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
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.