On the last day before we left Manihi, the weather was perfect at last to take aerial photos. I’m taking aerial photos of some of the places we visit and our partner Google is putting them into Google Earth (see this example). I wanted to attempt to photograph the Manihi pass and part of the village. It turned out to be difficult to get the pass due to the wind direction, and the tightly packed streets of the village east of the pass. Instead, we walked up the street on the edge of the village from the pass working our way east of the marina they are building. This gave us a strip of photos from above of the northern edge of the village.
The best part of this photo shoot was the opportunity it gave us to meet people in the village. We started by parking our dinghy near Fernando’s house. Fernando is the guy who helps sailors visiting the island have a really unique experience in Manihi. He is also the leader of the Mormon church at the island, and runs his own pearl farm. Fernando is a great guy and genuinely wants all sailors to have a great visit to Manihi. He let us set up our gear on a table outside his house and even made us some snacks and drinks as we described our plan.
As soon as we set up the kite, people – especially the kids – started walking up to ask what we were doing. Even though we didn’t speak their language very well, they soon grasped the concept. The kids all wanted their photo taken, and were particularly excited when I asked them to help pull the string when we were retrieving the kite after our flights. We had to watch out for telephone poles and trees, and I was trying to get some oblique photos of the area in addition to the straight down shots which will be put into Google Earth later. We explained this to some of the locals and they even asked what web page to watch – so I gave them our boat card with the URL for Tahina Expedition. Everyone was smiling and laughing at this crazy way of taking photos.
Here are some photos from the kite aerial shooting – including some of the kids, and pictures showing the village and surrounding area from the kite.