Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stuck in Bora Bora

Our goal was to leave a week ago.  There was a small window of opportunity that we could have had to go to Suwarrow.  We would have been be pushed to get in to the anchorage before the seas started to kick up so we decided to stay another week here.  The forecast models have changed alot but here is what we were intending to avoid.
The "C" at the bottom, stands for Cyclone.  It's not really a cyclone but it has cyclonic activity.  The Gale to the east of the "C" is a little more worrisome. 

Anyway, the seas are forecast to be 12-15ft with 25-30kt winds.  It has been pretty blustery here on the mooring at the Yacht Club.  So, what to do?  We rode our bikes around the island.  Of course we had to pick the only day with continuous rain.
 We had lunch again at Bloody Mary's and tried to find the WWII canons at Matira Point.   We found the microwave tower but no luck with canons after hiking like mountain goats in our flip-flops in the rain on slippery mud.

We saw the 'A' earlier in the week.  It had moved around to the north end and we got a nice view of it.  It's a $300 million boat owned by a Russian Billionaire. 

We have nice fairly fast wifi from the Yacht Club so I got a few days of modifications done.  I upgraded Ubuntu Linux, loaded openwrt on my Nanostation, and rooted the Toshiba Tablet.  All things that needed plenty of googling which wouldn't have been possible with the pay-per-minute WDG wifi.

We made another attempt to find the canons.  No luck but we ended up walking alot.  We finally got hooked up with the correct directions.  Nobody seemed to know where these things were.

Anyway, it was a dry 30 minute hike and they were quite impressive.  Such a contrast between the lush green plants, the blue water, and the hard steel canons. 

We are planning on leaving Wednesday morning (tomorrow).  I'm sure we will get our butts kicked but it seems like we could wait until September and have the same outcome.

Next stop, Suwarrow (Suvarov), Cook Islands.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is composed of a central island with fringing islands (motu's) on the surrounding reef.
The view out our back door
Our first anchorage was behind the Hilton Motu.  It was beautiful .  Blue sand/water/and sky all blending together.  It has turned out to be a favorite spot for other boats that don't mind the tour boats, jetskis, and Hilton ferry that fly through the anchorage coming within 5 feet of the anchored boats. I couldn't stand them so we headed to the Mai Kai Marina & Yacht Club.  They have a nice Happy Hour and the $30 mooring fee is free if you eat dinner there.  So we did.
Once again, the dive boats, ferrys, and work boats came flying through there on there way to the fuel dock or public pier.  So we left and went around to the southeast side behind Motu Piti Aau.  There was no boat traffic and we were in 5 feet of crystal clear water.  Even when the wind picked up to 35kts, there wasn't much in the way of waves since we were so close to shore.  We stayed 3 days and headed back to civilization.
Bora Bora Yacht Club
This time, we thought to try the Bora Bora Yacht Club.  It looked a little more out of the wind and boat traffic routes.  Well, we have been here for a week.  The hot showers are what cruisers dream of.

Intercontinental Hotel

Bora Bora is an island of such contrast.  There are all-inclusive resorts out on the motus where the rich and famous stay in private, perfectly landscaped villages.  On the main island, the local polynesians live in poverty.  Mexico looks upscale compared to here.  The people are nice but not as welcoming as in Huahine.  It seems like the vacationers and locals never mix.  Rarely do you see a white person on Bora that is not a cruiser, and there are only a few of us.
Bastille Day Float
Bastille Day Celebration
The Yacht Club gives us good access to the main road that runs around the island.  We went to the Haieve (Dance Contest) at the stadium one night.  The entire island population must have been there.  We rode our bikes to town for the Bastille Day celebration and Fete.

We found a neat place, Bloody Mary's, that has a good Tofu Burger for lunch.

Bloody Mary's

Inside Bloody Mary's

Check out this rich and famous list.
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We rode our bikes 20 miles around the island and hiked the hills looking for the WWII gun batteries.  Never did find them, but it seems that they were replaced with microwave towers. 

Homemade Propane Transfer Station
I made a propane hose to fill the US style propane tanks from the French style tank valves.  We had a propane party at the Mai Kai Happy Hour.  We transferred 60 pound of 'gaz'

Thursday, July 11, 2013


We had a lumpy 3 hour trip from Huahine to Raiatea.
It is very deep close to shore and we were lucky to find a little 30ft bump out from the Raitea Marina that had enough sand for the anchor to hold well.
We had heard about a great Vegetable Market, so we rode the bikes 4 miles to town. Well, we did go to quite a few supermarkets but the Market was a bunch of hype. I bought a PVC coupler to fix the vibrating wind generator bushing and had a good work day. We are heading to Bora Bora tomorrow.
Cheers, Dave and Booker
The Daily Rainbow

Got a bowl of coffee.  Didn't know how to drink it. I guess it's a French thing

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Huahine - Our favorite island so far

Our most favorite island so far. Spent 2 weeks and could have done more.

Huahine (waa-hee-nee) is an off the beaten path island. There is not much tourism. There are not that many non-polynesians. We anchored at the town of Fare after an overnight sail from Moorea. During our morning arrival, we saw a sailboat that hit the reef a day prior. What a shame.

We had some boat work to do for the first few days and then we started to explore. We went to a Tahitian Dance and dinner at the Bali Hai Hotel that were anchored in front of.

Tahitian Dance
We made new friends and saw old friends. Atmo and Petra from ELFRUM came in and we went bike riding to the ancient Marae (Temples). We met Mark on TEVAKE and Simon and the gang on SKIMPY. Zack, Suzie, and Ronan on WENDY ELLEN were there and we got together two nights of Vegetarian Pot Luck. One night after Happy Hour at the 'Yacht Club', we followed the sound of drums to a Tahitian Dance practice at the school playground. Very interesting and so nice to see they are keeping their Polynesian culture well and alive. Everyone speaks French but they also speak Tahitian between each other and seem to prefer it. Huahine in pre-European times was the center of government for the Society Islands. Many Kings and Priests lived there and there are lots of Marae and probably had their share of human sacrifices to the Gods.

Banyan Tree by the Marae
We went down to the Southwest anchorage for a few nights and got boarded by a French Customs patrol boat. They figured we had too much wine and gave us a $300 penalty. Oh well, it's still cheaper than buying it here. This is not a place for people on a budget. Laundry was cheaper here that the Marquesas but was still $50 for 2 loads.

Ancient Marae up in the hills.

We rode our bikes around the North Island of Huahine Nui (Big Huahine). We stopped and saw the Sacred Eels in Faie. They were 3-5 feet long and live in a fresh water stream. They were friendly and thought we brought them food.  Sorry guys, we didn't  Ancient legend has it that:

"The first eel crawled across the mountains from a pool in Arue, on the north coast of Tahiti.

Feeling lonely, the eel married a beautiful maiden from Mataiea on Huahine, after much courting and splashing about the water. The present day inhabitants supposedly descend from this couple."

View of the East Coast looking South

The 'Seat for the Gods'
The Blue Eye Sacred Eel

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