15 July 2008 | Bora Bora, French Polynesia
After spending a lovely week on Tahaa we decided it was time to visit our last island in French Polynesia: the spectacular Bora Bora.
Bora Bora is a gorgeously lush (yawn) volcanic island with crystal clear turquoise (yawn) lagoons. I'm afraid we've become a little spoiled during our time in French Polynesia. Everywhere you look there's a spectacular "postcard" view, so it's hard to maintain that feeling of "Wow!" In fact during our sail across from Tahaa, John had to remind me to pull my head out of my Sudoku puzzle and check out The View. (Yeah, I know: boo-hoo for us.)
Anyway Bora Bora seems to offer something for everyone: luxury hotels with over-the-water bungalows, secluded anchorages tucked behind motus, jet skis, pearl farms, the Bora Bora Yacht Club and the famous Bloody Mary's restaurant, complete with a marked grave inside the dining area.
Bora Bora is also the most common jumping off point for yachts continuing west. And unlike the first part of the "Coconut Milk Run" there will be some divergence here as some yachts opt to head to the northern Cook Islands (Surarrow, Penrhyn) while others choose the southern route (Rarotonga, Aitutaki). Others still decide to forget the Cooks altogether and had straight for Tonga, possibly by way of Niue. Of course there are numerous variations on these routes but you basically choose one or the other, as you make your way toward Tonga.
Our friends on Blue Plains Drifter, Elusive, and Scarlett O'Hara chose the northern route, and in fact left today. We still have several days left on our visas and are considering the southern route to Rarotonga, then Niue to Tonga. It was a bit surreal seeing everyone head out today (they left with about 4 other boats). It's very easy to just move along with the "herd", particularly when you enjoy the company so much. But we have to remember that at the end of the day this is an individual (or family) pursuit and achievement. Whichever way you go most everyone winds up in Tonga if their ultimate destination for hurricane season is New Zealand so we'll catch up with everyone there, if not sooner. On a happier note, Tin Soldier is still here so we've got plenty of good company.
Our indecisiveness is owed to the fact that there doesn't seem to be a "must see" island for us in the Cooks. In addition, unlike the last three archipelagos we've visited (Marquesas, Tuamotus and Societies) which all had loads of anchorages and easily accessible passes, the islands in the Cooks have much more limited anchorages and passes. Also, speaking for myself, I had dreamed of visiting the legendary islands of French Polynesia... I never gave much thought to the next island groups. But I feel certain that whichever landfall we make will be wonderful. After all, it's the South Pacific. How can you go wrong?