We continued our exploration to the South side of Raiatea, and quietly motored in the lagoon for 7 miles this morning amazed by the various contrasts of blue and the juxtaposition of green from the hills around us, truly it was magnificent. In a deep blue color we dropped our anchor in the sand near Oatara’s motu, all around us was 4 ft. of water with no coral head a rather splendid effect of purity.
While seating at the bow and enjoying a drink we mentioned that the dive was ok but not amazing. We all stopped in our track and said “Wait a minute we are in French Polynesia enjoying life; some people actually dream about this! We must stop taking it all for granted”. It is true that everything becomes the norm too quickly in life, you get accustomed to things, every other sailor we meet does the same thing and in the end we take these spectacular moment as our new normal. Surely it was an enlightening moment; isn’t it incredible how this little specie of ours the so called “human being” is just conditioned that way… So let’s enjoy the moment.
It will be good to have some visitors soon, they will remind us how truly lucky we are.
The panorama option doesn’t like when there is nothing to grab on visually, so here is our best attempt to share with you the visual.
As the sun disappeared and a front engulfed us, we didn’t find better place than the end of a fjord to locate ourselves; but three hours of gloom, we decided to get out and are now in Uturoa at the public dock.
Another reason to be here? We only have one month of propane left out of the six we usually carry, Valerie is starting to feel “nauseous” about it, and we will remedy this tomorrow.
After a rudely interrupted night due to some strong wind and nothing to hold the anchor, we slept like a charm and woke up with a beautiful blue sky. Read we dragged at midnight but were aware of it, thanks to the “Drag Queen” app on Valerie’s nexus running at all time when the conditions are not optimal, thankfully the anchor reset itself…
We are having beautiful weather, and by now you know what that means? Indeed, laundry day to start on a positive note. But let us reassure you that we took the time to do the longest drift snorkelled we’ve ever done. One mile of pure delight even if the surf renders the visibility less than usual, say 10 meters.
We will never grow tired of the sea-anemones and their own eco system. One small clown fish was rather protective and nibbled at my finger when I was approaching to photograph, they are territorial.
We moved back north in the lagoon to be closer to the Paul Emile Victor’s motu indeed someone had told us the corals were amazing and it was a wonderful spot for snorkeling; there we also wanted to spend time with the sister of our friends from Ahe. We had a fabulous lunch in the company of PoeKura and had good laughs as she recalled stories while dealing with all the different nationalities of tourists who come to visit and want to buy pearls and jewelleries. Even with the blistering wind, we went for a dive. Swimming in the current was challenging at times but so exhilarating on our way back. Unfortunately, we are sorry to report that the snorkel was a disappointment once again.
Overall Bora Bora was not up to the reputation we are sorry to say. We came with an open mind and positive report, but overall the lagoon has been over developed resulting in pollution and a change of attitude from the locals which is not for the best. Polynesia is only a dream you sell here, only the $$$ signs count. From the boat tour guides wearing only a string to look like an “authentic local”, to the restaurant owner who doesn’t even acknowledge your presence after 10 days of you squatting his patio and electrical outlet for 14 hours a day. The behaviors, we witnessed, have thrown us back into the worst of our society and the décor doesn’t even make up for it.
On our way out near the pass, we briefly encountered a whale who was frantically feeding, though we were going a bit too fast in order to enjoy it. Going at a speed overground in the 8 knots, with a peak at 8.6 knots on our way to Raitea.
We are now anchored on the South side of Raitea called Nao Nao motu, where we hope the weather will turn beautiful so we can yet again enjoy some nice shades of blue without the helicopters circling overhead every 15 minutes.
You haven’t missed anything don’t worry, even if the weather has improved drastically in the last 36 hours, we are still in Bora. The photo above has no artistic value, but it shows you why today was a good day not to go to town. Your 5000 new friends are here for 6 hours; imagine downtown Vaitape, a mess. Then again, we have other ways to use the credit card; Benjamin has finally finished the application process for one university. Three more to go, but that one was a massive undertaking, the multiple essays and questionnaires were challenging. Preparing and getting all the marks and references was another. Add to this that our credit card was over the limit (we have a very low limit to avoid fraud consequences and the spare one had been cancelled by the company due to no usage). Pile it on, we tried to get cash out our debit card until we realized that it had expired and the new ones we had so cleverly got a year ago are not making us win at the ATM jackpot… So another day it is in Bora Bora!
And on another note for the “civilized” world; it is granted that you have amazing internet at all time so it may come as a surprise to you that we do not. Thus we get streaming video for university interview with a professional surrounding and we completed multipage full of java scripts un-saveable, all this has been challenging in itself and a true exercise of patience. Let’s not talk of Skyping with a customer service rep, which doesn’t care if he presses the bye bye button one more time if your voice is not crystal clear.
Benjamin, this one is for you:
Just so you remember where you were when you applied.
Now we wait until 15th December.
And in the list of we find everything around here, “la Jenlain” beer from Ch`nord our (meaning Laurent’s) university years beverage of predilection. One bottle 750ml 5% alcohol was at the time $1, what else can a student asks for.
Once again we can feel your sympathy somehow… What can we say it is pretty awful we are stuck in Bora Bora, the wind has decided to pipe up from tonight. This will last for a few days and when this happen, cabin fever sets in quickly if you can’t get out because you worry about your boat at all time. So knowing this was going to happen we decided to move in front of Mai Kai restaurant/marina which is located close to the village and we then took a buoy.
The plus side is that we have internet and a dinghy dock. We can be in town in no time and see civilization when needed. Needless to say we are all enjoying a bit of connection with the outside world, just for a little bit!
Letitgo in a “luxurious” setting.
And then we do this once we have descent internet.
Openning youreyes to clear blue water, and clear blue sky; nothing better to start the day; the shallow lagoon sparkled and Bora Bora shined its glory. We jumped in to see what was happening underwater and found ourselves snorkeling the green pastures of Ireland.
And we found the BB Squadron of Spotted Ray.
We of course dove deeper when we saw the shine on that carapace, swimming so elegantly and quietly.
Here we are at last. Bora Bora, an atoll renowned all over the world, it has been making people dream of paradise forever, the water is blue and the mountain lush. Pinch us! Is it real? We are currently nested between the St Regis and the not so fresh Meridien… Yeap we are here, and that’s all we can say for now…
The Tahaa Relais et Chateau, the place if you want to treat yourself in our opinion better than the big sister.
Is there something wrong with this photo? Answer at the bottom of the post.
The race is on: Madengo 3 a superb 140Ft simple boat.
As for the photo above, Benjamin is 5ft 9, Letitgo’s draft is 3 feet and he is out of the water by 1.5 feet! Well that doesn’t leave much water under the keel, does it?