Sunday, 16 October 2016

11-2016 Tahaa, Raiatea and Bora Bora

Hi from Clare,                                                               Saturday 15th October 2016
We sailed from Huahine to Tahaa on 4th October and continued inside the lagoon up the west side of the island to visit the coral gardens. This is a good snorkelling spot as there are many varieties of tropical fish and as the name suggests there is some nice coral. Sadly I can’t see the coral surviving well as the garden is very shallow and it is under pressure by the number of visitors. When floating on top of the water your tummy touches the coral at times. We even saw a guide kill a sea urchin and feed it to the fish so his visitors could get some good photos. Certainly not the way we were taught in Australia to take only photos and leave only bubbles.
Coral Gardens area
Mmmm, sea urchin for lunch
Taking nothing but photos
We circumnavigated the island of Tahaa stopping off at various snorkelling spots as Patrick and Cheryl were in search of a Manta ray. One of the local operators said it wasn’t the season yet so we just had to be content with enjoying sunny days, 28 degree crystal clear water and seeing more tropical fish.
Motu at Tahaa
Unfortunately, due to Patrick and Cheryl’s pending departure we made our way over to Raiatea. We picked up a mooring ball outside the Raiatea Marina but the nice man in the office allowed us to stay on the visitors dock for the same price. This made it much easier to get on and off the boat and also much to my delight we had free water. So the next day while Patrick and Cheryl toured the township, Andrew and I took the opportunity to fresh water wash our dive gear, the boat, domestic washing and fill the front water tank. Probably doesn’t sound very exciting but believe me this is a rare opportunity and one not to be missed; we were very happy.
Apooiti Marina, Raiatea
BBQ at Marina Apooiti
I mentioned in our last email that I was reluctant to hire a motor scooter for fear of falling off. Well whilst on the visitor’s dock we meet a Norwegian couple who had flown in for their daughter’s wedding today Saturday 15th. Unfortunately the bride-to-be had a scooter accident in Bora Bora when dog ran out at her. She was in hospital with a broken nose, gravel rash and numerous stitches to her face which is all shades of purple and green. So I sit here today wondering how the poor girl is going on this her special day. I’m pretty sure I will stay off the motor scooters.
For our last night together Patrick and Cheryl shouted us dinner at the Marina restaurant. It was a very pleasant night sitting by the waterfront enjoying their company, dinner and a few farewell drinks.
The following day Andrew and I went around to Raiatea Carenage Services to confirm our booking for haul out next month. This gave us an opportunity to check out the yard which seems fairly full already. The manager said he has five more boats to come and not to worry as they will move a few boats and make room. The bathroom facilities are very basic so I am planning to spend as little time as possible on the hard. This is the smallest and the most unattractive yard we have encountered but it is one of the safest for possible cyclones.
Whilst in Raiatea we booked our flight home arriving 29th November and also did some much needed provisioning before setting off to Bora Bora.
Bora Bora
Motu picnic facilities

The waterway inside of the lagoon with the backdrop of the world famous volcanic peak of Bora Bora is stunningly beautiful. We anchored off a small island which is used by the Cruise Ships to stage beach picnics for their guests. The whole island is raked to perfection and has open buildings with thatched roofs and picnic facilities under large shady trees. The beach has thick white sand and the warmest water we have found at 29.5 degrees. It was just off this island we saw our first manta ray. I’m sure as we spend more time here we will see others.
A big Manta 9 metres down
Last night in company with American friends Meryl and Walter on ‘Flying Cloud’ we went to the famous Bloody Mary Restaurant. They have a patron’s honour board out the front displaying many film stars and famous people’s names. I guess our names will be added today. We enjoyed some cocktails at the bar followed by a very nice belated birthday dinner for Andrew. Bloody Mary’s Restaurant is the best we have found in French Polynesia.

Bloody Mary's
The birthday Party
We will be in Bora Bora for about four weeks. This afternoon we will check out the small township. We have heard that the town is a bit shabby but it has a good supermarket with fresh fruit and vege. Mangoes are now in season and yesterday by the roadside we bought fourteen mangoes for $10. Tomorrow we will head around to the south east corner of the island which is said to be very beautiful. We are looking forward to our time in Bora Bora.

Love Candy xx