Mon 14 Aug 2023 02:30
16 31.5S 151 44.7W
We decided to head to Bora Bora in the end. On one hand it's famous for being one of the most beautiful islands in the world, frequented by the rich and famous, but on the other hand, cruisers often complain that it's touristy and very expensive, so we really did consider not seeing what all the fuss was about.
We set sail around 09.30 on the 10th with a nice easterly forecast. Initially we were in the lee of Moorea with absolutely sod all wind and a horrendous swell so we motored until the wind filled in. We stupidly set off before setting our spinnaker poles to save time, thinking it would be flat for a while, instead we struggled to stay on the boat whilst setting them between rolls. It was a pretty rolly passage and we had wind from 6-26kts from behind to close hauled, so not much sleep was had. Ben said it was the worst passage we've had (but I don't think he meant that). The last 2-3 hours in the early morning light approaching Bora Bora were magic. Full sail up with 18kts on the beam, we were doing 7-8kts. The landfall was spectacular, the pass was wide and easy and the real bonus was that there was a vacant mooring buoy at Bora Bora yacht club. The backdrop was truly stunning, yes it was busy with boats and jet skis everywhere but why wouldn't it be?!
We waited for people to start asking us for money, you have to pay $40 just on arrival and then $30/night on a buoy...but no one ever asked!
Oh yes, I almost forget (because it's become a normal part of every passage), as we approached land and turned the engine on, the revs died again with the typical symptoms of fuel starvation.....seriously! So back into the bilge we go for a speedy bleed and diagnosis. This time we quickly realised it was the fuel pump filter again, so we removed it and got to safety. It's too boring to talk about again but we've got it going (until next time).
We headed straight to the Gendermarie (police station) to start the check-out process. This went smoothly but we have to return in 3 days in order to get passports stamped. After a drink at the yacht club, we had dinner on the boat and an early night.
The next day we rose early to do the epic climb to the second highest peak. Only a 3km hike there and back but with 700m ascent! It was one of the best hikes I've ever done, really steep with sheer rock faces and only an old tatty rope to pull yourself up on. Really narrow ridge connecting the 2 peaks with a crazy rock to climb over in the middle. 360 view of peak and surrounding reef made the effort more than worth while.
In the afternoon we attempted to wing foil all the way around the island. Initially we made good progress up wind but then about 1/3 round, the wind dropped and the light was dying so we aborted and headed back (to make happy hour). This proved quite tricky trying to stay on the foil going downwind with no wind, I wasn't sure we'd make it back! Ben tracked it on Strava and we covered 40km!
That night we had dinner in the yacht club which really is an amazing spot. You can just pull up in your dinghy right outside and the restaurant is built over the water with a wooden floor so you can see the fish swimming beneath you. Lovely food and live music, a great day all round.
Today we've moved to a mooring to the south to visit the famous bar 'Blood Mary's'....feels like it's becoming a bit of bar crawl. Think we'll leave for our last FP island either tomorrow or the day after.