Tahiti 2011:
Day 10 - Bora Bora


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Tahiti 2011: [Day 1 - Moorea] [Day 2 - Tahiti] [Day 3 - Tahiti ] [Day 4 - Huahine] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Rangiroa] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Raiatea] [Day 9 - Bora Bora] [Day 10 - Bora Bora] [Day 11 - Moorea] [Day 12 - Tahiti] [Day 13 - Tahiti] [Day 14 - Coming Home]

Tuesday, March 1: Another sunrise but no sail in, because we'd stayed in Bora Bora overnight.
After looking longingly at the donuts every day, Debbie treated herself to one. Mmmm, donuts.
We had another afternoon shore excursion so we decided to spend the morning at Matira Beach. It's a $5 shuttle ride from the pier, and it takes 20 minutes.
We headed out on the circle island road, ...
... passing plenty of lush scenery, ...
... and famous Bloody Mary's. We decided a photo was all that we needed from this place after reading online reviews.
Just a little more scenic driving, ...
... and a quick turn at the entrance to the Bora Bora Intercontinental Resort, ...
... and we were at Matira Beach, a beautiful white sand beach with shallow water as far as the eye could see. Let's look ...
... and look ...
... and look ...
... and look.
We packed our valuables into a water wallet and left everything else in a bag under the giant thatched roof.
The water is ridiculously shallow, so had a lot of wading to do.
Tom didn't mind, ...
... and with water this clear, you wouldn't mind either.
There wasn't a lot of reef so there wasn't a lot to see, ...
... unless you looked really close. Tom's sharp eye spotted this peacock flounder who can change his color to match his surroundings.
There are two in this photo. Can you spot them? One is in the top center, and one is in the bottom slightly to the right.
Several of these perfect tiny shells hid perfect tiny hermit crabs.
We snorkeled for a while, from one small bit of coral to another, taking pictures the whole time. If only the camera had actually been on... Fortunately, it was on when we encountered this whitebanded triggerfish and his mini-me on the left. A few minutes later, a much larger one showed up to complete the set.
We spotted this bigeye jack swimming in a big school of yellowstripe goatfish.
There are small fish just below the water's surface in this spooky shot.
We finally saw our first lizard crawling up a tree when we got out of the water.
Shuttles come by every half hour or so, but we got lucky and had a shuttle pull up just when we were ready to go.
Here's a shot of a few of the buildings by the pier.
On the tender back to the ship, we were followed several times by boys in outrigger canoes riding our wake.
We loved sitting in the back of the tender, where the air was fresh and the scenery was easy to photograph.
Looking off to the left from our deck, there's another overwater bungalow resort. Matira Beach was around the corner somewhere, presumably by all of that aqua water.
Another resort was tucked between the motus on the right.
We had lunch and were compelled to photograph the desserts again. Note that we rarely had dessert with lunch, but there aren't any calories in a photo.
Back on the tender -- this time with two outriggers in our wake.
We got another Maersk shot in better light than the day before. What a pretty combination!
Since we can't see it from overhead, this map of the island and lagoon will have to do. We waited here for our introductory scube dive shore excursion to depart, and it did, right on time. We put on wetsuits, selected fins, and we were off.
Just in time, too, because it started to pour behind us, ...
... but not on us. We got a few sprinkles when it reached us, but were in the water shortly after, so it worked out just fine.
There were eight participants and two scuba instructors. Our instructor would take the other couple first, then take us when they were done.
Would we care to snorkel while we waited?
Yes, sir, right away sir!
It was about 15 feet down to the ocean floor where we were.
We watched the first couple work their way down the rope ...
... and get their bearings once they made it to the bottom.
After snorkeling, we rested ...
... and watched the second couple in the back of the boat go over the edge to start their turn.
Tom looked quite dashing in his wet suit.
The support team helped get his equipment set up.
In minutes, we were both in the water.
Our instructor took us down slowly, making sure we were clearing our ears and were doing fine. We both made it down to the bottom, then Debbie decided to go back up. The instructor tried to convince her not to, but staying down wasn't an option. She had gotten her PADI certification 25 years earlier, but gave it up shortly afterward due to claustrophobia, and years later, it had only gotten worse. So, up she came with the instructor, and sent the camera back with him.
Down on the ocean floor, Tom was doing just fine.
The instructor got some great photos of him, ...
... including this one, titled "Tom Floats."
He also got some great shots of fish, ...
... including these anemonefish and damselfish.
Hey, Tom's in these shots, too.
Here's an orangelined triggerfish -- one of our favorite fish to see because of their cool markings.
Here's another pretty clam.
This guy is a bullethead parrotfish.
At some point, the camera changed hands from the instructor ...
... back to Tom.
Here's another peacock flounder like the ones we had seen in the morning, except much bigger.
Off he goes!
Here's a devoted pair of saddled butterflyfish.
More tiny, pretty fish.
The instructor spotted this very unusual fish: it's either a reef stonefish or a smallscale scorpionfish, we're not sure which.
Eventually, Tom looked up and saw Debbie stalking him overhead. After a fair amount of gesturing, Tom realized she was asking him for the camera, so he let it go and it floated up to her.
With the camera under Debbie's control, she got a little artsy and photographed the scuba bubbles coming to the surface.
Oh, hey, let's get a photo of those two dudes down there too.
The instructor got fancy and blew an air hoop somehow.
Now, there's an artsy shot.
Coming up is easy as one ...
... two ...
... three. Afterwards, we all enjoyed some tea and coconut cookies.

Back on the ship, it was soon time for sail out. Tom got a nice panorama shot of Bora Bora as we were leaving.

It was great being on the starboard side of the ship for sail out.
It's not possible to get sick of this view ...
... or this one.
It was our second formal night, and dinner was kicked off with this exquisite seafood appetizer featuring crab meat and two -- two! -- different types of caviar, which Debbie loves and Tom does not.
We were looking quite fine, ...
... so we took photos of each other before eating our lobster tails.

The ship's photographer took our photo too. We spent the evening watching "The Bounty" on TV. It is one of our favorite films and we had brought it along on DVD, so imagine our joy to learn that it would be playing all day long on repeat! Filmed in Moorea, we watched the scenery carefully and recognized parts of Opunohu Bay.

Day 11 >


Tahiti 2011: [Day 1 - Moorea] [Day 2 - Tahiti] [Day 3 - Tahiti ] [Day 4 - Huahine] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Rangiroa] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Raiatea] [Day 9 - Bora Bora] [Day 10 - Bora Bora] [Day 11 - Moorea] [Day 12 - Tahiti] [Day 13 - Tahiti] [Day 14 - Coming Home]

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