Bora Bora is part of the Society Islands group of French Polynesia. The island is northwest of Papeete and is surrounded by a barrier reef and lagoon. In the center of the island is an extinct volcano; two mountain peaks rise from it. A prominent plant feature of the island are the many coconut trees. Some of the military hardware from World War II can still be seen on the island.
Two days in paradise!
We had two glorious days here. On the first day we had prearranged a snorkeling excursion with Reef Discoveries. As we exited the tender we could see a Reef Discoveries staff member waiting for us, and we were led to a boat where most of the six who were on this excursion were already waiting. With this small group we had an excellent snorkeling experience. We visited two sites, both quite far from the area around the tender port, including a "wall of fish" where there were more fish than either of us had ever seen. The guide was helpful, in the water with us, and made sure each person had a good experience. The sky was overcast and there was some rain, but it didn't detract from the day. We would recommend this group.
On the second day we toured with a ship tour to drive around the island. This was a good opportunity to see various parts of the island, including a local products center where we sampled local produce and saw a demonstration of local clothing construction. We stopped by the famous Blood Mary's where we could see the exterior only as the facility was closed for remodeling. The wind there was so strong! We also saw land crabs what came out of their ground nests when flowers were thrown by the guides—they like to eat the flowers. When we returned we had a very nice lunch at the local Aloe Cafe (see "Serendipity" below). We found the restaurant by just walking around, looking at menus, etc. and it was an excellent choice.!
George's blog: (December 7) Arrived at Bora Bora to wind and rain. We anchored and tendered in. The day was generally windy, with periodic sun alternating with heavy rain. We went ashore and went on a private snorkeling tour. It was great. There were many types of coral we had never seen and loads of fish - I have never seen fish so densely packed together in a coral reef. The water was crystal clear and you could see the fish from above water surface. George's blog: (December 8) Spent overnight on the ship anchored in Bora Bora's turquoise lagoon. Today we went on an excursion around the island. Again a day with sun alternating with rain, but the scenery was beautiful. You can see the level of wind in the photo of Marney's hair blowing while standing across from the famous Bloody Mary's Restaurant. The photo of the land crabs is very interesting. They come out of their holes rapidly and fight over pieces of pineapple and flowers thrown on the ground. All of the fancy hotels use bungalows situated in the lagoon off of the motus, or small islands located around the main island. Bananas, pineapple, bread fruit, and papaya grow all over the island.
Lunch near the pier
The Aloe Cafe serves excellent local fish and has a good selection of locally-baked pastries as well. There's wi fi service available too. The cafe is a short distance from the pier where the cruise tenders dock; cut through the crafts building; it's on the road behind, across from the evangelical church.