Destination: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Date: July 2013
Activity: Pearl Shopping & Whale Watching
Our trip to Bora Bora started with a twenty-five mile sail. That may not seem very far in driving standards but it did take about three hours by the time we pull up the anchor until we lowered the anchor at our next port. We left Taha’a having gone one more time to our little snorkel spot which was much warmer the next day. It really was one of the best snorkel spots I have ever been to in all my days of snorkeling. There was so much under water marine life and coral and all of it in just three feet of water. If the kids didn’t like swimming all they had to do was stand up because it was so shallow in the reef area where we snorkeled. At one point we spotted a Moray Eel that was about eight feet long. I thought it was a submerged log until I saw it open its mouth and noticed the billowy scales along the ridge of its back. I was a little frightened but it was a very exciting find for all of the kids.
Once we finished our last snorkel at Taha’a we set sail for Bora Bora. We could see this top hat island off in the distance and we were excited to get there. The trip began pretty uneventful. We figured since it was such a short sail we wouldn’t give any of the kids motion sickness medicine and we soon learned that was a mistake! With thirty knot (small gale force winds) the boat was rolling all over the water. For me it instantly puts me in a trance and makes me want to fall asleep but for most of my kids their bellies were churning and little Bella was bowed over a bucket dry heaving most of the way.
Soon we were within a few miles off the coast of Bora Bora and the winds let up and the rolling subsided. The kids were finally getting rid of their seasickness and about that time we spotted three hump backed whales just about fifty yards off our port side deck. I was so excited for the kids to see such a beautiful sight. They were sputtering water out of their blow holes and diving down with a flip of their tails on the surface. It was beautiful. Captain “D” quickly pulled the boat around and let us get closer views and follow the majestic creatures around in the water for a bit.
After pulling into the harbor of Bora Bora most of us were anxious to get off of the boat. We made a quick dinner reservation at the Le St. James restaurant just a five minute dinghy ride from the Amara and enjoyed a delicious french cuisine meal. I thought the food was delicious and it was presented beautifully.
Our next goal was to get Colton and Bailey set up to complete their scuba diving certificates with Top Dive. Since they had started their class in Mo’orea it had been quite awhile since they had been to class. Lucky for us they were expecting them and their next two dives were set up for the next day. What a great way for them to complete their scuba certification! I wish Trent and I had had a chance to certify in a paradise such as Bora Bora! Instead we were at the bottom of Lake Medina near San Antonio doing a forty foot dive with a foot of visibility, wearing two scuba suits because the water temperature was in the low forties in the middle of January! It was a terrible way to get certified.
Instead of looking for sunken 70‘s VW buses and dirty diapers at the bottom of Lake Medina, they had a chance to look at the beautiful marine life with huge Manna Rays in water temperatures around eighty-five degrees. Little did they know what a great opportunity they were having.
While in Bora Bora we also did a lot of Black Pearl shopping! On our second day in port my sister “K” and I took my four youngest, and her daughter “L” in for a little shopping fun. We went from one little shop to the next checking out everything from surf apparel, to high end black pearls. Of course the shop managers were very good with all of the kids and welcomed us in with cold cups of water and a few seats for the kids to take a load off. “K” and I combed the city shops of Viatape the main port town of Bora Bora and I even found a beautiful little black pearl necklace to add to my collection. We walked and walked and finally sat down for a decent meal at Aloe Cafe not too far from Sabini jewelry store where I bought my necklace. The food was decent but with only three choices in the area we were glad to get something. The kids loved the pizza and burgers and the $8.50 milkshakes. Nope, French Polynesia is not cheap! We solved a lot of the expense problems by making them share entree’s and making a lot of ham and cheese sandwiches back on the boat. Either way I couldn’t complain about this beautiful island.
Safe and Happy Travels!!