Raiatea, Society Islands, French Polynesia
We haven’t given you many glimpses into underway life recently and our journey to Raiatea gave us an opportunity to not only do that but to also educate our Slovenian crewmember on American culture at the same time!
As for the Island itself, look, it’s French Polynesia and we ran out of new adjectives to describe the ridiculous amount of simply jaw-dropingly awesome sights this part of the world has to offer about 3 months ago. Raiatea is unique in that it is the main port for the sailboat charter fleet in French Polynesia, so it is particularly beautiful for recreational cruisers, but we’ll let the slide show do the talking here:
In case you didn’t know, yes, French Polynesia has a “charter fleet.” Which, in case you’re not up on the lingo, is a pretty way of saying “boat rental dealership.” So if sailing for a month straight doesn’t fit into your appointment calendar and jumping on a cargo ship to paradise doesn’t suit your fancy, you can still get the shipboard lifestyle by flying here and renting a boat. We think we’ll stick to the crew thing though, all in all.
One thing stuck out in particular though: the tiny motu with the one palm tree and the shack.
Why? Because it’s awesome, that’s why. If you don’t get it, then we can’t explain it to you. Take it on faith 😉
Finally and most importantly, the singing.
Polynesian culture is not alone in its upbeat approach to Christian worship service music but they are most certainly unique in their delivery on the concept. Though we have had a few opportunities to experience the famous Polynesian worship singing, we have never had an opportunity to record it until now. Tiffany once asked Greg why he liked music that includes wordless chanting. His response was that he loves hearing the human voice as an instrument. If Greg is right and the human voice is a musical instrument, then the Polynesian people have so refined the playing of that instrument that even their common churches have mastered the art. These people are not professional singers nor are they tourism professionals, they are the typical church choir one finds on a given Sunday warming up for the service:
Maybe it’s because of the speed of the music, or the strong use of the male voice used as a baseline with the soaring women’s voices blended into the song or maybe it’s just because Greg was a base in a Catholic choir a long time ago but whatever the reason, we love the energy, the tempo and, for lack of a better term, the instrumentality of this music. We recorded a lot more of their singing. If you all are interested in hearing more from this service, shoot us a line and we’ll post it up on youtube.