En-route Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Before we return to Bora Bora to experience Battle Fortress: South Pacific as a cruiser instead of a “normal tourist” let us take a moment to draw attention to a particular little point of interest that we figured out on our first trip here:
But hey, maybe those numbers aren’t hitting you with quite the magnitude that they hit us. It’s in kilometers even, so how far is that? Aren’t kilometers shorter than miles anyway? (PS- yes, they are. 1 kilometer = .62 miles, but still, that’s a long way!) So let’s avoid the numbers for a second and cut to the skinny: after all this time, we’re only half way there, give or take. Even then we’re assuming “there” is Sydney vice Moscow, Europe, India or any other arbitrary point of land. So Tiffany attempted a more graphic presentation to provide some perspective on our total distance traveled vs distance left to go in this ocean.
The word “size” takes on completely new dimensions when you are dealing with the Pacific Ocean. We have previously described to you the continent-sized island nations that are in abundance throughout the Pacific, but we haven’t actually described the size of the ocean itself. When we were working in Coast Guard Pacific Command both of us had the phrase “millions of square miles of open ocean” listed under our responsibilities but that number is just to big to get a grip on. Seriously, can you picture in your mind a million square miles of water?
The Pacific Ocean is the largest single body on our planet. You mean body of water, right? No, no we don’t. We mean the largest body of ANYTHING on our planet. North America pales in comparison, the Atlantic Ocean really shouldn’t share the same last name and Asia isn’t much more than, if you’ll excuse the somewhat appropriate pun, a drop in the bucket compared to the vastness of the Pacific. In fact, speaking of continents, we have been told that if you took every single scrap of dry land on Earth and put it into the Pacific, you’d still have room for a second Africa!
One of the things we learned on this journey is that some things cannot be accurately described…or even filmed. How do we describe to you a barren desert larger than anything else on this Earth filled with salt water? How do we show you what it feels like to know you are on a 50 foot ship and that for days, if not weeks, the closest point of land in any direction is two miles straight down? Everest could get dumped into this ocean and no one would ever find it!
This ocean borders our home country. In the past it has protected us and even today she feeds us. We have sailed her for quite a while now, but nowhere near as long as many others have. The Pacific is huge, diverse and amazing…and we’ve only come less than half way across her.