We moved to Bora Bora last evening. We have a car reserved with Avis and catch an early tender so we do not have to fight the tour groups going off. We walk up to the Avis office at 7:45AM, just as the lady is opening the doors. We secure our car and are heading out for a drive around the island by 8:00AM. Car rentals in these islands are very expensive. We pay over $100 for a four hour rental and buy gas for another $13.25. It works out to roughly $2.25 per kilometer!
The famous "Bloody Mary’s Bar" is not open at 8:30AM but it is open air and we peek in to see it. Out front is a painted sign with the names of famous people who had patronized the bar, including Bill and Melinda Gates.
At Matira Beach Gallery, Carolyn buys some pearl jewelry. The shop is unique, to us, in that it is very up scale but, in keeping with the island, has a thatch roof and a white sand floor. The proprietress says she used to rake the floor like a Japanese garden but had to quite when customers were reluctant to step onto the patterns in the sand.
Leaving the shop, we head on counter clockwise around the island, noting several places to which we want to return. We complete our drive around the island and start around again looking for one or two specific spots or shops. We stop at Matira Pearls and buy a pearl drop that is in their reduced for sale display. The man in the shop claims to be 43 but it has been a very hard 43 years. He is very nice and patient with our looking.
The car is due back by noon and we turn it in a little early and return to the ship for lunch and to gather our dive gear. We are to meet a car from Top-Dive on the pier at 1:45PM and, after some problems getting off the ship (taking a tender out of service and then realizing as we are getting off that we don’t have the dive cards), we meet up with him about 2:00PM.
He drives us to the Top-Dive shop, north of the dock area, and we check in and show our C-Cards and change into our dive gear. We are on a boat with three Frenchmen. One is a new diver with a full, heavy beard and the other two are experienced divers. The boat takes us to the break in the reef through which we entered last night and we tie off to a floating buoy. The water is beautiful with 100 ft. visibility. We drop to the bottom at about 50 feet and then swim out into the channel area to a cliff where we see several small lion fish. We see lots of see life including a moray eel and numerous colorful fish that are new to us. We then head toward shore and see several black-tip shark some tuna and one, very large (12 ft. plus) lemon shark. He pays us no mind and sails away into the blue.
Getting close to the reef, we fight the current through a channel cut in the sea bed and into a depression where we are looking up at the underside of waves breaking on the reef. We are only 15 feet deep and both of us have trouble with our buoyancy. This part of the dive was interesting but not fun. We return to the surface with less than 500 lbs. of air, a lot less than we would like, and climb aboard the boat. It is getting late and the dive master drops us right at the tender dock where we board and return to the ship.
We get cleaned up and adjourn to the Crow’s Nest for a drink and to watch the sail away.