Boz loved Bora Bora. I did too. More than last time, during which Jessi and I agreed it was just so-so. But there’s something about it that was much more appealing this time. Maybe it was the mountain, maybe the hiking, or the people, or some combination thereof. Granted, we spent a boat-load of money we probably shouldn’t have, buying one $18 cheeseburger (!?!?!) per day to “pay our rent” on the MaiKai Marina moorings. (Note, eating just one meal per mooring day is not their official policy, but moorings are $10/day after the first day or $50/week). But it’s fascinating how the people there, despite being the most touristy island of the whole archipelago, are subtly more friendly than Raiatea, Huahine, Tahiti. And the mountain, wow… The second highest peak, Mt. Pahia, is hikeable but the main peak, Otemanu, allegedly hasn’t been climbed. Officials urge hikers to use a guide for Pahia, but it’s not necessary; once you know where to start it’s pretty straightforward to find the trail. Our boat legs were not well suited for the task (~2200ft vertical) but we took our time, filmed and photographed our way up and were rewarded with a spectacular vista of the whole island at the top. It’s a bit dodgy with a number of rope-assisted sections and not for the physically unfit or height-phobic, but if you ever make it to Bora, it’s a must-do in my book. Strangely, we met locals who had never even been up the mountain in their backyards and were surprised/appalled we went without a guide.
Unfortunately, upon arriving in Bora Bora, I discovered that a cast-aluminum part on our windvane autopilot had broken and the sea had made off with an important structural support. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men… The cracked part wasn’t available, and the other bits would cost ~$300 to purchase and ship to Polynesia. We sailed back to Raiatea, just 25 miles south, and tucked into the boatyard slip we’d left one month prior, with sheepish grins on our faces. Third time’s a charm?
The windvane repair only took two days and $100 in materials to resolve, but while we had electricity we undertook a much bigger project, and now Cadence looks almost better than new, with shiny yacht-quality woodwork all around. Tonight we sail westward to American Samoa (America, Fuck Yeah!) with a pit stop in Suwarrow on the way, and if we don’t get totally bogged down in the forecast calms we should be there within 2 weeks. Jessi, our gracious shore-support person will periodically post our position here if all goes well, so stay tuned for passage updates! And when we finally make it to American Samoa, I expect to have the first high-speed affordable internet in a while. Maybe good enough to upload video…
Below I owe thanks to our friend, Peter, an Aussie we were racing with on the approach to Bora Bora, whom with we shared many happy hours and an exploratory hike of Mt. Pahia. He took the action shots of Cadence at sail, the first I have. Please ignore the bad luff tension in the jib. There’s a good excuse, I promise.