It’s Sunday, April 20 (Easter) and we arrived in Bora Bora! Once again we were warmly greeted by the locals for photos and a little flower that they provided for us to wear!
We booked a private tour with Pure Snorkeling by Reef Discovery – many thanks to Laura for organizing our trip and Thierry for being an awesome guide! We were picked up from the pier at about 8:45am and headed off in our dive boat where Thierry explained the volcanic peaks, shared the stunning views of the mountains of central Bora Bora – Mount Otemanu, a rocky remnant of an ancient volcano that towers 2,400 feet above the sparkling, aquamarine waters. Our boat consisted of 3 couples from our cruise ship and a family visiting Bora Bora. A snorkeler’s paradise – coral formations, tropical fish and warm waters make Bora Bora the ideal location for under-the-sea adventures. As we approached our 1st snorkel site, we glided over the crystalline beautiful turquoise waters to view the colorful coral and the wonderful array of rainbow-hued fish where Thierry showed us the inner wall of the island’s barrier reef and helped to identify the different fish/coral we would encounter.
Our next site was to view the Manta Rays which could only be found in deeper water depths (30-60 feet). We were able to view only one on this trip but it was a beautiful sight to see such a graceful fish gliding through the water. The Manta Rays are so much larger than the typical stingrays you see around the Caribbean Islands. Our 3rd site was to view the Black Spotted Eagle Rays – once we arrived we were told to snorkel quietly as a group and to not make too much commotion in the water as these stingrays can be spooked, scared quite easily. We were fortunate to view a large school of about 20-25 that leisurely passed in front of us. These rays are similar in size to stingrays but swim very gracefully through the water almost like birds with the way they use their fins as “wings”. Our last stop was to see the beautiful secluded coral reefs and the variety of fish that we were able to hand feed; fish eat right out of your hand! The coral reefs are so colorful and the fish so plentiful. There are so many different types of fish and literally thousands of fish as you swim around the various coral reefs.
During the tour we were able to relax, soaking up the sun and taking in the magnificent coastline views of the array of hotels and their bungalows that could be rented daily or weekly for guests to stay in and enjoy what Bora Bora has to offer. After about 4 hours of snorkeling, Thierry dropped us off at the world famous watering-hole Bloody Mary’s (much like Jimmy Buffet’s) – as it is a must see for all visitors coming to the island. They have boards posted in front of their restaurant of famous name celebrity patrons that have visited. When you step inside be ready for a surprise… the floor is entirely covered in sand! We stayed for a quick cold beverage and a snack before walking towards Matira Beach to take a “le truck” (open-air bus/taxi with bench-type seating) which is the local form of transportation throughout the islands back to the cruise harbor.
Bora Bora is our favorite place in the world to snorkel. The colors of the reefs, varieties of different fish life and the clarity of water make it the best place we know of to snorkel in the world. The island itself is so unique because it is really the crater of a volcano where part of the wall collapsed and allows the ocean water to pour in and makes one of the most spectacular lagoons in the world. It is certainly an island everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime!
If you plan to visit Bora Bora, we highly recommend Pure Snorkeling by Reef Discovery – www.boraborasnorkeling.com. Also, check out the videos of the island and array of beautiful fish, coral, reefs that can be seen in Bora Bora - : http://vimeo.com/user21845098 After three exhausting long days in the Polynesian Islands, we have 8 days of relaxation at sea before arriving back in Los Angeles on April 29!
Hope you have enjoyed our blogs! We plan to send one more blog to show the array of activities on board and nightly shows that are offered.
Greg and Sharon Conrad