Sunday, July 29, 2018

Snorkelling Bora Bora

[Kyle]We left Taha’a early and got so sail all almost of the way to Bora Bora under our repaired spinnaker. We only had to switch to our normal working sails for the last upwind leg to the pass. Our new sailing friends Mark and Helen on Charabia, another Athena like Begonia, called us on the radio to say they had seen us depart Taha’a and had been chasing us ever since. Mark guessed from our speed readout on our AIS tag that we must be motorsailing. Well, I never! I eventually forgave them and we hosted them for dinner once we got settled into our first anchorage. We also talked to Chris from Nemo, who ribbed us about beating us to Rikitea when our spinnaker was in tatters in the bag. Well, the equation is different now, buddy. Bring it on!

Sail to Bora Bora
Early start from Taha'a

We swam with stingrays at the first anchorage and then moved around to the east side of the lagoon for a couple of days swimming with Manta rays. The spot we chose had a great angle on the view of Mt. Otemanu, but it was right where all of the other boats trying to anchor near the mantas anchor and also right by the cut in the coral reef where the tour boats zip through. That gave the place a little bit too much of the vibe of the Tiki anchorage on Moorea, so we decided to try to find somewhere a little more quiet and headed to the anchorage at the furthest reach of the lagoon on the far end of Motu Fareone on the extreme southeastern corner.

First anchorage - mostly for the stingrays

We had thought we were just going to swim around the local area, but there didn’t seem much on offer except a lot of sand. Tour boats did come over regularly to disgorge a dozen snorkelers for fifteen minutes of looking at one little bommie, so we knew there was ostensibly something worth seeing, but we were looking to kill more than fifteen minutes, so we loaded up the dinghy for a real expedition and set off. We had the sail kit, an anchor, snorkel gear for each of us, cameras and a change of clothes, which meant we had no room for anything else.

Next anchorage - for the Manta Rays
Although we also get the same views as the luxury hotels

We sailed as far as we dared and dropped the anchor on a patch of sand. We dropped the sail, climbed out from underneath it, put on our masks and fins and jumped in. I hit bottom about a foot later. That’ll make getting back in a lot easier!

We headed in the direction of an intriguing-looking outcrop and were rewarded with acres and acres of multi-colored underwater wonders. The visibility was the best we’ve seen in a while and it looked like the dense coral stretched all of the way to the horizon. We must have swam a mile by the time we returned to the anchored dinghy, navigating by standing up every now and then to scout a path through the labyrinth.

More luxury views as we move to Farone Motu

Once we were back aboard and changed out of our wettest clothes, we spent the next couple of hours sailing up and down the shore. I had a memory from last year of there being a resort nearby. We were hoping we might be able to convince them to serve us some umbrella drinks from some suitably scenic spot. No such place turned out to exist, other than an empty-looking place way back near Begonia. We sailed there and were met with “Tabu” signs facing the water every 20m or so. Private. Go Away. Okay, back to the boat, then.

Messing about with the sailing dinghy

Some lovely coral and coral shelves to snorkel in Farone
And a few critter closeups
Those sea urchins with bits of coral on them are playing camouflage


Squawbush said...

Everything is amazing! Just beautiful. Now dont you wish you could be tour guides and show lots of people all the great sites you have experienced? I'M KIDDING. Love to you both. Linda

SV-Footprint said...

Do you want to come and visit us A. Linda? You are MOST welcome :-)