Day 263, Year 1: Snorkeling, Snorkeling, and Birthday Dinner at Bloody Mary’s
Date: Friday, July 7, 2006
Weather: Mixed Rain and Sunshine and Wind—Front Passing Through
Location: Bora Bora (Society Islands, French Polynesia)

The weather here really has not been cooperating, but we are still having a great time. During our time in Bora Bora, we have spent more time wet than dry, sometimes soaked from rough dinghy rides into town, but we have survived. Tonight for Mark’s 64th birthday, Lee and Mary Ellen took us out to eat at Bloody Mary’s. In order to get there we had to wear full foul weather gear over our Polynesian dress-very strange attire! Bloody Mary’s is a really interesting place-from the sand floors to the waterfall sink for washing hands. Tonight Australian TV was there video taping for their version of the Travel Channel. It was a fun evening and a great way to spend our last evening with Mary Ellen and Lee. They fly back to Tahiti tomorrow and we will miss them very much.

Our day started with a snorkel not far from where we are anchored. It is an area where the local dive establishments bring their clientele and this morning there were lots of people. It was still enjoyable, however, as we got to benefit from the local knowledge of the dive masters on the different boats. They were feeding an eight foot-long moray eel and then holding it up for all to see. I felt a little sorry for the eel, but it was fun to see one that large. Most of the local dive masters all seem to be male and dress in very traditional Polynesian dive attire-a sarong thong. Mary Ellen came up to the dinghy from snorkeling to make sure I didn’t miss that sight! Some of the female tourists that were diving also had on very interesting attire that kept Mark and Lee busy.

After the morning snorkel, we went to town to have lunch and on our way back to the boat we ended up in a driving rain. But never fear. As soon as we returned to the boat, the rain stopped, the wind came up, and the sun shone through the clouds. The second snorkel of the day was back at the same place, but this time Windbird’s dinghy was the only boat there. It was fascinating to see the difference in fish behavior in the same area from morning to late afternoon. This afternoon the butterfly fish were swimming in schools along with other schools of fish. During our other visits we have just seen a few of each kind of fish. There was even a school of trumpet fish this afternoon and a really big spotted ray. Mark got to swim with that one which made a great birthday present for him.

We will be here in Bora Bora only another day before we return to Raiatea for a few days. We hope to come back here for Bastille Day on July 14, and then it is off to Raratonga.

060707 Day 263 Society Islands, Bora Bora–Mark's Birthday, Dinner at Bloody Mary's