" God created the sea and painted it blue so we'd feel good on it ", Bernard MOITESSIER winning the first solo race around the world shunned the finish lines rituals and decided to pursue his journey, sending this message to a passing freighter: " I sail on non stop to the Pacific Islands, because I am happy at sea, and perhaps also to save my soul ". He spent two years in Papeete abord his boat where he wrote La longue route (The Long Way). Then after a two-year trip aboard the Joshua, he returned to Polynesia on the atoll of Ahe. He lived a traditional life in Poro Poro and in 1978, he settled in Moorea. After spending ten years in Polynesia, he sailed away to Mexico, as for him " a boat means freedom, not just a way to go somewhere ". Caught in a hurricane off the cost of Mexico Joshua got shipwrecked. Moitessier sailed again on a new boat " The Tamata " to Hawaii and Papeete. Back in Paris, he spent six years writing his memoires Tamata and the Alliance, he wrote the last pages in Raiatea. His books describe, in simple terms, his love of the sea and his attraction for peaceful island life.
Way before Moitessier, Herman Melville who arrived in the Marquesas in 1842, wrote about his Polynesian adventures. Jacques London in his time had a 60-foot boat built, the Snark, for a cruise that brought him to Hawaii, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Fiji and Sydney " when you are a sailor, it is for life. The taste of salt water never leaves you " More
Alain Gerbault, haunted by the example of Jack London and his writings aboard the Snark, leaves France for a trip around the world on his boat, the Firecrest, in April 1923. When he reaches New York after 102 days of difficult sailing, he is already famous. In 1926, he leaves again for Bermudas, Polynesia, the Tuamoutu and Tahiti. His reputation is universal, for him Polynesia is synonymous of beauty, dreams and solitude: : " along the West coast of Tahuata, the twin bays of Iva iva nui and Iva iva iti seduced me with their white sand and green vegetation. It is one of the rare times where I had the desire to own land. I certainly would love to live there, if I had not chosen to live on the seas. ". On his last sailboat " the Alain Gerbault ", his life broke down on a coral reef in 1941 at the age of 48. His remains were brought to Bora Bora, where he had lived for 9 years, and a monument was erected to his memory in 1951 in the small village of Vaitape More
André Ropiteau a famous wine merchant from Burgundy (a commerce whose tradition perdures) born in 1904 in Meursault discover Tahiti and Maupiti suring a trip around the world. He married Tauaroa and conducted his business while enjoying life in Maupiti, the most remote of the Society Islands. He built a house in Maupiti, a house that he described in his book mon île Maupiti (Maupiti, my island): " a lone coconut tree will swing his fronds above my roof; the view will stretch to the reef, the pass' motu and the nearby mountain ". Jacques Boullaire illustrated these texts. André Ropiteau took many photographs, which allow us to know how people lived in those days.
Paul-Emile Victor born in 1907 had two dreams he wanted to live: explore the polar regions and live in Polynesia. He traveled in Bora Bora in 1958 and settled there in 1977 on Motu Tane. While there, he worked on books, drawings and paintings. Starting in 1982, 16 exhibitions of his drawings were organized (Geneva, Tahiti, Montréal). He died in 1995 at his home on the islet. Following his will, his ashes were scattered off Bora Bora from the Navy ship Dumont d’Urville.
Antoine, a French singer, who became an adventurer, regularly uses the medias to send news and pictures about his stays in the islands, namely on his site www.antoine.tv . " It is difficult to find a more famous island name and one that brings up more dreams than Bora Bora, these two repeated syllables carries in themselves all the magic of Polynesia's most beautiful islands: sharp mountains with slopes overflowing with tropical vegetation, a belt of coral reef, sparkling islets and an extraordinary turquoise blue lagoon. "Antoine also beautifully describes the Marquesas, the Gambier and the Tuamotu.