Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Forget the fantasy.  In real life French Polynesian women’s attire
is rated PG — even Polynesian dancers.  Traditional dance
costumes are quite beautiful.
Image pilfered from

Conjure up an image of Polynesian paradise and what do you see?  Coconut palms fringing a perfect crescent of sand, lapped by azure waters in the sunshine?  Yep, generally true unless maybe it’s the mucky streets of Bora Bora in an El Nino year (that would include this year when Bora Bora rarely lived up to its postcard picture images during our brief stay there)…. 

Let’s be honest – sure as Gutenburg’s press spawned at least as much porn as bibles, what about Gaugin’s visions of the beautiful and oft bare-breasted women of the South Pacific?  

It’s not hard to find postcards of bare-breasted Polynesian women, and even topless calendars in supermarkets and on display in businesses in Tahiti.  Besides cruisers (for whom skinny dipping is often the first step in water conservation), the onlytopless women one topless woman we’ve seen in our 90 days in French Polynesia was a definite tourist diligently avoiding tan lines on her surgically perfected breasts on Matira Beach, Bora Bora.

For once, Matira Beach aside, I got better eye candy than Wayne.

The only bare chests in French Polynesia are mens, and
generally darned good scenery.
Fortunately for me, the missionaries invading French Polynesia were less concerned or successful in covering up men’s upper torsos than women’s.  Thanks to a love of outdoor athletic activities and just some darned fine genes, let’s just say your average bare chested Polynesian man looks darned good that way.  For anyone who ever sighed lustfully over Tom Cruise playing volleyball in “Top Gun,” trust me, Cruise looks like a piker compared to a typical day on the beach – or parade – or Polynesian games – or Polynesian dancing — among Polynesian men.

As far as the ladies, maybe it’s a sign of the times the Gaugin museum in Tahiti was a series of empty buildings.  For Gaugin fans, in a future blog post, I’ll post my favorite images from Hiva Oa’s Gaugin museum in the not too distant future.

And for the many fit men of French Polynesia – thank you for some really awesome scenery.

Mt. Teurufaatiu viewpoint, Maupiti French Polynesia,
where this blog post was written.
Location Location

Written in Maupiti, our last stop in French Polynesia (S16.26.838 W152.14.690) and set to post while we’re underway on an 1,100+ mile passage to Pago Pago, American Samoa.  We hope to stop for some R&R at Suwarrow in the Cook Islands along the way, though we expect no wifi in that remote location.