Bora Bora – they liked it so much they named it twice (sorry!). BB is about 130 miles from Moorea, hence a morning departure makes sense. It took us about 25 hours and, wait for it, we finally had proper trade winds – about 15 knots with Ainia on a broad reach most of the time with only the genoa up and poled out with the spinnaker pole. It was a very pleasant and relaxing sail and hopefully will be only the first of many as we head west north of 20°S.
Along with Moorea, BB is the ‘face’ of French Polynesia in magazines, movies and the like. It is certainly beautiful with gorgeous water and a lovely crag in the center of the island, but to our mind it has been spoiled by tourism. The people seem to verge on surliness and you know things are not good when the woman in the tourist information office is not friendly and helpful. This is not to say that everyone is unpleasant, but there were enough people here were that it leaves a bad feeling. Perhaps it is because this is a place for very high end tourists with virtually all hotels having the over-the-water-bungalows that rent for $1000+ a night. The locals may just be tired of being nice to tourists that their natural friendliness is lost.
We did not do much here. Went to a supposedly famous cruisers’ hangout for dinner. Bloody Mary’s is certainly not that at all. Eight of us went from the anchorage and we were the only sailors there. Everyone else was from the hotels (we shared our shuttle bus with folks from the Four Seasons. BM’s was very expensive (some entrees were more than $40) and very formulaic – perhaps the tipoff was that they sold many t-shirts advertising themselves. The food was OK at best and one of our may have had a touch of food poisoning.
Speaking of supposedly famous cruiser spots, we took a mooring at the Bora Bora Yacht Club which is not a YC at all but another restaurant. They are being remodelled for an opening with new management so the moorings were free which was nice since anchoring in BB is hard since the water is very deep in most spots.
Tomorrow (June 17th) we are leaving for Suvarov which is about 700 miles from here. We have been waiting for some wind for a few days but the pressure gradient was killed by a very deep low (965 mb – yikes!!) that is passing far to the south of us. There will be some wind building in the next days (to 20 knots) but also swells from the south that may be in the 17 foot range. We hope to do an end run around the worst of these but may have to motor tomorrow to get a good start.