Bora Bora encircled.

The twin dominant peaks of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia as we encircled them in our lagoon tour.

But first a stop at the Rangiroa atoll for a scuba dive. My Olympus Tough camera is rated to 50′ and we will be deeper than that so it gets left in the boat. This is one of those extras that you pay for, $100 for a one tank dive.

Yes, another idyllic shot that does not convey the 90 degree high humidity heat.
Heading out for the drift dive.
Taken at the end of the dive with Tiputa Pass in the background.

The coral ring of Rangiroa has a break in it called The Tiputa Pass and it is also where the Aranui entered into the lagoon earlier this morning. A Google search of dive sites in French Polynesia quickly brings up Tiputa as one of the most famed dive sites in the world and it’s called “Shooting the Pass”. In our case there was an incoming tide so the zodiac drops us off outside where we descend and swim towards the opening. “Keep close together” the dive master says numerous times and sure enough the current moves us along as in a fast drift dive into the lagoon.

No really big fish but the waters were thick with incredibly colorful tropical fish. Definitely a fantastic dive but one that mealy teases you to stay longer and Shoot the Pass in all it’s different ways. Wow!

Real beach landing at Rangiroa.

Last stop was Bora Bora and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it because of it’s high tourist concentration. Morning and afternoon were filled with “extras” and after wandering around the uninviting village of Vaitape to catchup on our internet activities we went out to the private Motu Tapu island where we having a barbecue lunch.

Heading out to Motu Tapu.
Going ashore.

It was very laid back and relaxing, we went for a swim, well more likely a wade in 4′ water, and just hung out there chatting to friends.

Rose in the translucent waters.
Need a stronger flash to fill in the faces – next time.
Waiting for lunch.

For the afternoon we had opted for the motorized canoe that would give us the grand tour.

Off in our canoe.
The tall peaks dominate.
First snorkeling stop was “swimming withe rays and sharks”.

This has become local specialty. They have big fish accustomed to being fed in the shallow waters and let the tourists swim in among the confusion. The rays can get very close and I was afraid of stepping on them. The sharks tend to stay their distance and keep up a fast circling routine.

Two rays.
A Remora fish with it’s “sucker” on it’s head to be able to attach to a host, maybe a shark in this case.
Black tip reef shark.
Same again.

I’m snorkeling around and start to use the video button on the camera hoping that it is ON when I’m pointing it at something and OFF otherwise. Here is a 6 minute Youtube of my antics with the Rays, Black Tip Reef shark and a few Ramora suckerfish out looking to attach themselves to a host fish. I am twisting and turning so the video is a bit wobbly and I found it difficult point it at what I wanted to capture, I would keep swinging around whenever I sensed a shark coming by. At the end of the clip the rays are going crazy because they were being fed by our guide. All in all great fun.

You think that bungalow over the water resort you just booked into is special? Well think again, they’re everywhere.

Next stop was swimming with the beautiful fishies, much more relaxing.

Lovely clear water.
Back on board and off to the next stop.
We’re around the backside now.
Isn’t she cute?

Snacks ladies?
More of the island.
Back to our home for our final night aboard.
11 pm departure to LAX.

Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Categories Trips