Ia Orana Bora Bora

Day 53, 28.11.2018 , Vaitape, Bora Bora. 

So good they named it twice.

We had a very early wake-up due to H having to have a conference call at a time convenient for Germany but we did get to see the sunrise lighting up Bora Bora as we approached the pass through the reef . The Bora Bora song by Gabilou was playing on my phone.

I took the tender boat in to Vaitape as early as I could but H had to stay on board. My job was to check out boat or jet-ski rentals for later in the day but at an unknown start time and for an unspecified duration. I had no success with this with two cruise ships in the lagoon.

Heike actually arrived onshore at 10:00 and said she had only an hour and a half to play. So it was a quick taxi ride to the famous Bloody Mary’s for a breakfast Bloody Mary and a swim. Later in the day, the place was packed so it was good timing as at this time there were only a few American’s in the bar doing the same.

According to Wikipedia; a Bloody Mary is a cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, and combinations of other spices and flavorings including Worcestershire sauce, hot sauces, garlic, herbs, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, lime juice and/or celery salt. In the United States, it is usually consumed in the morning or early afternoon, and is popular as a hangover cure.

The origins of the cocktail are a bit obscure but I’m fairly certain that it has nothing to do with the name of this bar which is more related to the character in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1958 musical South Pacific.

Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Now ain’t that too damn bad!

H went back to the ship and I took a sweaty walk on the coast road north to the Bora Bora Yacht Club for lunch. It was here in 2008 that Heike, Colin and I dramatically rescued another yacht from being pounded to bits on a reef. During this proverbial dark and stormy night we heard on the radio that the anchor from Northern Sky had dragged in strong winds and was bouncing on coral. H and I battled through big waves in our dinghy and dragging a long rope from Graptolite to attach to Northern Sky. Colin then used our winch to drag them alongside and we lashed our two boats together to ride out the storm. We were not anchored but on a mooring buoy and chain at the time so we were safe. That is until the mooring buoy chain broke and we became a Polynesian voyaging double canoe!

The Bora Bora Yacht Club was nothing special at the time, and with poorly maintained mooring buoys, but it has now turned into an excellent restaurant with an over-water deck and thatched roof. I had a nice raw tuna and coconut salad and a steak with sweet potatoes. Best of all, there were no other cruise ship passengers in sight.

The departure through the lagoon in the early evening was surreal with a green mountain, blue sea and white surf as a backdrop.


Day 54, 29.11.2018 , South Pacific Ocean

Sea day.


Day 55, 30.11.2018 , South Pacific Ocean

Sea day.


Day ?, 01.12.2018 , International Dateline Near Samoa, South Pacific Ocean

We have just made a giant leap into the future by kicking December 1st off our calendars. Crossing the International Dateline (IDL) from east to west means that all the hours we have been carefully adding to our days at a rate of 1 hour for every 15 degrees longitude have now been returned to the gods of time and space.

The IDL is at about 170 degrees east in this area and passes between Samoa and American Samoa. This is a little to the east of the theoretical nautical dateline of 180 degrees which is nearer to Fiji. The zig-zagging of the IDL and the time-zones used in these islands are a bit messy, mostly for historical trade reasons. French Polynesia uses a time-zone of GMT-10 hours. American Samoa uses a time-zone of GMT-11 hours. Samoa uses GMT+14 with a Daylight Savings offset. Being west of the IDL, Samoa is a day later than American Samoa.

Right now, the clocks in French Polynesia and in Samoa are the same. They are just on different dates. The Ship’s time has ignored the American Samoa time-zone and gone straight from French Polynesian time to Samoan time to be ready to arrive in Apia. It was just a simple date change at midnight and we never saw December 1st.

Phileas Fogg gained a day by going the other way around the world.