Sail to the amazing Bora Bora - we can hardly believe it!
Our first stop was just east of the islet of Toopua in the southwest corner of Bora Bora’s big lagoon. We didn’t have ideal anchoring conditions for the short stop, so Maryanne stayed aboard while the rest of us snorkeled. We had a look at a few of the bommies for a bit and were heading back to Begonia when we spotted a bunch of tour boats disgorging swimmers in the distance just past where we had turned around. We called to Maryanne, who had a look through the binoculars and confirmed that it looked worth going back.
Yay - Sarah & Geoffrey got to see Rays and Sharks too!
We arrived to find a whole lot of legs with stingrays swimming amongst them. There was even a Blacktip shark thrown in for good measure. This is the closest we had been able to get to them and it was nice to see their effortless grace as they circled, although I was a bit rankled to see a few spoiled brats chasing and grabbing at them.
When we’d had our fill, we returned to Begonia for the short trip to the anchorage in front of Bloody Mary’s restaurant, where we planned to go ashore for drinks. Lots of different guides say Bloody Mary’s is the must-do thing on the main island.
The few moorings there were taken and the water is eighty feet deep. We tried looking for a spot suitably large enough to accommodate our swing in such deep water, but were unable to do so. As we were leaving, we noticed another boat leaving the mooring right in front of the dinghy dock and pounced on it. These moorings don’t even have a chance to get cold!
At the dinghy dock, we met Dan and John, who joined us and gave us our first news about Tanda Malaika. Bloody Mary's turned out to be closed on Sundays, so plan B was to walk to a nearby Tiki Bar. It was under renovation, so Plan C turned out to be a 30 minute walk up the road to an upscale pizza/seafood place. Even though our shore excursion had turned out to be a lot longer than planned, we still kept our order down to a beer each with some appetizers to split. Back at the boat Sarah and Geoffrey cooked for us and we opened one too many bottles of wine for their last evening with us.
From Bloody Mary’s, we went to the main town of Viatape and looked for either a mooring or a place to anchor in the deep water. Eventually, we took a spot at the Town Quay. It gives easy access to the Airport ferry, which departs from the opposite side. We asked at the local information point and they confirmed that docking there is free, but asked us not to spend more than one night at the wall so that others could have access when they need it.
Ashore in the main town, I picked up our outbound clearance forms from the gendarmerie while Geoffrey and Sarah found time to source a new mouse to get the computer functional again!!! Whew!
The ferry takes away our great guests: Sarah & Geoffrey
After a nice final lunch together and a delicious ice cream, they boarded the airport ferry as an intermediate step to a brief night in a hotel before their flight to Tahiti the next day. We waved our friends off as the ferry left, and then took Begonia to an anchorage off of the departure end of the runway, where we immediately filled their berth back up with ‘our’ stuff. It was time to enjoy the views, get caught up on boring admin and make a point of NOT getting up when the first light starts shining through the portholes.
After a couple of boring days in the shadow of Mt Otemanu, Bora Bora’s main spire, we relocated to an anchorage off the southern end of Motu Piti Aau, where we had a slightly different view of Mt. Otemanu. My God, is it Friday yet?
We take a couple of days to reorganize the boat and chill