Motu Ninamu Resort on Tikehau, a coral atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia.
OFF THE GRID
What does this really mean and would you do it for your next holiday? Like the idealization of living life in perfect peace and harmony, going to bed when the sun goes down and rising at dawn for no other reason than 'to enjoy the day'. Many will put their hand up to the suggestion, some will conjure up images of glamping but what I'm talking about is stepping off the wheel. The daily grind that seems to govern our every thought, determines how well we do or don't sleep at night and robs us of the very life we were born to experience.
Tahiti is like a familiar friend, we have weathered many storms (epic swells) together. But this part of my trip to the South Pacific was a little different, this time I was being joined by my girl Selina for a special holiday. Our destination was Ninamu (Nee-Nah-Moo) Resort on a friends island, and we couldn't wait to get there.
It's no secret, I travel everywhere with my camera and water housing, so yes, you guessed it, we went snorkeling, diving with manta rays and feed the local fish. Even a trip to Bird island was a photo opportunity too good to miss and yes, there was surf. A left and a right at the pass, almost a private break we shared with the local dolphins.
My long time good buddy Chris, had become somewhat of a Tahitian local over the years, so it seemed only natural for him to build the island resorts bungalows from local materials. Coconut tree thatched roofs, coral and pink sand mortar walls - my kind of luxury accommodation. Safely surrounded by a coral reef, this unique destination was run on island time. We ate organic locally sourced and in season fruit and veg, and in the evening dined like kings on freshly caught fish prepared by the island chef.
You just never know what you'll encounter on each trip, sometimes I shoot active lifestyle in and on the water, other times I'm sitting in a boat in the channel at Teahupoo shooting the action of a big swell. This trip was on the back of a previous surf trip, so I had all my gear packed in the Pelican cases. Lenses, cameras, water housings and lighting equipment, lets just say excess baggage $$$
This day, we headed out in Chris's boat, destination – Bird Island, for the bird watcher and photography enthusiast, this was photo heaven. I love photographing birds in flight, the contrast of white feathers against a blue sky, the detail of features and those speed blurs.
Nikon: D810 – 80-400 mm f4.5/5.6 lens.
MANTA RAY GALLERY
I've photographed whales and mermaids in Tonga, surfers in Iceland and humans above, below and beyond sea level and this experience was just as rewarding. The manta ray I photographed was a regular at this spot and was making us feel most welcome. It was a privilege to free dive with these magnificent creatures of the sea. They each have unique black to midnight blue markings that contrast on their white (belly) underside that can be used as a form of identification by local divers.
Aquatech: Elite 810 sports housing and large dome and extension port.
Nikon: D810 with Nikkor 14-24 mm f2.8 lens.
Sunsets were for coconut cocktails while floating in crystal blue waters, beach walks around the island and good time laughs shared with new friends. Having lost track of the days, we realised that we eventually had to leave our little secret island getaway and head back to mainland Tahiti - until next time...