Bora Bora

Aug. 9, 2002

Log: Tahaa to Bora Bora 24.5 nautical miles

        As we left Tahaa, out through the reef past the breaking surf and into the deep blue, we could see a huge white fish just under the surface.  Probably a tuna, the captain believes.  We motored along the reef heading 280 west to the famed tropical island paradise of Bora Bora.   It is the one island we are anticipating visiting the most.  It will be Gayla's second time there having spent 6 week camping in the early 1980's on one of the most pristine beaches in the world.  Will it still be that unspoiled island so laid back and friendly?

 The entrance through the pass is dramatic with a high mountain peak covered in cloud. It is breathtaking! A mystical vision of a South Pacific paradise. We anchor off the wharf of the famous Bloody Marys Restaurant.


For years Bloody Marys has been a favorite hangout for famous people. During our stay we learned that two more, Brittney Spears and Pierce Bronson were on the island during our stay . Pierce was know to frequent the Internet every day at 4:30PM. Although we did not meet either of them we did find Pauline's, the native lady who owned the campground where Gayla had stayed years ago. .


Like many island paradises Bora Bora has also given way to the tourist trade and hotels and traffic have increased beyond the limits of being considered idyllic. Pauline has now built the Le Maitai Polynesia Hotel in the spot that was once the campground. The backpackers at Pauline's new campground, inland and further from this white sandy beach, say she still cares about the budget traveler, the roots of her success as a hotelier. There are now thatch roofed bungalows over the lagoon, jet ski rentals and hordes of sunbathers where there was once a peaceful existence.

We rented two bicycles for $26US and peddled around the islands 32km perimeter. We also climbed up the 139 meter hill to a radio tower for a better view of the lagoon and long ring of motus on the barrier reef. Eating out was not really an option with expenses way beyond a cruisers budget but we did find plenty of fresh fruits and fish being sold along the roadside by local residence.

A better deal was when we returned the bikes to the campground and found there was an evening buffet. Joining us were Steve, Irene and there daughter Pearl from s/v Star. There were lots of laughs and an opportunity to talk to Pearl about her experiences of living and doing home school aboard. A stalk of banana's was given to us by the cook renewing our faith in native hospitality.
Lazy days were spent snorkeling off the end of Topua motu where we discovered an enormous variety of fish that almost attacked us as we entered the water. We felt this was due to the many dive boats which frequent the motu and most likely feed the fish. New hotels were being built over the water on the out side of the motus. The water was so clear we could see forever underwater and even without an underwater camera we watched an octopus glide across the bottom flashing vivid colors of blue under it's arms.


A more strenuous day consisted of climbing the Mt. Pahia 661 meters on a hot day. Steve climbed the top and back in just 5 hours with the family aboard s/v Odyssey visiting from England and the two young boys on s/v Pale Fire, Ryan and Matt. Later that evening anchored off the Bora Bora Yacht Club cruisers from Odyssey, Nyathi, Pale Fire and Motion to name a few gathered at the Club for cocktail hour, a book swap and to swap stories of the harrowing climb.


All the cruisers agreed that the place to be on Bora Bora was aboard our own yachts away from the maddening crowds and all agreed the views from the water were the best part of Bora Bora.

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