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Alain Gerbault

 Bora Bora's first lover

CLICK to enlarge.In 1923, tired of a hectic and futile life style, Alain Gerbault decided to sail solo across the Atlantic. Covered with fame after this uncommon performance at the time, he distanced himself even more from civilization and made sail for a trip around the world in 1925. Aboard the Firecrest, his famous sailboat, he discovered the South Seas Paradise and Bora Bora, in 1926.

Seduced by the people of the island and by the scenery, he settled there a few years later, from 1933 to 1940, while continuing to sail the world's oceans. During his journeys, he met a world that he made his, the world of island people, people who are satisfied with little and live in harmony with the ocean. Prematurely dead in 1941 in Timor, his ashes were repatriated to Bora Bora, « the most beautiful of the islands » that he visited. Alain Gerbault's grave is located in front of the Vaitape dock, on the site of an ancient marae. A plaque installed by the sailors of the ”Lotus” display a cameo style portrait of the great navigator, who inspired so many followers.

His books and his photos, describing the old-fashioned charm of our islands, contributed to Polynesia's attraction for many other pacific modern times adventurers.

Island of Bora Bora

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