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Around the World in 106 Days with Ray & Claire!! Part 28 – Bora Bora

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Around the World in 106 Days with Ray & Claire!! Part 28 – Bora Bora. Similar to the other islands in this area, it was formed by an underwater volcano erupting. The larva from the volcano formed a huge conical pile in the sea which, when the eruption ceased, started to cool down.

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Around the World in 106 Days with

Ray & Claire!!

Part 28 – Bora Bora

Similar to the other islands in this area, it was formed by an underwater volcano erupting. The larva from the volcano formed a huge conical pile in the sea which, when the eruption ceased, started to cool down.

Coral then began to grow at the outer edges of this cone owing to the ideal conditions of warmth, saline, and the minerals from the extinct volcano

Over thousands of years the cone of the volcano gradually diminished and you are left with a coral reefed island.

Incidentally (as you will see from the next slide) where fresh water flows from the island into the sea, no coral will grow

Looking at the shape of Bora Bora, we see that this is not one island, but a volcanic crater ring with a central island in the middle

As could be seen from the Satellite imagery on the previous slide, the coral surrounding Bora Bora has created a sheltered lagoon that is ideal for all sorts of lagoon fish - and the white coral sand makes spectacular diving and snorkelling conditions

Looking at this map on the left, you can clearly see an opening in the reef where a fresh water river flows into the sea and where no coral can grow.

This was the only opening where the Black Watch could get close enough to the shore at Vaitape and as there is no proper Port here, we had to anchor in the lagoon and use two of the lifeboat tenders to get us ashore

Going back to a satellite image shows the gap in the reef and a ship anchored in the same position as used by the Black Watch for our short stop at this beautiful island

As this island is so beautiful, it has become a luxury resort for the very rich with “lodges” (i.e. little offshore thatched houses) costing anything up to £1000 per night

The airport does not have a landing strip long enough for international flights, so the connection with Papeete in Tahiti is an important one to get people to these luxury resorts

Using “our” satellite again, you can see that the highest point o the island is the remains of the extinct volcano. This is calledMount Otemanu which is 727m or 2400ft high.

The only real income here apart from tourism and black pearls, is coconuts and in the background you can see the atoll of Tupai, which has no permanent residents other than those workers who are there tending the coconut plantation on the island

We woke up in the morning and this was the view from our cabin

Isn't it about time you had a haircut Ray?!

....even if you are half bald already?!

As previously mentioned, we had to anchor offshore and use the Lifeboat Tenders to get to the island

“Have a great day ashore folks”

“thanks Cat – we will!”

“All aboard ? Then lets go!”

Although Vaitape was a tiny village –there were a number of shops selling pearls – which we steered well clear of!

(Although the prices were far cheaper that we are led to expect them to be in Tahiti – these “black pearls” were aimed at the affluent holidaymakers (who rent the sea villas) and cost mega-bucks

..and would you believe it?

Our friendly cameramen (Jackson and Brendon) are there already to video our visit

Scribe’s Note

A copy of the full video of this trip will be available for viewing at Riddiford. (If you have a few hours to spare!)

There is not much to see on the island except for some lovely scenery and wonderful beaches and clear blue lagoon waters and so most of the Ship Tours were waterborne

There were a couple of 4 Wheel Drive off-road trips into the mountains but Raymond whimped out of one of these (cos’ of his back) and we opted for a snorkelling trip

Matira Lagoon

Even though the water looks lovely, one still had to be careful when walking along the beach and/or swimming as although there are not a lot of stinging jellyfish here, you still have to watch that you don’t step on any sea urchins or stingrays in the water

Other than the 4 WD vehicles, people could hire scooters and bicycles . One of our friends (i.e. Alex) went out for a 1 hour bike ride - which turned into two – then three. He then thought enough is enough and it was probably best to get a taxi back to the Port – until he saw the Black Watch in the distance – and – so he rode the rest of the way round the island. (Perhaps this had something to do with him being Welsh and he was still celebrating the Welch Rugby win over French – who knows!)
Although French is the main language spoken - as they have a lot of tourists coming here - we found that most of the 9000 people living on the islands (not that we spoke to them all you will understand!) had some command of the English language

This was “Le Truck” the local Tour Bus

Several film stars have their own properties on the island and Marlon Brando was the first American film star to have one of these built

Mount Otemanu makes a lovely backdrop

As the adveragecost of just hiring one of these sea villas was £1000 a night, we don't think that we will even bother to ask how much one would cost to purchase!.

Here is an aerial view of the Island of MotuTapuwhere the boat dropped anchor on one of the shallow sand banks so we could get in the water to swim with the stingrays (after our guide had fed them of course!)
As the waters were very clear, it was easy to spot an approaching stingray and I have to say that there is really something majestic about them when you see them gliding effortlessly past you as you are snorkelling
“I thought you said that the water would be lovely and warm?

Its not as warm as it was in the Red Sea I can tell you!”

“...and I think there is something swimming round my legs!!”

“Its OK Claire. NO need to claim off the insurance - the shark reckoned that I was too old and wrinkly for his taste!”
..and then we went onto another little island for some lagoon snorkelling... and as usual, there were plenty of Tiki’s (i.e. Gods) to be seen
We are shown how to split and peel a coconut and the various things that one can do with a coconut (e.g. like making shoes)

We also learnt that “Coconut Milk” is not the juice inside the coconut, but the squeezed white of the coconut

No its OK, its at anchor...

...and although the guard dog is asleep, we cant even purchase some Bread Fruit as we are not allowed to bring them back on board Ship

“Welcome back Mrs Tricker – I see that you didn't manage to lose The Bearded One to the sharks?!”

...and then as usual, we had to Buckle Up and prepare for our next Port of Call at Tahiti

..but before that we had a last show from:
  • Robert Craig – Vocalist
  • Aviva – Musical excellence with a clarinet and a
  • guitar
  • Dain Cordean - Comedy and Magic
  • they prepare to get off at Tahiti tomorrow - which is our next Port of Call