Tauna, my favorite Motu
After last minute chores in Rikitea (buying carrots, eggs, baguettes, calling the water maker company) we sailed across Gambier’s 15 mile wide lagoon, weaving between a handful of tall islands. We were headed for the outer fringe of the coral reef, which is occasionally submerged, and in places is peppered with little islands of sand and vegetation: these are called motus, or ‘flat reef islets’. We were looking for a little motu called Tauna (Ta-oo-nah).
Approaching Tauna was something out of a dream. Surrounding it were most incredible shades of clear blue water: teal, turquoise, cobalt. They enveloped a cluster of green palms and other foliage rising out of the small, low-lying islet. When you think of any stereotype of “paradise”, this is what you picture. We couldn’t help but all get infected with what I’ll call paradise-itis, and it felt like my trip to the islands had officially begun.