A glimpse of the Pacifican lifestyle, first time gliding, for the author, Taema, over the beautiful landscapes of Tahiti !
It was my first paragliding experience. It was in Punaauia, Tahiti, French Polynesia. It was a beautiful morning. I had just received this paragliding session as a gift from my sister the evening before. She did it on purpose so I wouldn’t have too much time to worry, and would just have to do it the next day.
I was a bit stressed, but managed to sleep without problems.
The fateful day arrived quickly and not before long, I was on the top of a hill overlooking the beautiful lagoon of Punaauia, surrounded by experienced paraglider monitors. The weather was perfect : it was sunny, with a few clouds providing some sheltering shadows, as the sun can be very hot sometimes in these latitudes. The wind was blowing in the right direction.
My pilot, which was to fly me in tandem, was a charming 20 year old Tahitian girl. Obviously, she was far lighter than myself. I wondered if it was secure to have such weight proportions. But I didn’t have much time to meditate on the subject.
I was quite afraid at the taking off, but soon after, my pilot turned out to be a real expert, at least from my own perspective. She was relaxed and comforting. She got us so high using ascending winds, we were able to get back 100 feet over the take off field. We even had enough height to glide over the lagoon, some 1 500 feet away from the shore. I could see stand-up paddlers, far away under my feet. She than gracefully took us back to the landing field near the beach, were she landed us really smoothly.
Thanks to my pilot, and also to my brother, Samy Cuneo, for the editing of the video on a cool music from Gramatik.