Of all the places in the South Pacific, probably the best known island destination in the world is Bora Bora. It is the jewel of French Polynesia and often described as the most beautiful island setting of them all. On Tuesday afternoon, we left Moorea (which is also a very beautiful island) and sailed overnight to Bora Bora which was about 135 miles away.
Before we left, Jason and Lara decided to visit the nearby Hilton Resort and found out they had a great offer on a couple’s massage. They came back to Tahina around 4 PM, completely relaxed. Only to have to help prepare for departure and weigh anchor. Fortunatley for them, we were in the island’s wind shadow and were motoring for the first couple of hours. We made a quick dinner as the sun set, and as we were eating the winds picked up.
We put up the spinnaker right after dinner and were soon making 7-8 knots. Several other boats had also left Moorea just after us. They were mostly going to Huahine. We talked with them on the VHF. They were actually reducing sail because they wanted to arrive after daybreak. Most of the night we averaged better than 9 knots. Around 3AM we were between Huahine and Raieteia when several small rain squalls passed over us. Then the winds died for about an hour as we slowly coasted along at only 3 knots. The winds soon resumed and we had a great 8-9 knots sail until we were north of Tahaa just after dawn. Another bigger squall approached, so we pulled down the spinnaker to let it pass.
We started seeing the sillouhette of Bora Bora appear out of the mist of the passing squall. A few rainbows appeared. How many people have dreamed of going to Bora Bora? I know I have been reading about and dreaming of sailing here for most of my life. I had to pinch myself to believe this was real. The only thing that could have made it more perfect is if Karen was with me. It’s a shame she had to go home to the US and miss this first arrival to Bora Bora. Fortunately, she is scheduled to come back next week and will still get to visit this magical place.
We arrived at the pass at about 10 AM. We could see multiple dive boats at the pass diving on the coral reefs. There were sailboats visible in at least 5 or 6 different anchorages. The mountainous landsacape was much bigger than I expected based on photos and visits in Google Earth. There are hotel resorts carefully tucked away in coves in the lagoon all around the island. But, that’s something you expect based on all the stories and movies as well.
Below is the GPS track of Tahina’s passage to Bora Bora from Moorea:
View Passage to BoraBora in a larger map