The equator divides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean. However, there are exceptions to this geographical rule. The Galápagos Islands and the Gilbert Islands, while they both straddle the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific. Much of the ocean is at least 4,280 metres (or over 14,000 feet) deep. The Mariana Trench in the North Pacific is the deepest water point in the world. The trench has a record depth of 10,911 meters (35,797 feet).
The peoples of Asia and Oceania have travelled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. The original Melanesian and Polynesian tribes were probably the world’s first extreme sailors. They designed boats to enable them to cross the, sometimes treacherous, waters between the islands. A Tepukei (meaning an ocean-going canoe) was far more technologically advanced than craft being built by other world cultures, at that time. They were the world’s first famous navigators. Europeans first sighted the eastern Pacific in the early 16th-century. Explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513. He discovered the great “southern sea” which he named Mar del Sur (being Spanish). Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan coined the ocean’s current name. During his Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, he encountered favourable winds when he reached the ocean. He named the great sea Mar Pacífico, (Portuguese and Spanish) meaning “Peaceful sea”.
The Pacific Ocean has many perfect islands.
There are three major groups of islands in Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. According to the historians, the first people migrated (or drifted) here from South East Asia as far back as 420 BC. Many of the islands are east of Australia, north of New Zealand. Evidently, the Pacific Islanders developed a twin-hulled canoe as a bespoke vessel to take on the currents of their seas.
In English, the all-covering name of the “Pacific Islands” can take on several meanings. Usually, it only refers to those islands covered by the continent of Oceania. However, sometimes the term “Pacific Islands” can also refer to all the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Over the centuries, the British, French, Dutch, and the United States colonised the more significant islands. Many other islands within the boundaries of the Pacific are not part of the area of Oceania.
With so many to chose from, the best-known islands appear to be: the Cook Islands, Fiji Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, French Polynesia Islands, the Soloman Islands, Easter Island and, of course, the Islands of Hawaii. All will offer a warm island welcome, but some are more modern and popular with tourists than others.
Much of the time, these islands are close to paradise, as any visitor will agree. Consequently, the famous actor Marlon Brando took one look at Tahiti, back in the 1950s, and immediately bought an atoll just 30 miles northeast. “The Brando” on Tetiaroa is still an exquisite private resort of villas surrounding a natural lagoon.
Chartering a Yacht in this palm tree-studded, exotic location is nothing short of a fantasy for most people. Imagine a clear blue sea, beautiful beaches, and almost always perfect weather, with gentle winds. Your local Yacht Charter company will check weather forecasts and advise you whenever it is not advisable to sail. When the weather turns, it really means it – getting caught out in bad weather is not a good idea.
How can one describe this vast part of the world, which lies mainly in the southern hemisphere? Asia-Pacific is an often-used term for the part of the world that is either in or near to the Western Pacific Ocean. The name for the region generally includes much of East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.
However, there appears to be no exact definition of “Asia Pacific” and the regions included can change, depending on the context. The expression also sometimes comprises Asia and Australasia, plus all the Pacific island nations. Bizarrely, Western Asia is rarely considered part of the area -despite being part of the Asian Continent!
World region acronyms
Groups of countries or regions are now often referred to by a word or acronym. Mostly, these terms are necessary when talking about these vast areas for either political or business reasons. For example, EMEA means “Europe, Middle East and Africa”. In the case of Asia-Pacific, the term is APAC. The acronym for Australia (including Tasmania) and New Zealand is ANZ. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a panel for 21 Pacific Rim member countries. The idea behind it is to promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region, rather like the European Union.