Anchors up, we motored down the atoll towards the Passe Paipai, one of the main passageways back out to open ocean. For us Irish sailors, the landscape is very novel. The deep cut out into the ocean is 200 metres wide and has reef awash either side with a constant rolling swell and strong current through the pass. There are also coconuts floating in the water throughout French Polynesia but they are concentrated where the current is stronger.
Once through the pass the depth drops to 500 metres and very quickly to well over 1000m. The passage to Bora Bora was three hours. We had no wind and a large swell which made us find our sea legs after days in the calm lagoon. Due to the light winds, sailing wasn't really on the cards, so coffee, biscuits and a lemon drizzle cake (unearthed from the goody corner in the aft starboard bilge) made for an easy crossing.
The only entrance to Bora Bora atoll is through the Passe Teavanui, so we sailed along the outside of the atoll reef towards the cut, a huge shoal of flying fish entertained us on our approach along with witnessing the power of the swell crashing up against the reef.
As we entered, the leading lights/beacons weren't immediately apparent, so we used the compass bearing and charts to navigate our way into the atoll. It was a relatively straightforward entrance and we continued a further 3nm to our mooring ball - beside the famous Bloody Marys. After some air conditioning time below deck, we ventured out in the dinghy to explore a nearby reef and beach.
Bora Bora Yacht Services made a visit later in the afternoon to collect payment for our stay and Liam used the opportunity to ask them all about the island, both practical items (getting fuel, disposing of rubbish, anchor spots) but also about the best snorkelling and how we could explore.
At about 5, Ben, Suzi and I went to check out Bloody Marys and their delicious cocktails, we realised happy hour was 6-7. Hmmm, we were early. Returning to the boat to freshen up and get Liam, we arrived back at 6.01. We ate in Bloody Marys too, they put on a famous buffet. While a cool bar and a nice experience, it was the most "touristy" dinner of our trip so far. As expected in Bora Bora. Suzi delivered us back to the Ruth II in the dinghy and Liam kindly offered to run the air conditioning for our night
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