Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bora Bora

16°30’S and 151°45’W

Captain Cook discovered this island in 1769 and is home to a US Army naval base which was built during the War of the Pacific against Japan (1941-1945) as well as the first airport in Polynesia. When Jay was here in 1983 there was a dirt road and very few cars, during the last 10 years the islands popularity spured the development of many luxury hotels with beautiful bungalows built over the water. Bora Bora is the premier travel destination in Polynesia and will be our last port before departing for Raratonga in the Cook Islands.

It’s been very, very windy since we arrived here which has limited our swimming and snorkeling experiences and delayed our departure. However, we have visited a few different anchorages and enjoyed a couple of snorkeling trips. On the East side of the island we snorkeled and saw three spotted rays – my favorite! They are so beautiful and graceful, like they are flying.

We are currently anchored in front of a famous restaurant called Bloody Mary’s which is a popular destination for many famous people (our names will be added shortly). It is customary, in Polynesia, for families to bury their deceased family members somewhere in their yard, and it’s no different here at Bloody Mary’s – there is a grave near the back of the restaurant!

We visited the Farm, Bora Bora Pearl Company and purchased a black pearl necklace for me, I got to watch Andrea create my necklace which was a really nice experience. She did a great job and I love my necklace! Here’s a picture of Andrea and me wearing my new pearls!

We’ve been having a really nice time despite the winds as it’s always nice to stay put for a while and read and relax. The girls have been spending lots of time finishing up school work and hanging out with their friends on O’Vive and Jay has been tending to some boat repairs. I have been really enjoying hanging out with Natalie and her family from France and have been practicing my French and learning new words every day. We’ve also learned a new French card game which is always fun.
In 1983, Jay and his parents, sister and friend sat at anchor in this very spot and rode out Hurricane Riva, the most devastating storm to hit this area. We had to vist this spot which looks much different and serene, don't you think?

I thought you might enjoy a little peek into the grocery store here. Pretty much every day, we go to the store for fresh baguettes (they go stale very quickly) and this is how we see them, they cost 51pf each which is about 75 cents. Those of us accustomed to enjoying the bountiful harvest of Chilliwack corn will be shocked at the extensive packaging and expense of a single cob of fresh corn 285pf which is about $4!

One day, Natalie, Karine, Madeline and I went for a walk and happened upon the studio of Garrick Yrondi, painter and sculptor. We had an amazing experience viewing his work in the gallery in his home. His home, which is under construction, sits high on the hillside overlooking Baie de Povai and Mount Otemanu which stands 727 meters high. This very kind gentleman gave us a tour of his home and his artwork.

An excerpt from Yrondi’s brochure:

Garrick Yrondi was born in 1945 in Antibes (France). He descended from a family of four generations of artiste…

He realized a big sculpture in pink marble “Vahine e’ie” she is two meters high, carved in Portugal and placed at the exit of the airport of Bora-Bora, welcoming all of us as we arrive.

This is an accomplishment of the same type as the little Mermaid of Copenhagen, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower…

You will love or hate his picture creations, there is not place for indifference. This being is as strong as his work.

I wish I had the means to purchase one of his paintings, I’m particularly fond of the ones with orange fish, however, instead I’ll treasure the experience and claim it as a brush with fame!

You may view his work at

Today we hiked up to the radio tower on one of the peaks of the island and enjoyed an amazing panoramic view of the bay and reef. It was just a half hour hike to the top, but by the looks of the trail, few people go, just the 4x4 tour trucks. It was the most beautiful view we’ve seen so far on one of our hikes.

It was our great pleasure to meet Madeline, Jean-Mi, Karine, Pauline & Axel (Natalies family from France), we enjoyed many great experiences together and we will miss them. We celebrated Karine's birthday at Bloody Marys, where we feasted on incredible seafood!

Most of the hotels in French Polynesia consist of numerous little huts, built over the water, here's a pic of a new one under construction.


Mark said...

Hello, more to come!!!

Mark said...

Hello from the Sales in Hot Osoyoos

We are in 34 degrees at 8:00 pm and thought we would check up on your progress. We have had many other families here look at your blog, and all are very envious.
You all are looking very healthy and well, exept for Jay. Looks like you could lose a couple before hockey season, which by the way, starts in 3 weeks!!

I hope you are well and are enjoying your fabulous adventure.

I have to go now as dinner is being served and my G&T is getting warm.

Stay safe and we will talk soon.

Mark, Lisa , Krista, Jason