Hawaii/South Pacific: Bora Bora – Day 2

Sunday, March 20, 2022 – Happy First Day of Spring!

Was so glad we had shut the curtains to the balcony. The air conditioning is working as hard as it can, so the thick curtains help keep the sun out. Still, you can tell the temperature difference between one side of the room and the other even with the curtains closed.

Dinner was a shared table from a couple from California and a couple from Texas. Nice group of people and pleasant conversation. Chuck had the roast beef and they cooked it just as he likes it. I had the pecan-crusted chicken which was crispy on the outside but still juicy on the inside.

Rest of the evening was spent listening to the last set of the Dance Band and getting our snorkel gear prepped.

The alarm was set for 5:30 but I was up at 5:00. Breakfast was delivered at 6:00. We met the rest of our snorkel group of 50 at the Lincoln Center lounge at 7:15 so we could all take a tender over to the island together. I am not sure what the official name of the tour is but it is mostly known as Patrick’s Tour. He and his family run the tour. It is not a HAL tour.

Patrick provided 4 outriggers that could hold 14 people each plus the Captain/Guide. Our Guide brought his 13-year-old son to help.

Our first stop was to swim with the black-tipped reef sharks and sting rays. It was just as exciting as the swim in Raiatea.

Our next stop was the coral gardens. Beautiful fish were everywhere. They gave us each a chunk of French bread to feed the fish and the fish knew we had it. They just swarmed us. I tried to break off little pieces and throw it. Gave up, crushed the bread and let it go. Was crazy.

Here, the current was strong so you had to be careful it didn’t push you into the coral.

I even saw a moray eel poke his head out this time. I believe this is the first time I have ever witnessed that though other people have seen them. We liked this coral garden spot so much; Chuck and I were the last people back in our outrigger when it was time to go.

The wind had picked up so Patrick cancelled the last stop outside the reef as he was afraid the current and waves would be too strong. Instead, the Guides took the outriggers to a spot where locals and visitors come for a sand scrub. The sand was so fine that you scooped it up and rubbed it on your body – just like a spa sand scrub. It really did make your skin feel so smooth. Our Guide passed around beer, sodas, and water which added to the fun.

After that stop, we went to Patrick’s family motu. He owns the motu and part of the ocean that surrounds it. It has been in his family for generations. It is very near the hotel and bungalows of the Four Seasons. He said the hotel has approached him many times with offers – “suitcases full of money“- to purchase but he will not sell the family land. I wonder if his heirs will feel the same.

We passed a number of the bungalows, but the Four Seasons looked the nicest.

Some of his family were already there cooking and setting up. He uncovered the fire pit and showed us the roasted pig. We also had grilled fish, grapefruit, taro, plantains, chicken with spinach, bread fruit, and small bananas. I again skipped the raw fish salad. Beer, wine, soda, and water were offered to drink. We used banana leaf woven plates and ate everything with our fingers (just like family). Food was excellent. I would have liked utensils though.

He did a fire dance for us. We asked our guide if he could fire dance also. He emphatically said No! Two of the family members played ukuleles and sang. Didn’t understand the words but it was very melodic.

Our last stop was a calm swimming area but I was almost completely dry so I just stayed on the outrigger and enjoyed the breeze. We got back for the tender to the ship at 4:00. Long day but very enjoyable.

I highly recommend Patrick’s tour if you find yourself in Bora Bora. Well worth the price and time. Great snorkeling spots, wonderful food, and professional and courteous service.

Just be aware that the guides dress in traditional swimwear which means they wear very little. As he moved around the outrigger tying and untying lines, I would have to turn my head to ensure that I did not get a face full of naked butt cheek when he passed by me.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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