We arrived in Bora Bora around 5pm on the 19 th June 2021 after a pleasant sail from Tahaa Island. We picked up a mooring next to Andrew and Carolyn on Askari and joined them for drinks aboard. The next day wet tied up our dinghy at the Bora Bora Yacht Club and walked the 2km to Vaitape, the main town on the island. Being a Sunday, the town was quiet, so we walked back to BBYC for happy hour at the club.
On Monday morning Annie cycled back into town to start the check out process at the Gendarmerie and was told our zarpe document will be ready by Wednesday morning. Bob McDavitt our weather router, indicated that a low over Maupiti will delay our departure until the next Monday. The upmarket timber and grass roofed bungalows had us gawking.
The reefs don’t allow a passage around the south of the island, so we sailed down the west side of the island, picking up a mooring and visiting the famous Bloody Mary’s bar and restaurant, dating back to the 1950’s. There are numerous rolls of names at the entrance to the restaurant of the rich and famous who had been to Bloody Mary’s.
On the Thursday we took the dinghy in to Vaitape to complete our check out. We also bought last minute provisions for the trip to Cairns, Australia. The documents hadn’t come through from Tahiti yet, so we anchored in a lovely spot behind Motu Toopua for another night.
Friday morning proved successful at the Gendarmerie and we were issued with our exit papers and our passports were stamped. We set sail for Maupiti at 10:00 in a 15 knot NE wind and 1m sea. Arriving at the Onoiau pass, Maupiti at 14:30, we were confronted with big breaking waves on both sides of the narrow pass. The water was like a washing machine and we had to gun the motor flatout to make 2 knots through the fast out flowing current.
Once inside the lagoon the water was flat and we motored up the channel to anchor close to three other boats. We had Andrew and Carolyn Bellamy from Fremantle, on Askari over for drinks. Saturday morning, we walked through the village of Vaiea to a row of low key eateries next to the sports field, where we enjoyed coffees and excellent chocolate cake.
Sunday was a big day for Maupiti – the FP government had a new ship built in Spain to service the Society Islands as a freighter and ferry – a real lifeline for Maupiti to the rest of the islands. The celebrations started with music and dancing as soon as the ship entered the pass at 08:00. Everybody was dressed up and the welcoming committee stood ready with flower garlands for all the tourists that got off the ship. Really moving to see this event.
After the welcoming, Annie and I decided to climb the mountain above Vaiea to see the island from the highest point. A tough climb but very rewarding in terms of the view. We got back on board for cold beers and had a swim. The water maker was started and we filled the water tanks for the trip home.
Afterwards we went ashore to donate all our surplus clothes and linen, kitchenware, books etc. to the islanders, who are doing it tough due to the downturn in tourism. We had farewell drinks on Askari and to post this blog. Wish us luck as we do another long leg to finish our circumnavigation. We should arrive in Cairns in 3-4 weeks and as before, you will be able to follow us on our Predictwind tracking page. Cheers for now!