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Photographer's Note

In the closing days of December 2011, I received a tantalizing email from the the cruise line, Yachts of Seabourn, inviting me to serve as a cultural enrichment lecturer on board the elegant cruise ship Seabourn Odyssey. The cruise was to depart on January 6, 2012 for a twelve day cruise to Papeete, Tahiti, and I would have to give seven lectures during the ship's eight days at sea. (The assignment gives new meaning to the expression "working vacation.") Despite the fact that the cruise was commencing only a week later and I was expected to give so many lectures, I accepted, albeit with considerable trepidation. The legendary American baseball star and popular folk philosopher, Yogi Berra, had expressed a curious aphorism that has long fueled my own decision making process, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" The Roman poet Horace was less ambiguous, when he wrote, "Carpe Diem!" In retrospect, this turned out to be one of the most exciting decisions I've made in years.

Moorea, where I shot this photograph, and Bora Bora 160 miles away, are known as the two most beautiful islands in the world — not just suburbs of Paradise, but Paradise! And the lovely Polynesians, they appear to step out of Gaugin paintings.

In the next few weeks, as I find time, I will submit additional photos from the cruise. I will also begin a new group theme, "PARADISE ON EARTH" with two of my previous photos, "Suburb of Paradise I" and "Suburb of Paradise II". I welcome others to upload photos into the group theme from other genuinely beautiful exotic islands.

If anyone is interested, the titles of my lectures were "The Two Leonardos: and Neither of them DiCaprio"; "Leonardo's Universe", "The Greatest Englishman... Ever", "Patterns in Creativity: Right Brain-Left Brain", "Plate Tectonics and Search for Noah's Ark", "The Evolution of the Calendar: Julian, Gregorian, Maya and the Atomic Clock", and "Einstein: His Life, Work and the Manhattan Project."

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5973 W: 457 N: 10315] (34577)
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