we arrive at BORA BORA

tony zwig
Mon 25 Jun 2007 23:29




We made it to Bora Bora!  It is every bit as beautiful as its advance notices.  Towering verdant peaks, turquoise almost lime colored water, gorgeous anchorage, soft winds at night, well was supposed to be soft, but actually howled last night, so it cooled us off.  Lots of thatched bungalows, which look great at first but then slightly mundane and contrived.  We snorkeled in Morea and went this morning to snorkel.  We were told of a great spot where the fish congregate because the nearby hotel staff feed them every day so the fish, now tame, approach humans.  We couldn’t get to the spot today because it was too windy to snorkel and not be blown away, but the feeding of the fish to get them to congregate for tourists is a bit indicative of this place; beautiful as it is; the proliferation of thatch in restaurants and stores and everywhere takes away something.

The people are very friendly and beautiful.  Last night we ate ashore in a, what else, thatched restaurant, and I had an excellent raw fish in cocoanut milk.  Tonight we are eating at the yacht club whose restaurant has a sand floor right out to the water and thatched roof.  While snorkeling in a calmer area off the Bora Bora hotel, where they also feed the fish, we saw many brightly colored fish swimming around.  Very cool.

We met other boaters anchored in the yacht club, most of whom came together as part of the Puddle Jumper club from Puerto Vallarta Mexico through the Marquises and Tahiti to here.  This  4 or 5 boats are the first of a hundred still coming and will start to arrive here in a week.  One catamaran has 11 people aboard and they want to leave and are having trouble finding all their crew.  It is good they notice they are not all on board because,  while  visiting an Island Packet to discuss weather forecasts (more on that later) I met a woman who had spent the evening on another boat and was worried her boat did not know she had slept elsewhere and might leave without her.

Apparently there is a big low pressure area moving with storms south of us (this is their winter) and I visited the Island Packet to discuss strategies to get to Raratonga in the Cook Islands, our next destination.  The owner’s name is Mark, a South African who bought the boat in the US, described his strategy to move west before going south (the rhumb line is southwest) in hopes of letting the low pass south of him and to the east before he heads south.  The low is supposed to set up a swell of 4 metres form the south and winds of 19 knots true.  The winds are less of a concern than the size of the swell.  We’ll keep an eye on it and if necessary adopt something similar.  We are all leaving tomorrow morning.  It is 600 miles to Raratonga.  Hope that means 3-4 days.  Also met the skipper/owner of one of the cats which had 3 aboard.  Some of  the  beach front homes are so magnificent, we mistook them for hotels, and were shooed away when we tried to dinghy to them for a visit.  Babelfish looks very good and continues to turn heads.  It really is quite stunning here; it is just the repetition of the “south Pacific theme” sometimes gets a bit heavy.  The people don’t disappoint though; exotic and friendly.