Photos: Flying over the South Pacific

Tom de Dorlodot and Horacio Llorens ditch the Alps for island mountains south of the equator.
By Evan David
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Green and blue
Green and blue Tom de Dorlodot soars from an island peak out towards the Pacific Ocean. He and acro-paraglider pilot Horacio Llorens headed to the islands in search of unique paragliding locations. © @Thomas de Dorlodot / Search Projects
Home base
Home base Who needs a hotel when you have a cabin? De Dorlodot and Llorens are living on board a catamaran outfitted for fast cruising. If all goes as planned, it will take them 2,500 nautical miles over two months. © @Thomas de Dorlodot / Search Projects
Oh, hello...
Oh, hello... De Dorlodot comes face-to-face with some local wildlife – but this picture isn't as scary as the story he shared. “I was spearfishing, and had caught a fish,” he says, “Not long after I speared it, three sharks came and ate it right off the spear, directly in front of me.” © John Stapels
By sail or wing
By sail or wing The pilots have had many great flights, but one of the most memorable was flying the length of Nuku Hiva, while the catamaran followed along. © @Thomas de Dorlodot / Search Projects
A clear view
A clear view “One of the most amazing things about paragliding over the Tuamotus is how clear the water is,” says de Dorlodot. “You can really see the coral reefs, stingrays, sharks... everything!” © @Horacio Llorens / Search Projects
Island runway
Island runway What counts for an island in the Tuamotus are often just long strips of sand in the sea. © @Thomas de Dorlodot / Search Projects
Ocean blue
Ocean blue Yes, the water really is that colour. Yes, it really is that clear. Yes, according to Tom, it's as warm as it looks. © @Thomas de Dorlodot / Search Projects
Touch-dock
Touch-dock With paragliding not exactly being a well-established sport in this part of the world, sometimes the boys needed to get creative for launches and landings. © John Stapels
Acro heaven
Acro heaven De Dorlodot says that they have found excellent locations for acrobatic paragliding, giving them the freedom to train and learn various tricks. © John Stapels
Walking on water
Walking on water The intrepid pilots do their best to just get a toe wet. © John Stapels
Jumping in
Jumping in After hacking their way to the peaks with a machete to launch their paramotors, the water must look pretty inviting – especially with the 35-degree heat. © John Stapels
Hungry? Fish
Hungry? Fish When not under their wings, de Dorlodot, Llorens and the rest of the crew are often working on rustling up their dinner – which usually comes in the form of fish they caught themselves. © John Stapels
Going pro
Going pro A camera mounted under the wing provides a unique angle on some acro moves with the paramotor. © Horacio Llorens/Search Projects