Tuesday, July 14, 2015

First few days in Bora Bora

We had a nice afternoon sail to Bora Bora. There wasn't quite enough wind so we used the motor, along with the sails, to give us an extra push. We could see Bora Bora in front of us the whole way. Somehow that makes it a bit nicer and a bit easier. 

Bora Bora is a rugged volcanic island surrounded by a coral reef. The mountain is quite spectacular and the waters are beautiful. Heather hadn't been to a beach in French Polynesia yet and didn't get to go to any beaches when she visited us in Mexico! Most of the nice beaches on Bora Bora have resorts on them and are private, but there is one nice public beach. We anchored nearby, packed our dinghy (Tubby) with a picnic lunch, some beach towels and books, and spent a lovely afternoon on the beach.

Back at the boat we moved for the night to a mooring ball in front of the famous restaurant bar "Bloody Mary's". The idea is that they provide the mooring balls and you go in and spend money. We checked our shoes at the door (the entire floor is sand) and went to the bar where Dina ordered a Bloody Mary, Malcolm ordered the little known Spiced rum and Dr. Pepper, and Heather ordered a tall blue thing with a piece of fruit on the rim.

During WW2 there was an American base on Bora Bora and there are a few remnants of their stay. In addition to the huge airport runway and some decaying concrete docks, there are some gun installations. We moved the boat north to get closer to one of these and a nearby marea with petroglyphs. Malcolm and Heather went exploring while Dina stayed on the boat (it was too deep to anchor securely). The petroglyphs were not that great, but the gun installation provided a great view and a reminder of how things were in the past.

The annual Heiva was in full swing while we were in Bora Bora. During the day there are sports, crafts and agricultural contests such as javelin throwing, weaving and fruit production. At night there are choral, dance and orchestral contests. The evening events are quite elaborate. The dancers' costumes are impressive and the mostly drumming orchestras are intense.

After visiting 4 islands, Moorea, Raiatea,Tahaa and Bora Bora, Heather took the high-speed ferry to the airport in Bora Bora for her flight to Tahiti and then home to Victoria.