Pick One

Polynesia never fails to amaze.

Five and a half months – it’s been a very very good run in French Polynesia.

So long to all this. Mike Litzow

Especially considering that we’re here on three month visas.

Yesterday, walking home from the an internet session at the post, I saw one of those flower trees that you see everywhere in Polynesia. Are they tiare? I think so, but I dunno. Botany isn’t my strength.


I did something that I’ve never done before. I picked one and tucked it behind my ear and strolled on down the street, looking fine, I’m sure.

My shorthand description of Polynesia has always been that it is the place where strangers give you flowers. But I figured, why wait for someone else to do the giving? When’s the next time that I’m going to be in a place where I can wear a flower behind my ear?

They’ll be treasures at sea – and there were bananas too. Mike Litzow

Elias and I have had our last snorkel for the season. We identified three new-to-us species from the pictures that we took – an ID session afterwards is a part of our routine.


What a pleasure, snorkeling with him. I suppose there’s no one who’s so comfortable to do something fun with as your eight-year-old son. May it ever be thus.

For all the talk of the Gambier as being “special”, Alisa and Elias went into the village today in search of local fruit, and were floored by the response they got. A shop owner buried them in gifts of fruit and veg and fresh eggs, just because.

Polynesia never fails to overwhelm.

parrot fish
Parrot fish are our bane. How could we not be able to identify this fish? It seems like it should be so obvious. Mike Litzow

So, yes, as you have no doubt guessed, the weather is looking very good to leave for Chile in a few days, and we’re on our final countdown. I have a painful ear infection and am a bit swamped with finishing science commitments via the very poor internet here, but I’m sure it will all come together, just as it always does.

And, in the midst of our countdown, Alisa took the time to cook a proper Thanksgiving meal for ourselves and our new mates on Windora, who are also heading for Valdivia. It’s not something that I would do on my own, to have people over for a holiday meal a couple days before a three+ week passage. But we all had a great time – Alisa is good at making it happen.

family eating dinner
Alisa can do holiday juice. Mike Litzow

And, that’s us. I’ve got to get some sleep.


The things we’ve done in these five and a half months – they’ll give us memories for a lifetime.

Meet the crew of Galactic: Mike and Alisa Litzow and their sons Elias and Eric. “When we left Alaska to sail to Australia with our toddler for crew, we thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. But then we had our second child, and bought our second boat, and sailed across the Pacific a second time. We’ve been living aboard for seven years now. Sometimes we wonder how long we’ll keep at it, but all we know for sure is that the end doesn’t seem to be in sight just yet.” Follow their story at