Lalomanu Beach

We spent Sunday at Lalomanu Beach, the best stretch of sand we’ve found thus far in the South Pacific. Unlike any of the islands we visited in French Polynesia, the reef here abuts the shore directly, creating an easily swimmable lagoon and languorous expanses of peach-perfect sand.

So, as beach-dwellers lounge in the teal shallows, they can watch ocean breakers crashing on the reef the size of which enticed Samoans to surfboards 3,000 years ago. It's a setting that lingers long in the memory.

But don’t think things are all fun and games around here. We're making ready to get underway, meaning I've spent the morning cooking—which was actually awesome because we have access to plenty of fresh food—cleaning the floors, and scrubbing soap scum from the head. It's a lovely day (I'm currently in a cafe, admiring the white cathedral across the bay, drinking a coconut), but it's life.