We left Tahaa early in the morning and set sails for Bora Bora, some 3-4 hours sailing away. Is was an interesting leg with shifting and pretty strong winds (up to 25kn). Me and Benedicte even got splashed with water sitting at the helm, not to common on Kenobi. With a little guidance from a local fishing boat we zig-zaged our way through the many fishing buoys outside the pass before we could enter. We aimed at picking up a mooring at Mai Kai marina but it turned out to be full so we had to go to Bora Bora Yacht Club a bit further away from the main town.
Bora Bora, being famous for its beautiful lagoon, is the most well-known of the Society islands. It has a main island with a high and steep volcanic mountain and is surrounded by a big lagoon in shifting blue and turquoise colors. This is definitely the most exploited island with many hotels and many sailing boats visiting, both charter boats and cruisers. Though, as Lukas described it in an earlier post, it is nothing like the major charter destinations in Europe. They really manage to make the hotel complexes blend in well with the environment. Still a very peaceful and quite place.
In French Polynesia many families are very close and a strong tradition seems to be the Sunday afternoon lunch. Even the nightlife in Papeete is very slow on Saturdays because the people doesn’t want to be tired on the Sunday. Benedicte have some family here on Bora Bora and we were hoping to be invited to a traditional lunch on Sunday, unfortunately they were busy doing other things this day. Instead we made our way to the market early in the morning on Sunday (at 06) to pick up some local food and sailed down to the most southern part of the lagoon. Benedicte put together our own traditional Sunday lunch on the boat, it was awesome. The lunch consisted of the main dishes chicken with spinach and two kinds of poisson cru (fresh fish), one with fermented coconut milk and the other with fresh. With this we had some sweet side dishes called “poe”, this is a cooked banana or pumpkin batter with manioc starch and coconut milk. The texture and flavor was like nothing I ever tasted before, chewy, sweet and super good. The Tahitian food is not very spicy but everything is fresh and as you can tell, often based on coconut milk.
Benedictes local style sunday lunch.
Manuja! (cheers in Tahitian).
We had a great day snorkeling and discovering the lagoon of Bora Bora. Simon and Lukas saw a manta ray at one snorkeling spot, these are the biggest and most beautiful of the rays. We got the drone flying for the first time since Panama. The control unit have been broken so we got it fixed in Tahiti, hopefully we can get some great footage with the drone soon. During the evening we heard a lot of fish hunting in the water surrounding the boat, eventually Lukas just had to pick up a rod and went fishing from the back of the boat. It didn’t take long before he had a big one on the hook, a 5kg Jack that put up quite a big fight.
Nice anchorage at shallow waters at the south east side of the lagoon.
The main island an the lagoon of Bora Bora.
Nice anchorage at shallow waters at the south east side of the lagoon.
Bungalows in the lagoon.
Simons bad luck continued… He has had a few accidents during this trip, fortunately nothing major so far. This time he slipped on the wet floor in the cockpit and banged his foot hard into the cockpit table. He broke one of his toes and now needs to keep it tightly tied down for a couple of weeks. He went to the hospital here and got all the help he needed so we can continue the trip without delay. He will at least be able to swim and snorkel normally so it’s not too bad…
X-ray of simons broken toe. See second toe from the right.
Bene is taking care of Simons foot. A local ointment hopefully kept the swelling down a bit.
Next morning we sailed back to the town mooring, we needed to get working on the blog and take care of some administrative tasks. Since we are leaving French Polynesia we have to check out of the country and plan for our upcoming destination and sailing legs, all of this takes a lot of time but is of course very important. We spent 3-4 days in our “office” at the marina restaurant interneting. Cruising is not always like being on holidays…
Even though we had a lot of work to take care of we had a great time these last couple of days moored in town. Like always, we met a lot of interesting new people. Benedicte, who is working on her own project trying to start up bamboo construction in Tahiti and French Polynesia, by chance met a couple of other cruisers in the marina who just happened to have their own bamboo project going in Costa Rica, what are the odds! These people were really helpful and a great contact for her project. These guys had a super cool performance catamaran called “Water Music” which we were invited to visit (see pictures in album). We also met a French solo sailor, Jerome, who turned out to speak fluent Swedish since he lived five years in Stockholm doing his PhD. A super friendly guy who had bought a boat together with his wife in French Polynesia a few months ago. Unfortunately, she turned out to not like sailing and the life on a boat so she was not going with him on the bigger sailing legs down to New Zeeland. Now he was a
involuntary solo sailor…
Cool performance catamaran called "Water Music".
Jerome from the boat Tangaroa.
We were happy to see our Australian friends on Lady Amity here. One of the three guys had left the boat early to head back to Australia, replacing him for the remainder of the trip was a girl named Keo who we had met already in Marina Taina in Tahiti some weeks ago. Another friend from Marina Taina is Christian, he had just left some charter guests at the dock and decided to stay a couple of days in Bora Bora with his boat before sailing back to Tahiti. We spent some time with him in Tahiti and he helped us replacing our cutless bearings at the ship yard there. Also he is a friendly and awesome person who is really fun to be around. We invited everybody to a drink night on Kenobi, it’s great to have a boat that can host a lot of people. The plan was to go ashore to see some live music in the marina bar but we stayed onboard all night talking, singing Swedish “snapsvisor” (drinking chants) and Adam (from Lady Amity) and Christian were singing and playing the guitar until late night.
Drink night again at Kenobi.
It has been a pleasure to have our new good friend Benedicte onboard Kenobi for almost two weeks now. This is a super nice, friendly and happy person who has brought a lot of good times to Kenobi. We will have to come back to French Polynesia in a couple of years to visit her bamboo-construction eco lodge. She already promised us a free stay!
Benedicte part of the "Kenobi family".
We left Bora Bora in the afternoon of Thursday the 6th of October. Just before leaving for the passage we all went for a swim in the marina, jumping and making flips from the dock like a group of kids! It must have been quite a sight for the other hotel and restaurant guests. The last thing we did was to take some group pictures together before we said farewell to each other. Hopefully we will meet some of them again soon.
Swimming like kids!
Nice hanging out with all these cool people at Mai Kai Marina for the last couple of days.
We sailed the first hours together with Lady Amity taking pictures of each other’s boats. The conditions were so calm we could be close enough to chat with them and at one point even do a high five! Since we are not heading towards the same destination we waved good bye to them and sailed into the night in different directions.
Captain Adam, Keo and Pete on Lady Amity.
You can read more about the planning for our upcoming destinations in Lukas’ blog post Moving on westwards