We Discover Ninamu in Tikehau

On Monday I made a trip in the dinghy to a motu in the lagoon that sometimes has manta rays feeding. Although I didn’t see any while there, I did explore the coral reefs and fish, and explored around the island. A flock of birds were flying over one area and I quickly took the dinghy over and looked to see a large school of jacks feeding in the area. Got a close look with my dive mask as well. It was freaky watching large schools of fish swarming like that up close.

Back at the boat, we started the project to re-organize the aft cabin so Jason and Lara can move there while our guests visit next week. We had temporarily stored months of food in this area – over half of which has been consumed. Unfortunately, several boxes of pasta and some flour were being consumed by weevils. This prompted a trip to take trash ashore.

Around noon, Jason and I took the kite aerial photography equipment to a small island and took some photos of the island. We also decided to explore a large beautiful looking motu and discovered a number of “hidden” structures in the island. We had noticed it when we first arrived to Tikehau a few days earlier.

Using the dinghy we found a boat channel leading to a small boat mooring area with two boats (one obviously set up for fishing). The owner of the island walked out to the beach to greet us – along with several healthy looking dogs. Turns out he is an Australian named Chris who has spent the last three years with his Tahitian wife building a nice little resort on this island he owns with a partner of his (who happens to be the founder of Billabong). He gave us a tour of his island and it is an amazing place! They call it Ninamu (which means “blue” in the local dialect) – and they had just opened for the first time a week earlier. Visit their web site to see lots of pictures and information. The architecture of the place is amazing. Mostly local wood – every structure is custom and unique. Sprial staircases to raised bedrooms, interesting window views through palm trees to the lagoon, canopy beds, open showers with tiled coral rock, and more. They use coral rocks for decorative walls, and in some cases entire ceilings. They’ve built an excellent small recreation building with a restaurant, bar, sitting area, library, and TV/movie area.

Chris is a diver, fisherman, and surfer. Jason was in heaven when he saw his surf board building – he must have had 30 boards in there! They spent several minutes talking about the best time of year to be surf in Tikehau (Nov/Dec) and what its like in Tahiti right now. Chris was nice enough to invite us to bring Lara and Karen over later for a tour and beer. Karen and Lara were really impressed, and we had an excellent hour or two visiting with them.

We also found out Ninamu uses solar power for electricity, and rain caches plus reverse osmosis water processing. Very environmentally friendly. We all had to leave Ninamu when we heard the wind pick up ahead of an approaching squall – it was getting dark anyway. But, we had a great time learning about Ninamu.

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