Early in the morning we arrived at Butaritari Atoll, one of the thirty-three coral atolls and reef islands that form the Republic of Kiribati. A lovely, lush island forest with white sand washed by turquoise water could be seen from National Geographic Resolution. A morning rain didn’t discourage our guests to land, on the contrary it was taken as a blessing and tropical welcome to this hidden paradise.

We landed ashore right after breakfast. The Community of Ukiangang had gather on the beach to receive us. Lovely smiles were all over their faces and the excitement of having visitors to the village was a big event for them, as well as for us. They received us with dances and lovely songs.

They were so eager to show us around, so we hopped onto trucks and we drove throughout the village. They took us to a nice beach where they are developing a mangrove forest. Another important site for them was the memorial for those inhabitants that had lost their life in the crossfire during World War II, between the Japanese and the US army.

We ended our morning visit at City Hall. Here the village performed for us traditional dances and a big party was held. Our guests participated with so much joy. This remarkable event will last forever in our memories.

Back on board we repositioned to the northern part of the atoll, Bikati. This location is part of a marine protected area, so right after lunch we went snorkeling around this special place. The glass bottom Zodiac was also used to explore the underwater world.

At the end of the day, we all gathered in the lounge to share our thoughts about the wonderful day we had in this small place in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean.