We nearly gave Bora Bora a miss due to its reputation for being the expensive playgrounds of well-heeled tourists. We are very glad we decided to stop here. Despite being anchored off a Hilton resort with over-the-water palm thatch bungalows, the water is clear and the views are gorgeous. Cloud shrouded volcanic Mt.Mauaohunoa rises behind the resort's private island and behind us is the dull roar of surf on the reef a half mile away.
The wind has been calm for a few days so we have been snorkeling on a nearby reef to see the many varieties of colourful corals and fish. Yesterday we swam near spotted eagle rays in deeper water. They looked like birds flying below us in a down-under sapphire blue sky. In the shallower waters of a small island we came across two large moray eels hiding in coral castles. This morning we watched another moray dart out of it's home towards a diver who sprayed something out of a small canister, probably shrimp or fish meal. We were surrounded by little yellow butterfly fish and black and white banded fish and it felt like we were in an aquarium.
There are more tourists here than in the other islands we have visited but this anchorage is fairly quiet. Last night we rowed to the main town to watch some Polynesian dancing - two miles of rowing each way in the moonlit night was good exercise. It was also somewhat challenging navigating through the shallow coral field in the passage between two little islands near our boat. I held a flashlight in the bow directing Chris around the coral head. I tried to do my share of rowing in the deeper water but Chris was not impressed by my steering - I blamed the chop!