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Explorer Jon Bowermaster's dispatches from the deep South (Pacific).
Magellan knew them as the Dangerous Archipelago, a chain laced with pristine, ship-eating reefs. Today called TuamotuTahitian for "distant islands"this 78-island stretch of French Polynesia lies halfway between Australia and South America.
For two months last fall, explorer Jon Bowermaster led a team through this barely populated 900-mile-long (1,450-kilometer-long) archipelago. Navigating by sun and stars, the team had what he called a "Robinson Crusoe existence," including spearing and hooking their dinners; the reefs here pulse with a virtual rainbow of fish and sharks some 400 species strong.
Along the way, they shot through storm-tossed waters, kayaked amid migrating whales, and made contact with some of the world's most isolated cultures.
Next: The Team >>
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Funding for this expedition was provided by the National Geographic Society Expeditions Council. For more information on the Council, its projects, and grants, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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