It all goes too quickly- somehow, we have spent three months in French Polynesia, although it feels like we’ve barely arrived and only scratched the surface of what this diverse, beautiful island nation has to offer.
Our arrival in Bora Bora was charmed. We’d heard the moorings were full, but one opened up *right* in front of the clubhouse, just in time for our arrival. Than, as we were in the process of picking up the mooring ball, Claire & Elliot – my cousin and her boyfriend – arrived at the dock. We were so excited to have them joining us on board!
What proceeded can best be called Christmas in July. C&E brought many pounds of goodies for us- things we had ordered, and gifts from friends and family.
The first out were new shoes for everyone. Totem is now an all-Chaco, all the time vessel, and we LOVE them! Thank you, Chuck & Peggy… these are a huge hit.
There were also boat parts (this included radio communication gear, so I was at least as excited as Jamie), books for the children, books for us, clothes, food (just try to find quinoa at a price less than the gold standard here), crafts and games for the kids… heaven!! We lost Niall for almost two days as he seemed to try and commit our new Pacific reef fish guide to memory.
We got to borrow Claire & Elliot for 10 days- it FLEW, and it was densely packed. We celebrated Bastille Day by… well, dressing up as pirates, of course! Cruisers rallied for a float in the parade, attended by French Polynesia’s president no less. He was one of only a few dozen people actually watching the parade, since I’m pretty sure everyone else on the island was actually IN it.
The fish here are beyond friendly… Claire and I went snorkeling with the underwater camera, and there were so many we almost couldn’t get decent photos of each other.
Niall’s deep love of the ocean was plain to C&E, who decided to give him a Discovery dive. Elliot and I rode the boat out to the dive site, and he was as high up on cloud 9 as I think I’ve ever seen him.
One of the really special memories of Bora Bora will be the friends we made at the BBYC. Kahulani is the daughter of one of the partners in the club, and she became fast friends with the girls.
We also had to hold a card tournament. It was a family imperative! Every summer in late July, my family has a rummy tournament that is as much a reunion as anything else… but there are some serious card sharks, too. Claire & Elliot were missing the tournament to be with us, so we created it on Bora Bora! With the crews of other boats trained and participating, and even gen-u-ine POCRT (that’s Pan Oceanic Chicago Rummy Tournament, for the uninitiated) award medals for the winners, thanks to my aunt Glenna.
It would be hard to beat the setting…
…and the winner was Annie, from Oso Blanco! I’m not even going to suggest that it was beginners luck with this sharp lady.
This morning, we’re heading west toward the Cook Islands. Our plan is to sail ~700 miles to Suwarrow (a 4 to 5 day passage for Totem), then continue on to Tonga for the month of August.
Meanwhile, click through any of the pictures to see more in our Flickr stream, for a visual romp through our days on Bora Bora…