This is a condensed version of our visit as internet isn’t strong enough for posting pictures and was difficult to find and I’m months behind.
We arrived March 22, in Huahine our first stop in the Leeward islands. The Leeward islands consist of five volcanic islands. For the next 3 months we spent visiting Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora. Unfortunately we didn’t visit Maupiti. These islands consist of high mountains surrounded by coral barrier reefs which have “safe” anchorages. However most bays were too deep to anchor and moorings were required and with a heavy boat (32 tons) we didn’t always trust that the moorings were maintained in certain bays. In anchorages near coral reefs, anchoring needed to be done with the sun above you and watching for coral heads but all well worth the visit.
Tony’s kids spent 3 weeks with us and flew back home from Raiatea. Tony and I were on our own for 6 weeks before my daughter Evelyn arrived. Evelyn’s arrival in Raiatea was quite eventful when at the last-minute we found out the airport ground workers in French Polynesia were on strike and she was stuck in Papeete. After a lot of stress and phone calls Evelyn arrived safely in Raiatea and in need of a good sleep. Thank fully airport operations were back to normal when she left.
Huahine was very pretty and we spent 5 days exploring the island anchorages. When we arrived we used the Tiare pass. It was deep and narrow but the weather conditions were good.
Evening boogie borading
Fun in the water
Benjamin Boogy boarding
Beautiful Huahine anchorage
We then spent most of our time in Tahaa, Bora Bora and finally our last couple of weeks in Raiatea. The islands were all so beautiful in their own way.
Raiatea and Tahaa lie within the same coral reef and are about 20 miles west of Huahine. Our first time arriving in Tahaa and Raiatea we used the Teavapiti Pass. The pass is wide and good in all-weather conditions. Once within the reef we headed to Tahaa.
By far our most favourite spot in Tahaa was at the coral gardens between Motu Tautau where the Le Tahaa Private resort is located. The snorkeling between the motu was fabulous and the Motu Maharare was one of the few motu we were allowed to land and feel ‘terra firma’ without “Tabu” (private) signs. We also enjoyed the anchorage on the North East side of Tahaa, Motu Mahaea. For $5 each person we had access to the Motu, a lounge chair, umbrella and pretty good snorkeling. We enjoyed a great day and picnic with our friends Darryl & Denise S/V Vimy.
Relaxing in the warm water
Church on the shores of Tahaa
All set for the first snorkell
Bora Bora in the far background
Tahaa in the background
Raiatea provided facilities for shopping and boat repairs. Uturoa the main town had a variety of stores and several grocery stores. We stayed at the Marina Apooiti which made arrival and departure of family members easy. Dream Yacht charters were also always very helpful in providing moorings for a few nights stay.
Faaroa Bay was beautiful surrounded by high mountains. We went up the river with our dingy just before torrential rain hit. We managed to see several river eels and the lush vegetation.
Our last week in Raiatea, we spent a day touring the island with our friends. We all shared in the cost of the rental van and it was a great way to see the island. We stopped at a vanilla farm which was interesting to see how they handled the vanilla and the beautiful aroma.
Sites around the island
Ancient religious site of the Marae
The gang visiting the religious site
The Bay of Apooa
Floating wild flours on the river
River Aoppomau dingy ride
Up the river
Beautiful sunset in Raiatea from Dream Yacht charters Base
Bora Bora is about 12 nautical miles NW of Tahaa. Bora Bora lived up to its reputation of being the jewel of the South Seas. It is also known for having the most beautiful lagoon in the world. It is indeed very beautiful but Hotel and tourist activities are very developed and it was not as quiet and serene as the other islands.
However considering all of the activity its waters are crystal clear. We found the coral to be in pretty good condition but if they continue to over develop the island, nature will be affected and you can see it already in the amount of fish in certain areas. Parrot fish are rare as they are sold in the local markets and restaurants.
We had several snorkeling places we enjoyed. One of our favorites was drifting between the motu at the airport anchorage. There was an excellent variety of coral fish.
We managed to anchor on the south east side of Bora Bora once and only once. We couldn’t handle the stress again of reading 9 inches below our keel. It’s too close when you can count the grass blades when you’re on bow lookout.
Pointe Faroone had good snorkeling but swimming with the sharks was amazing. We brought some bread (the sharks don’t go for bread) but the Butterfly fish were use to humans and swam right to our faces and followed us everywhere. We have some great Gopro footage.
Another spot also on the south side. This time we were anchored on the west side of Bora Bora but dingied to the south side. We stopped between Piti uu Uta and Piti uu Tai. There were so many variety of fish we hadn’t seen before along with a huge Mooray. A local diver had pissed it off and it wasn’t happy and we didn’t want to be its dinner.
There were so many beautiful anchorages and I could go on for pages. The pictures will speak for themselves.
Start to see the highest peak in Bora Bora
Approaching Bora Bora Passe Te AvaNui
Evelyn & Tony Kayaking
Evelyn and Margaret Kayaking
Our new Kayak 🙂
Tony & Margaret Kayaking
My Birthday with my beautiful daughter Evelyn
Excellent times with the grand kids
My beautiful step daughter and me.
The family at Bloody Mary’s
Evelyn enjoying Motu Poto Aau
World famous Bloody Mary’s
Inside Bloody Mary’s
The Evening menu at Bloody Mary’s
The highest Peak in Bora Bora
The Hyatt Bora Bora
Fellow Yachties at MaiKai Marina
Enjoying Happy Hour at Bora Bora Yacht Club
Outside Bloody Marys
We had a spell of a lot of rain in between our special visitors but were happy that the weather was great during their visit. We were ready to leave French Polynesia and look forward to our next new destinations heading west.