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During February, 2000, Bill & Betty Whipple and Bill & Lu Whitney journeyed to Tahiti to enjoy a 17 day cruise aboard the Copra Freighter 'Aranui'. The 'Aranui' which means "The Great Highway" in Maori is the main freight link between the Marquesas Islands and the rest of the world. The 343 foot vessel makes 13 runs a year from Papeete, Tahiti to the Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands. It is capable of up to 100 passengers with 30 foreign guest cabins and Islanders travelling as deck passengers. It normally visits the six major Marquesas Islands, Rangiroa and Takapoto in the Tuamotus.

Bill & Betty Whipple were returning after being there 25 years previously on their sailboat, "Tyee". Betty has documented their voyage in her book "Tyee", which many adventuring sailors and others have read. (a copy is now in the Aranui library) Bill & Lu Whitney celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary while on the cruise.

The passengers on the February cruise were a cosmopolitan group including representatives from French Polynesia, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, England, Canada, and the U. S. We were most fortunate to have one of the owners family, Sophie Wong, on board. Solphie is a very charming lady who added much to the enjoyment of all the passengers. Other notable passengers included Larry McMurtry, noted American author/ producer, and Sir John & Lady Fredrica Colfox from England.

Following are pages of digital photos taken during the cruise. The resolution has been drastically diluted to reduce the amount of memory required with intent to provide faster downloading but which results in lower photo fidelity. I do have high resolution individual photo files which I can furnish upon request. Names of individuals are given where readily remembered. I would appreciate assistance in additional names. Please reply by E-mail and refer to the photo number. Reply to:

Bill Whitney/ 26 February 2000

1.Arriving Papeete, Tahiti
2.Welcome at Papeete airport
3.Welcome band at Papeete airport
4.Papeete Harbor
5.Classic Government Building at Papeete
6.Dinner at Papeete Dock
7.Aranui passengers Ken & Marjorie Payne
from Victoria, B.C., Canada
8.Surfers off south Tahiti shore
9.Arahoho Blow Hole Park
10.Park sign
11.Tahiti Nui coast from Tahiti Iti
12.Valley near Faaone, Tahiti
13.Tiki at Paul Gauguin Museum
14.Beach at Takapoto, Tuamotu Islands

The Tuamotu islands result from a single upthrust coral island, a dozen fairly large atolls and numerous small atolls and reefs. The islands are mostly of extremely low elevation. The economy is based on a cultured black pearl industry and copra harvest.

15.Typical Takapoto home
16.Betty Whipple, Lu Whitney, Sophie Wong
17.Village Elder at Takapoto
18.Whaleboat with Aranui passengers
19.Whaleboat with Aranui passengers
20.Lu Whitney

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