Our 28 day trip to the South Pacific was very impressive.
The Marine Expeditions trip included 44 passengers and 27 Russian crew and 8 people associated with the Toronto company Marine Expeditions. We all met up in Santiago, Chile and for most of us the trip ended in Tahiti. Along the way we stopped on 12 islands including Ducie, Henderson, Pitcairn, and a circumnavigation of Oeno.
As for the Pitcairn Island group, the first island we met travelling from the east was Ducie. It is an uninhabited island as are Henderson and Oeno.
Ducie made for a wonderful day.
We returned to the ship and travelled overnight to Henderson Island. One gets permission to land on these islands from New Zealand. We had obtained permission to land on the Northern beach of Henderson and again the weather co-operated. This beach was far closer to being sand than the coral chunks that Ducie presented.
On April 18 we made it to Pitcairn Island. Again the weather was on our side, but even with favourable conditions this is not an easy landing.
It was truly something special to sit and eat with the locals. They are so incredibly hospitable. These people apparently have been very heavily researched and written about throughout history and even though some of the accounts have not been 100% favourable they still make you feel like family. I think all the passengers got a day that will live with them for a lifetime.
The next morning we awoke in the vicinity of Oeno. The winds were fairly high and we circled the island a couple of times. There is a coral reef that surrounds the Motu. Between the reef and the island is a large lagoon. The trick is that you need to find a break in the reef to enter the lagoon. The waves were crashing all over the reef, so there was not a chance to go for a landing.
Map of the Pitcairn Group