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Thread: KONG IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Default KONG IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Fans, back home again after nearly six weeks on the Rotterdam and on the the old Queen Mary in Long beach.
    The ship, Rotterdam was a well appointed ship, but the service does not come up to Cunards standards.
    I did enjoy the cruise round the islands of the the South Pacific, I set off to meet up with some of my Polynesian and Cook Islander ex crew men. An amazing chain of events and I missed everyone of them,
    We diid four Hawaiian Islands, Hilo, then Lahaina on Maui, The Tsunami came that day. The Long Haired one and I were in the Hard Rock Cafe having a few beers etc, The Police cars came with sirens and loud speakers telling everyone to head for the hills and cruise boat passengers to get back to the ship. We got the tender back and we sailed. The Tsunami arrived around 11 pm, not too big, and swept along the sea front, washing out a few shops and wrecked the marinas and yachts, nothing serious. We sailed to Honolulu on Oahu and the port was closed, all the ships in Honolulu had sailed and the Fleet in Pearl Harbour had put to sea. The US Coastguard kept the port closed until after the Tsunami had been and and gone. So we were around ten hours late getting in. Moored alongside the Aloha Tower. Not much had happened in Honolulu, the Tsunami was around six to eight feet higher than the usual tide, Waikiki Beach had the wave over the sea front and across the road, I went to the beach that afternoon, which is usually very busy and found it empty, not much damage, just a bit of rubbish washed up. Some of the marinas on the Island had been wrecked with the yachts piled up on top of each other costing a few million dollars. If you can afford them then you can afford to lose them.
    Nawilliwilli on Kauai was a lovely place, no signs of the the big wave there.
    Later in the voyage the only other place to see the resuts of the Tsunami was in Nuka Hiva, there are two fjord type bays on the north coast, We went around them, the Tsunami had doubled the width of the bays and then went up the rivers well inland. The industry there, Copra, was badly hit. All the coconut palms had been ripped out and the Copra factory up the rivers had been destroyed and all the stock and production lost.
    Nuka Hiva had been a victim of a Tsunami in 1946, when all the houses had been swept away and many lives lost, So they now had a Tsunami warning siren in town, but two months ago someone in the council said as they hadnt had one for so long they didnt need to replace the batteries in the Siren, so when it came three or four weeks ago, they could not sound the alarm. What a good idea that was.The town had a small wave running through it and hardly anyone knew until it hit. Fortunately only a little damage was done and no one was injured.
    After the Hawaiian Islands we sailed down to Fanning Island in the State of Kiribati. Three days at sea across the International Date Line
    It was an island like no other I have ever seen. a very low lying atoll with a central lagoon. Those people have NOTHING.
    They live on a diet of coconuts and fish with an occaisional pig. They were dressed in rags, they have no water, only a couple of wells but the water plane is at sea level so the water is brackish, they drink coconut milk, they have no sanitation so there is not one toilet on the island, they all go into the lagoon for a crap, we were warned not to go in the lagoon as it is full of it. There is no electricity on the island, no electric lights, no radios, no TV, no computers, there are no shops, no one owns any land, there are no cars, just one old and battered truck, sometimes takes the odd tourist around the better side of the island. so no streets or roads,
    All the children had depending on age, brown teeth, black teeth, no teeth due to a lack of calcium, there is no milk because there are no cows. The `houses` were just a platform with four stanchions of palm trees and a thatched roof, completely wide open, with a mat that rolled down at night for a wall.
    There was a small mission school and one Nurse with obviously no facilites for anything serious.
    I had a bag of blueberry muffins, I gave one each to three young lads around ten years old, they didnt know what to do with them, they had never seen one before, they didnt know whether to throw them, kick them or anything. I had to show them that they should eat them. They didnt seem to understand what the taste was. They dropped them on the ground in the end.
    Her and I had two towels from the ship so I gave them to two other kids, again they didnt seem to know what a towel was and just looked with blank eyes.
    Everything we take for granted today does not excist on that island, I felt so sad for them.
    The capital of Kiribati is two thousand miles away on Tarawa. Once a year a boat arrives from Tarawa to see what is going on there. Not a lot.
    As we left the Island the ship left six plastic barrels for them to collect rain water in and a bag of flip flops and some stores to help out. The Rotterdam is going back there again in September and January and March next year. and said they would take them some gear.
    More of the trip next time
    Cheers
    Brian.


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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Welcome back Brian,you have been sorely missed. I am looking forward to seeing your photo's and hearing more of your tales,speak to you soon,
    BrianD

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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    How do Mr Kong,welcome back to civilisation.

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    Senior Member kevin's Avatar
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    Welcome back, Brian. We have a meet arranged for 30th April - ideal for you to share your adventures with us!

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Hi Kong. Hope you have some photies for us

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    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Welcome back Brian - I too will look forward to seeing your photos.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Before I sailed for Tahiti, where the Mutiny on HMS BOUNTY, was connected to by Mr Fletcher Christian, I went to my Dentist to have my back tooth removed. My Dentist is named Mr Christian. I told him I was going to Tahiti where his namesake had served for six months before the mutiny and I wanted the tooth so I could bury it there and I would forever have a part of me in Tahiti.
    In Papeete, Tahiti, I met and old friend Maruaii Young, Maruaii is a direct decendent of Edward Young, Midshipman on the Bounty and a mutineer who ended up on Pitcairn`s Island with a Tahitian wife after the mutiny. He later died of asthma in 1800, after having some children.
    Maruaii took us to Matavai Bay, where the Bounty had anchored for six months waiting for the Bread Fruit season. It is a beautiful Bay with a Black sand beach.
    Along side the beach in a small park is a huge rock about eight feet tall and a diameter of around four feet, on it is engraved the name BOUNTY, and another panel is the dates of the time she spent anchored there from 26 October 1788 to 4 April 1789, the mutiny started at sea on 28 April 1789 when she was bound for the Indies with the bread fruit plants.
    On the back of the rock is a list of all the names of the crew, starting with Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian, Master. Edward Young, my friends ancestor, was named as a Midshipman.
    Right next to the memorial is a Bread Fruit tree full of the large green fruit.
    An ideal place to bury my tooth, extracted by Mr Christian in Bolton.
    So I dug a hole at the base of the trunk and placed the tooth in it a small piece of stone on top then covered in soil, my friend placed a larger stone on top of that.
    So a part of me, I had the Tooth from the age of six, 70 years ago, is now part of the Bounty`s memorial.
    I felt realy great after that, we sat on the beach at Matavai Bay for a little while and tried to visualise the Bounty at anchor and the coming and going of the crew and islanders all those years ago. It was a wonderful moment.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    On my way to join the Rotterdam in San Diego, we got the shuttle bus from LA airport, LAX, to Long Beach,$17 each for the 23 miles, cheap. The old Queen Mary was sparkling like a new ship when we arrived, just had a good coat of paint from top to bottom. I saw my friend, Spencer, the Reservations Manager and he gave us a great suite on the Royal Suites deck
    It had five rooms, a cabin for the maid, and a box room for the travelling trunks, when she was a liner, a lounge, dining room, bedroom and bathroom. The taps still had the Salt Water Hot and Salt Water Cold, tho` she had the modern fittings for fresh. The suite was beautiful with all the different woods in the furniture and on the bulkheads and very `art decor` and all the original features.
    All the public rooms are still beautiful and very well maintained, The first class dining room, now called the Grand Salon, has the famous Champagne Sunday Brunch, Champagne is flowing continuously, free, and the Brunch is magnificent. All you can eat and drink and it lasts all day.
    The Engine Room is open for self tours with the engineers platform and then the Turbines and the four prop shafts. The steering flat is an interesting place with two steering engines and two steering wheels. a door takes you outside the hull under water and a good view of one of the massive propellors slowly turning with an electric motor.
    The Bridge and wheelhouse is very interesting with all the well polished brass wheels and telegraphs. also the chart room, radio Office and Masters and Officers accommodation.
    In the evening several bars are open, the most popular being the Observation Lounge on the fore part of bridge. with a small band and dancing. The bar prices simmilar to the UK.
    She has several restaraunts, from Sir Winstons on the after end of the boat deck, very posh dining there, the Chelsea, and a couple of others.
    On the first night there I was chatting to the Waiter, and then had dinner for two with a few drinks and wine. I asked for the check, he said `Forget it `.Nice fellow.
    There is a gym and a sauna on board for the keep fit people.
    She is well worth a visit if you find yourself in LA.
    She is moored in a lagoon near by the Dome which once housed the Spruce Goose and is now a terminal for Carnival Cruises.
    On 27 May this year is a big celebration of the Maiden VOYAGE 75 YEARS AGO,.

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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    Silly old Bu**er,yer supoosed to produce photies along with the dialogue. tsk! ruddy amatuers.

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Georgie 's right Brian,get the pictures on site,we're dying to see what the South Seas look like now'
    BrianD

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    I dont have the photies,
    the photo card in my NEW camera made the photos too big, I could not see them myself, I have sent it away to a mate and he is reducing them,
    Why not go and take the photos yourself, the ship is still there and will be for many years to come.
    WHY ABUSE ME?? I AM NOWAY A SILLY OLD BUGGER. I do not abuse you.

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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    Woa,settle down there MrKong...did yer not see the smiley?

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    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
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    We'll be patient Brian. I am glad there will be no close-ups of the tsunami.

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    Senior Member Samsette's Avatar
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    It is good to see you back, Cap'n, and to read the interesting things you write about. You probably wish you were still there, but all good things must come to an end. On the bright side, you did not get mauled by any critters, nor discomforted by any gastrointestinal stuff.
    Any changes to Bolton during your absence? Sorry I asked!

    Welcome back. Maybe I'll check this thread more often.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain kong View Post
    I dont have the photies,
    the photo card in my NEW camera made the photos too big, I could not see them myself, I have sent it away to a mate and he is reducing them,
    Why not go and take the photos yourself, the ship is still there and will be for many years to come.
    WHY ABUSE ME?? I AM NOWAY A SILLY OLD BUGGER. I do not abuse you.
    Kong, George is only joking, 'silly old bugger' is just an affectionate term you might say to someone you know and not meant to be offensive

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    Senior Member kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    Kong, George is only joking, 'silly old bugger' is just an affectionate term you might say to someone you know and not meant to be offensive
    Both he and the 'long haired one' are not too well at the minute - so more Grumpy Old Bugger than Silly Old Bugger. Praying he recovers in time to make the meet-up at the end of the month.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin View Post
    Both he and the 'long haired one' are not too well at the minute - so more Grumpy Old Bugger than Silly Old Bugger. Praying he recovers in time to make the meet-up at the end of the month.
    OK point taken. I am grumpy at the moment, we got a severe virus somewhere over there and had no sleep for ten days now. and we are knackered. we spent last weekend in hospital. we have not seen any relatives or friends yet as we are contaminated and still on medication. Hope this note does not give you all a virus.
    I have not got my photo card back yet, there were 947 photos of the Islands on it and I havent seen them yet.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Hope you are feeling on top form again soon Kong

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    We did two days on the old Queen Mary and two day on when we were homeward bound. Try www.queenmary.com click on all the icons and do a full tour of the ship. there are some good photos of her and the accommodtion.
    An ex Liverpool lady, Molly, who is married to a Canadian and now lives in Winnipeg gave Anne and I a lift in their car all the way to San Diego, only 140 miles or so.
    We sailed from there to the Hawaiian Islands, love those places, I was having a bevy in HOOTERS in Honolulu, and spoke to a fella and he and his wife were from Liverpool and now lived in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Graham and Helen, used to live in Melling near the Racecourse, he was an ex Liverpool Seaman and also went to the Vindicatrix Sea Training School as did I and Brian Daley. So we had a few more bevies and continued on the ship.
    After we left Fanning Island we headed South to the Cook Islands, Tahitian Islands and Paradise.
    Five days later, after crossing the Equator and again crossing the International Date Line, on 17 March giving us two St, Paddys days on a run, we arrived at Rarotonga in the Cooks. I had a friend here who I sailed with on the Tung Tsing, Eddy Tom, another friend who is his cousin and lives here phoned him to say I was on my way to see him. They were both originally from Aitutaki anther Island in the Cooks.
    I looked around for him, no sign. We did a round trip tour of the Island, beautiful. On the way to the tender that takes us back to the ship I stopped a man in the street, `Do you know Eddy Tom?` he said `Yes he is very good friend and last week he took off and went to Aitutaki, three days sail away.`So he had gone to the wrong Island after I had sailed half way round the world to see him.
    Next port was Raiatea an Island with a sister Island Taha`a. Raiatea was the centre of ancient Polynesian culture, there were many ancient sites of of Polynesian legends, the best known is Taputapuatea where the alter was used for human sacrifice and cannibalism
    until the Missionaries put a stop to their games.
    The smaller sister Island Taha`a is 15 minutes away by ferry, and very mountainous, all these Islands are made from huge volcanos.
    It has a beautiful lagoon and palm fringed `motues`, tiny islands.
    that evening we sailed across to Bora Bora, made famous by the film `South Pacific` one of the most beautiful islands in the world with its Bali Hai mountain.the followind day we went for lunch in one of the most famous bar restaraunts, Bloody Marys, very expensive but well worth it. then to a beautiful beach, pure white sand and again fringed with palm trees, a real paradise.
    We then sailed to Papeete on Tahiti, I was supposed to meet another friend, Stanley, he was not there, I asked a man if he knew him, `Yes he is my cousin, here use my mobile phone`, He got hold of Stanley for me and Stan said he was on the Island of Bora Bora, we were there yesterday. So he couldnt get to see me. All that way to see him and missed. His cousin was Maruaii who had taken me to Matavai Bay and the HMS Bounty memorial.
    After Pape` we sailed across to Moorea, 9 miles away.
    I had another friend to see there, Tiko and wife Fifi. He wasnt there, I asked the locals , `Where is Tiko and Fifi,`?
    They said, He has gone to Pape`, [Papeete]. So once again I had to go half way around the world to miss them.
    So we decide to join a small boat that was leaving the Jetty, it was going to a small island down the coast.
    We sailed across the bay round the point with a hotel and several overwater cabins made of bamboo and thatch and across Cooks Bay, where they filmed the "Mutiny on the Bounty" films and the big mountain behind, a beautiful scene, and then past the Intercontinental Hotel, again with overwater cabins, they have glass floors so people think are walking on water.
    Further down the coast the man stopped the boat, it was in shallow turqouise water and there were many large Sting Rays swimming around. He gave us all goggles and snorkals, and over the side I went with a few others.
    I had swum with Sting Rays before in the Caymans and they were very smooth like silk, these were very tough with sharp points all over their backs . I got one around four feet in diameter, fed him a few lumps of fish then hung onto his shoulders while he towed me around. To my amazement a bunch of sharks arrived and started to circle us, they were around 8 feet in length and a beige colour with a black dorsal fin. They circled around for a while and the sting ray was getting very agitated and thrashing his tail. The tail had a blunt end, no sting there, but all the length of the tail, around 4 feet, was covered in tiny spikes or stings. Then suddenly I got a whiplash off him right across my right shoulder to the left side of my waist and up my right fore arm. The stings were tolerable and I continued to swim with him, he didnt intend to sting me but to scare away the sharks, the sharks slowly moved away and then disapeared. When I eventually climbed back on board Anne could see the stings and they appeared to be tiny puncters in the skin, the pain disapeared after a couple of hours, we upped anchor and sailed for the small island where a barbeque was prepared for us, very tasty, chicken and beer. It was a real desert island, palm trees on the beach and good coral reefs around and ideal for the snorkel, swim to the outer reef and then just lie on the water and drift along back into the lagoon watching the corals and angel fish and several Nemos.

    I may get my photos back tomorrow

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    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
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    It would appear that life on small islands is akin to city life on our own largish island. Here visiting relatives is a mere bus or short train ride away. For your pals seem to treat the ocean ferries in the same way we do our buses.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Later we sailed for Rangiroa, Tuamotu. there are 78 Tuamotu islands stretched across hundred miles of ocean, NE of Tahiti. It is one of the worlds four largest atolls. The Coral ring is made up of 240 motus, [islets]
    The colours of the water in the lagoon is stunning and the snorkeling is great. A lot of black pearls are harvested here. The lagoon covers over 630 square miles and you cannot see the other side.
    After a day of snorkeling and walking around the motu we then sailed for Nuka Hiva in the Marqueses.
    A mountainous island made up of several volcanos.we anchored in the Bay of Taiohae and landed at the village, which was also the Capital of the island.. We hired a 4WD Land Rover and went towrds the peak of the mountain, Mt Tekoa, through the forests with sheer drops of a couple of thousand feet on the side of the rough tracks. we came to the end of the track and then walked for a while through the forest, past a huge Ban Yan tree which was hundreds of years old. then we came across the ancient abandoned villages of Hikokua and Tahakia Kamuihei.These date back two to three thousand years to an ancient civilisation before the Polynesians arrived.
    The stones of the villages were laid out in a pattern for the long house, a dance square and the ceremonial and sacrificial sites. many of these stones were huge and must have weighed a couple of tons, It is amzing how they collected them and placed them in the right positions without machinery. The whole lot had many Tiki, statues carved of stone, each one a different design. Most of the Tiki statues were all well endowed, with huge "thingies", I felt quite envious of them, some of the ladies in the party stroked them, `perchance to dream`. One statue was a lady holding a baby hanging by the neck in one hand. Baby sacrifice was quite common. They had these ceremonies where they went to the next village and stole their babies and women, place them on the alter and crushed their skulls with clubs and afterwards eat them. They ate more women than men, I guess they tasted nicer.
    a fascinating place.
    We went down the mountain to the villages of Hatiheu and Anaho on two bays, and saw the damage caused by the tsunami a week or two before. The two bays and up the two rivers were badly damaged and all the palms had been swept away.The industry there was Copra, and it wiped out the crop and damaged all the stock and production of the copra.
    We stopped at the best restaurant in the islands for lunch, Restaurant Hinako Nui, near Hatiheu, The sea food was magnificent with baked Bread Fruit and many other fruits washed down with Hinano beer.
    We made our way back to Taiohae after a journey of 8 hours.
    The sad history of the island is when the island was first discovered by the Spanish the population was almost wiped out, only a handful survived, They had brought `gifts` of Syphilis, dysentry, tuberculosis,
    smallpox, and leprosy. they died by the thousand.
    that evening we sailed for San Diego six days sailing away.
    In San Diego we checked into the Holiday Inn which was very handy, it was directly facing the bow of the Rotterdam, no taxis required, just walked across the road and we were there.
    We stayed for two days, so again facing the hotel was the Maritime Museum which had two sailing ships, the Star of India built in Britain about 150 years ago, a beautiful full rigged ship and still sails around the coast, also the Rose, the ship that was in the movie made by Russel Crow, "Master and Commander", also two old submarines and an old San Fransisco ferry.We had a trip to Del Coronado Hotel where Maralyn Monrow, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon made the film,"Some Like It Hot" very interesting and a wonderful beach.
    The following day we spent on board the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier built in 1945, it had more airplanes on it than we have in our entire Air Force. A full day can be enjoyed aboard her.
    The following day drove up to Long Beach and had another two days on board the finest ship still afloat, the QUEEN MARY. www.queenmary.com we then flew back home. end of.

    During the trip three passengers died on board., and several taken ashore to the ambulance in Hawaii and in Tahiti, On leaving San Diego on the first day one was lifted off by helicopter around 100 miles out.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Here are a few of the 947 photos from Paradise. The back end of the tsunami on Hawaii I got a little wet taking this one., on an Island off Moorea, Cooks Bay in Moorea with the Bali Hai Mountain swimming with the stingrays. dancing girls in Tahiti, my friends Manuraii and wife in Papeete Tahiti , Manuraii is a direct descendent of Edward Young, Midshipman of the BOUNTY, and one of the Mutieers who landed on Pitcairn`s Island with a Tahitian wife, The Bounty Memorial in Matavaii Bay Tahiti where the Bounty anchored for six months for the Bread fruit. Fanning Island singers, they have Nothing but still sing, a lesson to our benefit cheats. there is a statue of TIKI carved around 2 to 3000 years ago by an ancient civilization now extinct on the island of Nuka Hiva.
    Sacrificial stones on Nuka Hiva, men dancing on Fanning Island, two young lady dancers on Tahiti with coconut bras. didnt sell these in Lewis`s. the mountain on BORA BORA. Bread Fruit on Tahiti, what the Bounty went for. They are very tasty when toasted cant get them in England. My tooth is buried under this tree on Matavai Bay.
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  24. #24
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Did you like those?? there are more pictures but not ready yet. I bought a new Olympus camera for this trip but the the lens must be distorted it shows me with little fat legs etc, and more than half of the 947 pics have not come out as they should no colour, and only as thumb nails ,cannot open them . The camera has gone back to Olympus for investigation.

  25. #25
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    Wow ! Looks like you had a marvellous time and such a beautiful place to see. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing them with us.

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