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Bora Bora to Raiatea

As chronicled in the Blog posts, the trip from Rarotonga to Bora Bora was extremely challenging: rough on the boat, rough on the crew. We were relieved, physically and mentally, to be out of the big seas and big wind. Bora Bora is an island that we know well, having been coming here for many years, and we consider Raiatea to be our "home island."

Bundled from the Sun, our fair-skinnned Swedish crew mate, Julia, smiles while on watch from Rarotonga to Bora Bora on the last day.

Conni catches a quick rest as we near Bora Bora and the end of the crossing. We were all exhausted, sleeping little, eating nothing but snacks, and wearing wet, clammy rain gear for days.

Just a bit left of center in this photo is the silhouette of Bora Bora, seen through the ever-present rain clouds.

Bill tries to catch some rest while helping Julia on watch. Often, one of us stayed with her in the cockpit to help. The rain squalls around us often required quick action to avoid or to prepare for wind and seas.

Although we had entered French Polynesian territory the night before, we didn't hoist their flag until we had entered the Bora Bora lagoon. Conni also is hoisting the yellow, "Q" flag, designating us as not having been officially entered into the country. Once officially checked in to the country, the Q flag comes down.

We arrived in early afternoon after a few fast runs in the high offshore winds, and decided to delay our official entry request until after a shower and a celebratory meal at the Bora Bora Yacht Club. Here, Conni and Julia gaze at their lovely and delicious meals. Julia is wearing her Official Wings T-shirt.

The Yacht Club had expanded their seating area and these guys were installing a new thatch roof. Here, one of them carries a load of palm leaves for the job.

The day after our arrival, we jump in the dinghy to motor to Viatape and the Gendarmerie to submit our paperwork. We learned later that we had 24 hours to submit entry papers.

This monster is a needle fish, a full meter long. Julia said that it was unusually large for the species.

As we strolled in Viatape, we passed this local selling Dog-Tooth Tuna, a local delicacy.

One of several faces on the mountain that forms the caldera sides of Bora Bora.

Gulp! Yes, that does say, US$20,000!

One of the many leaks that came to life during the crossing from Rarotonga was one that dripped from this light fixture. I rigged this 3-Stooges contraption to keep the water off of my head. The water that I trapped during my 7-hour nap is in the bag sitting on that ledge. Yikes!

The Yacht Club workers are almost finished with the roof. They thought that it was cool that their photo would be on our site.

World Famous (according to them) Bloody Mary bar is a cool oasis of great cocktails and superb food.

Although we've often visited this stretch of beach near Matira Point on Bora Bora, it never fails to take my breath away.

That large circular thing is a huge ray, gliding along the shallows at that same beach.

This is a possible Christmas photo, taken by Julia at Matira Point.

Gulliver was moored beside us at the Yacht Club. She's owned by a Spanish couple (note the flag flying from her mizzen mast) and is impeccably maintained.

Under double-reefed main and jib, we had for Raiatea from Bora Bora. Poor weather hampered our arrival until after dark, forcing us to traverse through a pass through the reef at night.

Conni at the helm, Bill reading, we head for Raiatea. Life jackets, tethers, and such are mandatory on even a one-day crossing. Do note the sapphire color of that blue Pacific water!

After arriving in Raiatea, we spent the night on a found mooring, then motored to Uturoa for some fuel and supplies. These tiny huts are used by the locals to clean fish, I guess. That's not a large reef and they must walk around in water. As you can see, even the lagoon wasn't settled.

The towering sides of Fa'a'roa Bay, the bay that most deeply penetrates Raiatea. It's one of our favorites.

Taputapuatea, the "holy of holies" in the Eastern Pacific, is a tranquil and haunting memorial to a long-gone culture. It's been declared a World Heritage Site, justifiably.

Julia, the marine biologist, snapped this great photo of a typical coconut crab peering from its hole. They're everywhere. If a coconut hits the ground and isn't found by humans, these things with their strong claws, can open them and feast on coconut meat for days. Oh, yeah...they taste good, too.

Back in Uturoa, we must hike about a mile to find Internet, and sit on this concrete step. Here, Conni and Julia complete their work.



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