Good afternoon – Tiger Beetle is watching the weather and continuing to hang out on the mooring in front of Bloody Mary’s. The thinking is to hop over to Huahine Monday morning. In the meantime there are fish on the coral to inspect and imagery to organize on the computer.
It’s been very much fun to be here, I’ve spent a fair bit of time with Rob on Shindig (very much the intense engineer – most things involve ‘operations’ as in kite-ops or shopping-ops), and Mike and Katey on Pangey (more relaxed, she sings opera and works with singers on managing their instrument, the larynx, he’s a quiet engineer that designed many wiring looms on various spacecraft flown by JPL throughout the solar system). Both boats departed this morning and are making the jaunt around the central island of Bora Bora to check out the anchorages on the east side of the island.
Last night the four of us (Beetle, Pangea, Shindig) dinghied in to Bloody Mary’s to take advantage of the happy hour beer pricing and enjoy a fine dinner of fish (me) and ribs (them). Good food, good folks, lots of newly-weds and entourage were present – oddly enough mostly from Asia this time. I imagine the allure of Bora Bora crosses all cultures, and if you really want to be here all you need to do is show up.
Yesterday we did a joint snorkel-ops (a Shindig term) out to the SE reef and I had a super time in the water with the fishes. The number of sea urchins was staggering, and in the shallow areas you had to be pretty careful to not dip a knee into one while kicking with the fins – I bet that would hurt. The yellow-spotted moray eel had shifted spots, so we could not find him again. I’d found him the day before, a beautiful small moray eel hiding in a crack in a particular coral outcropping which was easy to re-locate as the adjacent bommie had a metal stake set in it as a navigational marker. But the eel had decanted and moved elsewhere despite careful inspection of his prior abode. I guess morays don’t always stay in the same spot. That is the third moray I’ve seen out here, they sure are pretty animals even if they do look particularly dangerous – when they hang still, extend out of their home, and start the mouth open-close behavior while intently studying you at close range they do not look particularly inviting to being scritched behind the ears.
My plan at this stage is to watch the weather swing through. There is a front currently nearby or overhead with the High nearby, which means we’re having clouds, intermittent rain showers (very few of those), and light air. That front is forecast to remain and dissolve into a trough, and that means the wind will drop away to light air from anywhere and that’s a perfect opportunity to exit Bora and bip over to Huahine. I’ve been studying the Soggy Paws Compendium (kind of the cruising guide bible out here) about Huahine and it looks like there are two good places for Beetle: to the south of the pass into Farre (main town in Huahine), and then progress along to Baie Avea in the SW corner. The good snorkeling should be in the SE corner and that’s not a far dinghy trip from Avea. I’m thinking to make that hop Monday morning, it’s 54 miles here to here and I’ve got plenty of diesel fuel to do that in light air and 4′ swell. I still mentally compute distances in units of ‘Farallone runs’ and that’s less than one Farallone run, only I won’t be making the run with a boat-load of bird people perched around the cockpit.
Yesterday I made a trip in to the Super U, got some more goodies, I’ll do the same tomorrow and probably shift over to the anchorage back to the west of motu Toopua and see if another interesting sunset appears there. Today I’m going to go look for more fishes on the reef.