Interview: Jason Strickland – French Polynesia
Today’s interview is with our very own company director, Jason Strickland. Jason visited French Polynesia back in February, so we decided to catch up with him and ask how he got on….
Hi Jason, you’ve been wearing your French Polynesia t-shirt ever since you returned to the UK, it sounds like you had an amazing trip?
Yes, it really was a trip of a lifetime. It’s really special to feel isolated on this busy planet. That’s what makes French Polynesia truly magical. That and the hundreds of sharks!
What was your most memorable dive and why?
Fakarava South. I will never forget the white tip sharks using our torch lights to hunt on the reef beneath us to then be joined by hundreds of grey reef sharks. The only way to describe it was being in a current with a river of sharks beneath us.
French Polynesia is known for its challenging diving, how did you find the diving conditions?
No problem. There were plenty of currents which were a challenge but as we were a group of UK divers, we were used to that. The visibility is superb and the underwater topography is fantastic, with an abundant of marine life wherever you look.
You were on M/V French Polynesia Master for 10 days. How was your overall on-board experience?
Fantastic. The crew and the food were amazing on board this monstrous steel vessel. She does lack some of the soft furnishings but overall, she is very spacious, incredibly capable and is a very solid expedition vessel. Whilst operating in a remote location such as French Polynesia, you want to be on a SOLAS classed vessel like this!
Apart from the wall of sharks, was there one particular marine life encounter that you loved? Feel free to say more than one…
The Dolphins at Rangiroa were so friendly and took offence if you didn’t touch them, which of course I did not! One of them was even nick named ‘touch me’. On the ocean side of the pass, the reef plateaus out at 20m into a magnificent coral garden where there were schools of barracuda, turtles and white tip sharks just cruising by.
Would you go back and do a different itinerary? Or have you got something else lined up for your next diving adventure?
I would happily return and spend the rest of my life diving French Polynesia. Call me boring but my goodness it was good!
Header image – © Nadia Aly
Shark image – © Alex Dawson
Boat image – © Nadia Aly
Dolphin image – © Alex Dawson