As you can tell by the blog posts, this was a fabulous charter for everyone in the family. The beauty and unspoiled nature of the islands, the food, the amazing water and snorkeling, the relaxed pace and friendly Polynesians. We were at a loss as to how it could have been any better.
If you love being on the water as we do, we highly recommend considering Tahiti for your next charter. Here’s more information in our Tahiti Yacht Charter Guide. Or contact us directly at email@example.com! Mauruuru!
Our last full day was going to be special, it was Christmas on Bora Bora!
After breakfast, we headed clockwise around the island to the south side, past the beautiful hotels with hundreds of bungalows over the water. On the way we passed Santa, on his outrigger, relaxing after his long night.
Our anchorage was a huge shallow lagoon shared with about 10 other catamarans that offered a constant view of the Bora Bora peaks and waves crashing on the reefs. This area is famous for the color of the water, and didn’t disappoint! Most of the day was quiet – snorkeling, kayaking and swimming. As it was our last full day on the boat, we wanted to enjoy every moment, and also celebrate Christmas as a family.
Nature blessed us with another gorgeous sunset, this time with the Bora Bora peaks in the foreground.
And of course, we celebrated Christmas Happy Hour with a bottle of Bubbly on the fly deck.
For Christmas dinner, Clara prepared a Capon, as there was no turkey available, which was beautifully cooked with all the trimmings! A very merry, Tahitian Christmas!
We woke up with the excitement that we were headed to Bora Bora today, an island with an almost mythical appeal. We had seen glimpses of the famous volcanic mountains for a couple of days now but were excited to finally head over to it. And to top that off, it was Christmas Eve!
But first, we had an opportunity to swim from our boat with some of the local Black Tip Sharks – they are not dangerous but are every bit sharks! Putting on masks, we were lowered into the water on the dingy lift and had a treat looking directly at these sharks (which look larger in the water) as they slowly swam past.
We then set off by tender for a local Vanilla Farm. We enjoyed a 30-minute talk about the Vanilla industry and practices in Tahiti, and of course, had a chance to buy various products.
We then sailed around the island and headed to Bora Bora – a 3 1/2 hour sail from Taha’a. Everyone had a chance to read and relax as the island grew larger in front of us.
We arrived just before sunset and moored in the main harbor with lots of other catamarans decorated with Christmas lights. Everyone in the harbor seemed to be headed to the Bora Bora Yacht Club for dinner.
We dined ashore at the Bora Bora Yacht club, which featured a typically French Christmas dinner: A glass of Champagne, Foie Gras, Prawns and Filet Mignon, and Buche de Noel for dessert. We could have been in France, except for the constant calls of “Ia Orana” (hello) and “Maururu” (thank you), and the warm breeze blowing in off the bay. While not a typical posh yacht club you would expect in the US or Europe, it was very festive and beautiful to dine right on the water.
We started Day 5 by going back to the Fish River for another swim with the fish, and then some more snorkeling and kayaking. A nice lazy morning just enjoying the beauty of the area.
Our charter was scheduled for two meals ashore, so we were excited to have reservations for lunch at the Pearl La Taha’a resort, just a short tender ride from our boat.
La Taha’a Pearl is a beautiful Relais and Chateau resort, and the food didn’t disappoint! It was also decked out in full Christmas decorations, Tahiti style!
After lunch, our captain picked us up and we proceeded to take a sailing cruise around the island.
We anchored on the east side of the island, near the Vanilla farm we would be visiting the next day.
It never gets old – a gorgeous sunset over Taha’a and sundowner drinks, this time pina coladas. A nice steak dinner, but the day was not over! After dinner, under our boat appeared numerous rays and sharks, no doubt wishing they had the steaks we’d just finished!
Today had two true treats, both unexpected: a visit to a real Tahitian pearl farm, and a swim in a coral garden that was chock full of the most glorious fish imaginable. But first things first.
Clara prepared a nice breakfast of fruit, yogurt, and avocado toast, and we took a stroll through the village of Uturoa. It is a small town, but there are plenty of shops for bathing suits, sunglasses, etc., and a large Champion grocery store. There are also numerous medical clinics if you need them for any reason.
After walking around town and buying some Champagne for our impending Christmas Dinner (today was December 23rd), we headed north to the small, beautiful, and largely unspoiled island of Taha’a, just a short sail north as both Raiatea and Taha’a are on the same atoll.
We headed straight to the Champon Pearl farm, on the south tip of the island. We originally thought it would be a bit “touristy”, especially for three college kids, but it was anything but. It was educational, and everyone was fascinated by the process and professionalism of the family business.
We were shown the entire process of creating pearls. Above you can see a member of the family inserting pieces of shell and a little ball into the oyster so that it creates a pearl.
After we experienced the process, we were brought into their home to learn about the different grades and types of Tahitian pearls. Note, Tahitian pearls are “black pearls” as opposed to the more common white pearls from Japan. They come in multiple shades and levels of brightness and can be really beautiful. Warning, you will come away with at least one pearl purchase.
Back on the boat, we had a fantastic shrimp and avocado salad lunch, and then headed up to our anchorage for the night, on the northwest side of the island.
Jerome took us by tender to a coral garden which we named the “fish river” because there is a constant flow of water through the coral reef that is full of some of the most amazingly colorful tropical fish imaginable. You walk across the island for about 100 meters, jump in with your mask and snorkel, and are literally pulled by the current through the coral with fish surrounding you. We were literally blown away. Here are some photos.
We could have watched the fish for hours, but we needed ultimately to return to the boat for mojitos and another fantastic dinner – this time a chicken coconut curry pasta dish topped off with a chocolate banana sundae.
This entire day was memorable – we were wondering how it could get any better (but we hadn’t even been to Bora Bora yet!)