Hello from the entry into the pass at Mopelia..this looks like one of our nerviest passes yet so I have come down below to occupy myself with something other than watching and getting all anxious. We left Bora Bora mid afternoon yesterday to go the 120 miles to Mopelia a small atoll at the end of French Polynesia. It was windy so we got here too early and had to anchor outside the pass and wait for better light. Once again it was a rolly nite out to sea but we were spared anything too exciting and just had a bit of uncomfortableness. We are starting to feel pinched for time as we want to get thru the Cook Islands and on to Nuie for my birthday at the beginning of Aug. We were not crazy about Bora Bora so stayed there for just a couple of days. It is built up and kind of dirty and the natives not nearly as nice as on the smaller islands...me thinks they see too many tourists and rudeness has rubbed off on them. I tell you my perspective for the difference we in a tourist driven economy can make if we take the time to be courteous and kind to the people visiting has gotten ever more enforced. They weren't so welcoming to us so we just left and didn't spend time or money on their island....
The one draw Bora Bora has is that it has all its fancy hotels are out on motus so the people that are out there are incognito and only will see other people at that resort...hence the movie stars and famous and wealthy that don't want anything but their privacy. Obviously we did not get to do any stargazing as we would not be able to get onto those properties. There was a 200 ft yacht anchored a mile or so from us tho' that had fireworks one of the evenings. It was quite a spectacular show and so in a way we got a belated 4th of July fireworks celebration. Very nice over the water and it must have gone on for over a half an hour. The one fun thing we did on our full day in Bora was get out our bikes and do an around the island tour with Steve and Trish from Curious. It was a great ride(about 20 miles-our rendition of the Tour) and I was pleased that the only thing that hurt was my bumbum(an Emma term) and my neck. Guess my quads have kept in shape from all the snorkeling! Had a relaxed lunch overlooking the water before heading back to the boats.
That is the latest but going back to where I left off on my previous email...On the 4th of July we had gone back to Taravana Yacht Club as the owner has said he would organize a potluck bbque for all the boats. It was loads of fun..there were only us and one other American boat so our British and Australian friends helped us celebrate our independence from them...rather funny. He had also invited all his neighbors so we met many fun and boisterous locals and a good time was had by all. Next day Curious and we left to go to the southern motus in Raiitea. We had a lovely sail across and down the bay with lots of tacking but no engine and just a good time. Got to a very pretty anchorage that we had been told of from Richard who owned the yacht club on Tahaa. It's name is NaoNao and looked like we would be in snorkel heaven. The reefs there were the first live and healthy ones we have seen since the Tuomotus so we were all happy campers. Gram and I borrowed a kayak from Curious and did a circumnavigation of the island while Bill did a swim to check out the various reefs. Next morning decided to make a picnic lunch and go to the beach so we could snorkel both reefs. They were great..one deep with larger fish and the other a drift all the way down the edge of the island with coral bombies thruout. Tons of fish and beautifully colored coral made for an hour and a half in the water. Next morning Trish and Gram and I had to go back and do it over again while the captains did some planning to get us to our next stop-Bora Bora a 5 hr. sail.
Lots of talk in these parts about the upcoming eclipse tomorrow morning. In fact some boats are going miles and miles out of their way to get to the zone of totality where it will be a full eclipse. From where we are it will probably be 90% and we decided to settle for that. Should be cool tho'. Plan is to stay here a few days and then head to Aitutaki, Palmerston atoll, and then Beveridge Reef...we will need to stay outside all of these places so are hoping that the winds calm down and we have some moderate weather so we can do this. The diving is all three of these places should be good and we actually hope to find one or two places to dive here in Mopelia. We just anchored and I hear a cry from Gram saying that there is a magnificent beach calling to us so will say bye bye for now and try to get a nap in the sand...l