Posted by: catamarantwooceans | October 8, 2009

Raiatea to Bora Bora

5.10.09 – Monday – My original plan was to sail back east and lift the boat out in Apataki in the Tuamotus.  Now that the option of leaving the boat here, in Raiatea surfaced, I really wanted it to happen. So, with some trepidation, I called Chantier Naval des Iles: ”Good morning Karine, it’s Michael, we spoke on Friday, regarding my catamaran” At first she did not remember me and then:” I  have to speak to my boss about it. Call back in an hour”.  After an hour, I called and she said:” Sorry, but there is no possibility to take your boat. We do not have any place” and here, as the ramifications of the statement sink in – sail some 300 miles to Apataki, perhaps singlehanded, maybe with the same sort of weather we are experiencing now – she goes on:”This week”. “Oh, and how about later in the month?”  “No, problem! You can come any time after the 19th”. She took my credit card information and that clinched the deal. Poof! What a relief!

The winds were still blowing hard, forecasted to abate only tomorrow, so we motored inside the lagoon to Patio in the north. A ferry passed us and we could see that it entered the village’s small harbor. Let’s see if we can get in too. As we approached the entrance, two ferries roared out, leaving the dock free for us to tie alongside. I went over to the Gendarmerie to ascertain that we could stay for about an hour to do some shopping and got the O.K.

Back south, we motored to Hurepity bay, entered all the way in and took a mooring belonging to Sophie boutique (!) We called the number on the buoy and got their permission. If all is well – tomorrow we’ll go to Bora Bora.

In preparation for the evening meal, I cleaned the second batfish we caught some days ago and not long after the first morsels fell in the water a shadow of a big fish became visible, circling around the stern – a big barracuda. After I finished filleting I tied the fish remains to a rope and dangled it close to the surface. The barracuda gave us a show of its fearsome teeth, snapping at the batfish and cutting it into two parts.

At 4pm the young ones suggested going ashore to stretch our legs. At Sophie’s dock two friendly dogs greeted us. Sophie’s boutique and house are located in a tropical garden, rich with exotic plants and trees. She and her husband came to Tahaa on a yacht and as she says:”They got stuck”.  We went for a stroll along the road, thick foliage on the sloping terrain inland and a few houses near the beach, fruit trees, mangoes, papayas and coconuts growing wild all around. There is a vanilla plantation near by and maybe that accounted for the rich, pleasant scent in the air.

6.10.09 – Tuesday – Finally out of Raiatea, we sailed the 20 miles to Bora Bora quite fast, with bursts of over 10 knots on some occasions. Of course no fish were caught. We are becoming frustrated by this!

We entered the Teavanui pass, the only one into the lagoon, facing the magnificent central mountain, its top shrouded by clouds and turned right to anchor behind Motu Toopua in a patch of translucent, turquoise water.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is beautiful, with many hotels and resorts all sporting those over-water bungalows and even underwater rooms! Frankly – this spoils the place for me, but we still have places to go here and maybe my view will alter.

7.10.09 – Wednesday – We went over to the famous Bora Bora Yacht Club, which is really a restaurant with some rooms to let. They have many moorings in the bay and if you eat there you can take one and use their services. We were looking for a supermarket and the guys in the BBYC said that there was one “ten minutes walk away”. We started walking, accompanied by a few dogs that found us interesting. We passed a small shop – that couldn’t be it – and went on and on, after 25 minutes we asked some local people who targeted the super “300 meters away”. Even the following dogs despaired and disappeared. Another kilometer and we found it.

 Just before entering the place, a car stopped near us. One of the guys from the club came out accusing us of kidnapping his dog! We explained that the dog followed us, that all our shooing him away did not work and that we did not, in any way, feel responsible. He then said that in Bora Bora people ate dogs and that he feared for the future of his puppy. He jumped back into his car and roared off, burning rubber. So is the Dog Eating legend in Polynesia true? 


We did our shopping and now had to get back to the boat with the load. We ended up getting a taxi who charged 1500 francs, 12.5 euros for the 6 minutes drive.

The young ones, including Gili, wanted to go swimming in a “turquoise place” so we went searching for one, ending at the same place we vacated in the morning. We then went back to the club and before taking the mooring for the night, we approached the club’s dock to take water. Gili’s ankle was caught in a loop in the mooring line as the boat was moving back and with luck did not suffer serious injury. There was a lot of pain which she endured bravely.

Dinner at the club was expensively good. French Poly is an expensive place!


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