Sunday, March 02, 2014

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Tahitian guys entertain with musicAn over-the-water resort on Motu ToopuaBlack-tipped sharks and Sting raysBlack-tipped sharks and Sting raysSting rays and touristsFeeding the Black-tipped sharks and Sting rays
Black-tipped sharkes and Sting raysSargent Major fish swimming by coralCoral and fishCoral and fishClams in the coralClam in the coral
Tahitian guy calling us inTahitian petroglyphsTahitian petroglyphs

Bora Bora, a set on Flickr.
March 2, 2014 – Sunday – Fanning Island to French Polynesia – Day 3 at sea

Essentially, this is a day at sea, however we arrive as scheduled at Bora Bora this afternoon at 5PM. The seas this morning are much reduced from the previous day, the grey skies are gone, and things are looking decidedly tropical outside. As we pass through the channel into Vaitape harbour, there is another cruise ship anchored in the harbour. The island and the volcanic mountain are as I remember them, but I can’t quite place where the airport is located. I’m assuming it is to the east of us, further down the lagoon.

The ship clears immigration by 5:30PM, and there are already 200 people waiting to go ashore on the tenders. I’m in no rush to go ashore this evening, but perhaps I will go after I have dinner in the Rotterdam dining room. There is a Polynesian BBQ and buffet on the Lido deck, which I will avoid! After dinner, I decide to stay on board the ship, and simply enjoy the views of this tropical paradise from the decks.

March 3, 2014 – Monday – Bora Bora, French Polynesia

I have some breakfast in the Lido early, since I have to be ashore for my excursion by 9AM. Another cruise ship has replaced the other one yesterday, anchored beside us. Bora Bora is obviously a popular port-of-call! Breakfast takes me 10 minutes, and the tender ride is only 10 minutes long after waiting 10 minutes to board, so I end up waiting ashore for over a half hour. Eventually we are collected and board our catamaran, and we actually depart a bit early since everyone is on board from the ship. Moana Adventure Tours runs this excursion with four Tahitian guys.

First stop on the tour is just around the seaward side of the closest motu (islet) to Vaitape harbour, so we arrive there in only 15 minutes. We see Stingrays and Black-tipped sharks in the shallow water. Most of the people get into the water with them, however I stay aboard and get some great photos and video from the deck. Next stop is about 20 minutes away: a small, private motu where there are coral reefs and a nice sandy beach. It is a wet landing, so everyone gets in the water here. I have a wonderful hour poking around taking photos and video of the fish and the coral formations in the shallow lagoon. The excursion guys serve snacks and drinks before we return to the catamaran for the trip back to Vaitape harbour. It is a nice 3.5 hours well spent, but I’m very glad to head back to the ship’s air conditioning, since the oppressive heat hits us once we are back in town!

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