Getting Started

We are going to spend 8 weeks traveling across the Pacific, with stops in Tahiti, Ra’iatea, the Marquesas, the Tuamotu Archipelago, Tonga, Hawai’i, New Zealand, and Vanuatu.

The itinerary is designed to take us to:

  • two points of the Polynesian triangle (Hawai’i and New Zealand);
  • a center of ancient Polynesian culture (Tahiti, Ra’iatea);
  • one of the earliest Polynesian settlements (Tonga);
  • and the most famous Lapita cemetery in the Western Pacific (Vanuatu).

We will also be getting a feel for the geology of the Pacific by visiting volcanic or high islands (Tahiti, Hawai’i, Vanuatu); a makatea island of uplifted coral (Tonga); continental islands (New Zealand); and, most excitingly for me, a low island, or atoll (Rangiroa).


The party consists of me, my husband, Seven, and our three sons: Abraham, Matiu, and Dani.  We will be leaving Boston at the end of June and will be posting stories and pictures as we go. Check in with us periodically to see how it’s going!

Um, we’re not actually sailing…


Published by


Editor of Harvard Review and author of "Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia" and "Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All."

23 thoughts on “Getting Started”

  1. This is one of the most creative and adventurous projects a family can ever do, so I will look forward to your updates!

  2. Hi Christina,
    What a fantastic voyage! We will follow it eagerly. Having read Come on Shore (and loved it!), I feel very drawn to the places you will be going. Bon voyage to all of you!

  3. You all are HOT products. We are watching you with a keen eye. May you all have a rich and blessed trip. And, may you find what you are looking for and also a lot of the wondrous and unexpected. We are working away here, futilely trying to measure up to Seven’s workmanship.

    big hugs,


  4. My goodness, Christina! What a daring venture! I am hopeful that you are not doing this on one of the ancient hollow-hulled catamarans–or, if so, that Seven knows what he’s doing. I am signing up to keep track of your progress and wish you all Godspeed. Or, as the Irish say, “may the wind be always at your back…and God hold you in the hollow of His hand” until we meet again.
    Have a fabulous time1 What a learning experience for the boys–and the author!
    Fondly, Gwynne

  5. Christina–Your adventure sounds great! When in NZ, and if in Taranaki, give us a shout. I will be doing something similar during the month of August. I fly to California, where I will board the Dawn Princess and sail back to NZ. I have been selected to be Princess Cruise Lines Pacific War historian, with stops in Hawaii, several ports in French Polonysia, Samoa, and then debark in Auckland.

  6. Wow, Christina! What an adventure! Hope you’r not in one of those ancient catamarans–or that Seven knows what to do with one. Great learning experience for you all and great book idea. Congratulations and Godspeed,

  7. Hi Chris and Seven and all the guys . . . I didn’t realize how extensive your research expedition would be . . . how exciting! . . . it’ll be so good to have some time with you again when you touch base in Hawaii in Aug . . . and Dani, what stories you’ll have to share with David . . . until we see you all: SAFE AND HAPPY SAILING! Lowell

  8. How exciting and fantastic! So just the 5 of you are sailing together? Regardless, I hope it goes smoothly and wish you the best of luck.


  9. How exciting to be on your voyage!!!! Wish I was there rather than working in a classroom in East Oakland. However, I will come often to see your progress and pictures. Much luck in your adventure and may you enjoy the journey.

    Ofa atu, (With Love,)
    Ana Uasike

  10. Dear Christina,

    What a wonderful trip! From my small study in Los Angeles I envy you all and hope to keep track of your travels. Do you have your own small boat? (I hope not.)



  11. Wonderful to hear from you again: best wishes from me & Winifred in wintry Armidale: O to be in the South Pacific, now that winter’s here.

    1. Nice to hear from YOU Michael. Wish we’d had a lot more time in Oz. Melbourne was chilly but still wonderful, but it was simply absurd to try to visit in four days a place where you’d spent 15 of your most formative years. I MUST get back there…one of these days. Anyway, you can always reach me at Harvard Review — — when this adventure’s over. Cheers, C.

  12. Hi Christina,
    Sounds like a great adventure. Thanks for posting the blog. I look forward to hearing more.
    Hi to Seven and the family.

  13. What an incredible trip. I’m really enjoying the daily entries. The pictures are great and your descriptions of the cultures and geography of the islands (and airports!) are really interesting.

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