At 7 am in the morning we left Huahine together with the yacht Carango that were also on their way to Bora Bora. It is a half day sailing, however it is always nice to have company with another boat.
Discovered by Captain Cook in 1769, Bora Bora was originally named Pora Pora, meaning the “first born”. The island was supposed to be the first to emerge from the sea. Today, abundant geological evidence supports this thesis. Additional evidence dates the island’s first inhabitants to the 9th Century. War and bloddy battles predominated island life until the reign of Tapoa in the 18th century.
Located 275 km from Tahiti, Bora Bora is the oldest Society Island. In fact, Bora Bora is almost an atoll, a stage half way between the Tuamotu atolls and high islands such as Tahiti and Raiatea. Its huge lagoon, bordered by a very wide reef is open in only one place at the Te Ava Nui pass, between motu Toopua and moth Tevairoa facing the main town of Vaitape. 9 km long and 4 km wide, the main island has all the features of the high islands with impressive sommits: mont Otemanu , 727 m, and mont Pahia, 661 m, and a luxurious vegetation.
Arriving in Bora Bora with Carango being ahead of us. We did unfortunately not have the best weather, however we could imagine the beautiful colours when the sun comes out. Coming into the Quai de Fare Piti.
We had worked very efficiently with the school work before arriving into Bora Bora.
This evening we were invited to Hanna’s (on Blue Summit) 21rst birthday on the dock. She was so happy to have Alex and Inez as this would give the legitimate reasons to really call her birthday a birthday party having kids there. And Alex and Inez were delighted to go to a “real” birthday party with chocolate cake, candles and presents.
The day after we decided to once again hire a car for the day. The tour of the island, 32 km took us along a jagged shoreline with a few spectacular bays and gorgeous beaches. The population, around 9000 people, is entirely dedicated to tourism. In terms of archeology, a great number of marae have been destroyed by the prostestant missionaries during the previous century.
Our first stop was to find the banian tree that apparently inspired James Cameron for his famous movie “Avatar”.
We drove further North to Mamie Ruta who exposed her pareos by the side of the road as well as letting us taste local food and fruits
We continued North and drove all the way to the highest point where we could leave the car and then take a 10 minutes walk to Hiro’s rock with a view on Mont Otemanu’s grotto From here we could see all the luxurious resorts inside Bora Bora’s lagoon which the island is so well known for.
Another 10 minutes walk and we arrived at the “American Canon” being U.S. Naval Base in Bora Bora during the Second World War. The events that catapulted Bora Bora into the modern era occurred during the Second World War. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, the U.S.Navy chose Bora Bora as a second logistical base in the Pacific Region. Bora Bora’s positioning and sole pass entering and exiting the lagoon was an ideal location for refuelling and re-provisioning.
Operation Bobcat as it was called, brought an influx of 5 000 U.S military service men. Canons, still viewable today, were strategically placed on the islands 4 corners. Although physically intact from a lack of war-time action, Operation Bobcat left an irreversible economic and social impact in its wake.
Advances brought by the U.S. military installation included civil engineering and infratstructure. The road around the island, the airport runway and commercial wharf are a few results. Socially, the years of military occupation were fecund, resulting in numerous mixed births. G.I.’s returned to the U.S, unaware of the descendants left behind bearing their family name. It is not uncommon to meet a local proudly claiming their American heritage from a grandfather or great-grandfather.
Alex and Inez were very quick at climbing up the canon!
We had turned now rounded the island and continued to the Southern part of the island ending up in a little restaurant nearby the beach. You can tell by the black clouds in the horizon that the weather was pretty unstable and raining a lot!
View over the reef surrounding Bora Bora like a ring around the whole island. In the distance you see the huge waves breaking in towards the reef.
This restaurant was our next ice-cream time! And wow they treated us really well: huge portions. Take a look at Inez’’s face when eating her ice-cream!
This night was a special night. Alex and Inez got to borough some movies from the big guys (Sam & Ben) from the vessel Wishanger II. And they were very lucky as Sam had just downloaded the latest “Star Wars”. So Daddy, Alex and Inez watched the 3-hour movie. However one had fallen asleep before it ended...