Picking a location for a pearl farm amongst the 118 different choices is not easy. Fortunately for us you can say that fate had its way.
My great grandfather owned schooners that sailed the many ports open for business at that time, selling everything from clothing, rice, dried foods and rhum, and taking back coprah and mother-of-pearl shells back to Tahiti. I remember my grandmother telling me how she became a seamstress at an early age, to make shirts for the Islanders.
One of his expeditions took him to Takaroa, where he purchased three motu, or small islands in that Atoll.
Fast forward to modern times, no one in the family really knew what motu he had purchased. They only knew that he had. After two years of digging in the office of land affairs I was able to piece together a coherent set of documents that proved my great grandfathers ownership.
Another battle then ensued to get the permits to begin oyster farming and pearl farming.
With papers and permit in hand we literally airdropped ourselves on one of the motu with two tons of gear and equipment, two boats, and a crew of 8.
That’s how it all began.
On land we try to give second and third lives to everything. We try not to throw anything away. Even broken buoys get a second life as planters. We reuse rope, recycle as much as possible, avoid plastic bottles and plant our own vegetables.
Nature and it’s impact on our daily lives. We try to live off the land and sea as much as is humanly possible. We try to go to the ship to buy as little as possible. We spear fish every Friday to fill our freezers which will nourish ourselves, the 8 cats and 13 dogs, and the family back home in Tahiti.
@ TAHITI TOURISM / Grégoire Le Bacon
What most impacts us directly is lack of rain. We have gone through dry spells that lasted nearly 6 months. We have also watched powerless as hurricanes destroyed our farm several times.
It is a hard life, but a beautiful one and in this day in age with Pandemic’s and crazy people abroad, it is a paradise to behold.