, brought us down smoothly.

We were greeted with a friendly smile and hopped aboard our "water taxi" (small motor boat) and went for the fifteen minute ride across the most amazing lagoon.

What a pleasant surprise to arrive at the most perfect beach, and, to find out that we were the only guests on this tiny motu (island)!! The hostess/owner, Emmanuelle, made us feel as though we were "visiting royalty", with her daily gourmet meals served for breakfast, lunch and dinner (all on the beautiful beach.)
There were too many photographic opportunities. Sunsets were so stunning that I couldn't take enough pictures and the moonlit night sky was so clear and bright that we were able to watch rays float gracefully by as we sat on the edge of the pier.

This island, as part of the chain known as the "Tuamotus", was formed by long-extinct volcanoes. As a result, they commonly have very clear relatively shallow interior lagoons, which are surrounded by small islets or motus that go in a circle where the mouth of the volcano once rose from the sea. This is where you will find the farms that produce the world-famous Tahitian black pearl. The lagoons are generally warm and gentle compared to the MUCH DEEPER and rougher water on the ocean side of the motus. I definitely preferred the lagoon.

Well, hopefully, I'll have another island adventure to tell you about soon. If not, the "getaway" may have to take another form, but, it will be just as much fun! Take care!

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