Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Honeymoon - Day 6 and 7 - Bora Bora

May 6, 2014 

Today was day 1 in Bora Bora.  It was not a long trip from Taha’a to Bora Bora so we actually docked last night before we finished dinner.  This was great news for me since I have had a history of getting seasick at times! This was our first day in Bora Bora.  Like all of the other days, we were up bright and early at 6 AM.  We looked out the window and saw that it was quite windy and stormy looking so we laid around a bit and then headed upstairs to La Veranda at  7:30 to grab  some breakfast.  Once we got back from breakfast, it was time for Joe’s morning nap while I enjoyed reading for a bit.  Before we knew it, it was time for our first excursion at 10!  We were a bit worried how scuba diving would go since a lot of the other excursions had been canceled early in the morning, but we headed to the back of the ship for our first dive which was to the coral gardens.  The clouds broke up quite a bit right before we departed so Joe and I and two other people hopped on the dive boat with our equipment and wet suits and headed on a short boat ride to the dive spot.  The ship provided short wet suits for us to wear, and I knew I would get cold so I put it on even though it was optional.  We had picked up our scuba gear the first day so we brought that with us and everything else (tanks, BCs, weights, etc.) were all set up for us and on the boat when we arrived.  It was so great that there was a small group because Joe and I ended up having our own private guide for the duration of the dive.  We got all set up with our 12 lbs weights and entered the water for a 51 minute dive.  The visibility was about 30 feet which they said was bad for Bora Bora but great for many other parts of the world, so we said we would take it for our first salt water dive!  The water was a perfect temperature and felt amazing as we jumped in.  We then started our dive, which was a very up and down dive, where the deepest was about 65 feet, and the shallowest part was 20 feet.  The deepest parts were not as interesting although the visibility was still high, there wasn’t too much to see.  There, we did get to see a diamond ray from a distance, but the coral gardens where were the action was at!  We navigated the coral as the dive instructor pointed out different coral, sea animals, and lured out the fish with food!  There were times we were surrounded by hundreds of fish just floating around us in the beautiful water and coral.  It was one of the coolest experiences for us so far, and we were so glad we got to enjoy the trip even if we had bad weather.  After the dive we headed back and it was about time for lunch!
Vida Snorkeling
Joe Snorkeling
Surrounded by fish!

 After a quick shower, we headed up to enjoy lunch at Le Veranda and it was AMAZING.  We had only grabbed a snack there during lunch time previously, so we didn’t know what the food would be like.  They had a stir fry machine fired up, egg rolls, beef and shrimp entree options, and so much more!  The food was so amazing and before we knew it, we had eaten way too much.  After lunch, we quickly changed and headed to the tender to do some shopping, since the weather had cleared up! I think the weather was the craziest thing about the trip!  It could be so stormy at one time and then 30 minutes later it would be sunny! We walked around the main shopping area of Bora Bora and ended up buying some paintings for our bathroom which are beautiful.  This area is much more populated than any of the other islands and you can see there is a lot more action going on.  After we wrapped up shopping, we met up with a couple we had met that were very nice.  We had met Brett and Stephanie the day before, and instantly bonded over sports since Brett was the physical therapist for the Cardinals. They were one of our favorite couples that we had met, so we took a cab with them to Bloody Mary’s, which is the best known restaurant in Bora Bora.  The outside has a wall with all of the famous people’s names that had been there.  There were quite a few cruise people there, so we sat down, enjoyed some drinks (even tried a bloody mary thanks to Stephanie!), and enjoyed the company.  The floors are all covered with sand which is neat and the bathrooms are fully open for the public to see in (a must see if you make it to Bloody Marys)!  After drinks we headed back to the boat since it was already 4:30.

Inside Bloody Mary's

Beautiful Bora Bora

We got to the boat and got ready really quickly because we had a honeymooners reception to attend at 5!  At the reception they served us amazing champagne while we heard a traditional Tahitian song of love, a beautiful dance, and listened to a Tahitian poem.  After that, we all got wrapped in a blanket that in Tahitian tradition is always wrapped around newlyweds during their ceremony and wore a flower head dress that symbolized fidelity and fertility.  The blanket is traditionally woven by the bridals "wedding party" and it is their gift to the bride on the wedding day.  We wrapped up the reception enjoying some cake before heading out to watch Joe participate in the black jack tournament.  We had a lot of fun watching and playing, but unfortunately Joe did not win.  It all came down to who won the last hand (if the player still had chips) and Joe was unfortunate to be dealt a 14 to start and then ended up losing.  After the tournament wrapped up, we headed to dinner at L’ Etoile which was amazing.  Joe enjoyed one of his favorite chardonnays, a Jacobs Creek option.  For appetizers we enjoyed some beef tartar, a fresh crab meat cake, and escargot, which were all amazing.  For salad we had an antipasti and then the dinners were served.  We (as you can see we always end up splitting everything we ordered) ordered a Wahoo over mixed vegetables and weinerschnitzle with cabbage and spitzle.  Both were amazing and then we topped off our meal with a chocolate cheese cake and a cream puff type desert but instead of cream they were filled with vanilla ice cream!  Once dinner wrapped up, we headed to the back bar since the sky and wind had cleared and enjoyed some drinks and talked to the bar tender a bit.  We then sat down with some friends to talk before heading to bed.  It had been such a busy day that we were excited to have a little more relaxing day the following day with only a morning dive on the agenda.
May 7, 2014 

Today was day two at Bora Bora, and we had heard it was going to be bad weather.  We woke up in the morning to see the weather was fairly nice, so we headed upstairs to eat breakfast before heading to our dive.  Joe got a quick nap in before our dive, and then at 8 we headed to the marina to do our dive.  We got strapped in on a smaller dive boat and headed to the dive spot.  The ride was incredibly wavy and bumpy but so much fun!  We finally got to the dive spot and rolled in ready to go.  We were pleasantly surprised to see the visibility was ideal conditions even though there were huge waves above us.  We entered the water where the ground was about 65 ft below us and it looked like it was about 3 feet away because the water was so clear.  The sight was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life.  It was breathtaking seeing millions of fish all around for quite a long distance, and then right off the bat we see a shark.  We descended down and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  There were millions of fish everywhere and we had quite a few very close encounters with sharks!  They say the sharks are uninterested in humans because there are so many fish around and do not go hungry. We had to trust that while the sharks swam around us.  There was also a little ledge that we could swim under.  The dive took Joe about 43 minutes while I ended in about 53 minutes and then we enjoyed a bumpy ride back to shore.  
65 feet deep crystal clear water!
Boat Ride Back

After warming up in a warm shower (the water is incredibly warm at the beach but the rides back can get cold!) we took a two hour nap before starting the rest of the day.  It was lunch time by the time we got up so we headed up to La Veranda where the theme was Greek this time around and enjoyed a lot of lamb, gyros, feta, veggies, etc!  The food was amazing and we were stuffed so we decided to head to the beach for a bit.  They had a tender to a section of beach because that was private beach owned by Paul Gauguin.  After getting to the beach, we enjoyed some sun, paddle boarding, badminton, and relaxation.  We headed back a couple hours after getting there and Joe took another nap while I got ready for dinner.  This was a night at sea and it was quite wavy so I took advantage of the free motion sickness pills to make sure that I did not get sicker than I already felt!  We watched the black jack tournament for a while since Joe was not in it before heading to dinner at L’ Etoile.  For dinner we enjoyed some veal slices, mango soup, Caesar salad, and calamari for appetizers, and an almond crusted trout that was local to Bora Bora with veggies and a sirloin with peppers, asparagus, and mashed potatoes.  For desert Joe had a chocolate fancy cake while I enjoyed some amazing hot chocolate and ice cream.  Dinner was amazing, and then we stopped by the black jack tables on the way back since Joe had 15$ left in his pocket from chips after paying for the tournament.  We thought it would be a quick game, but instead he walked away up 60$ after an hour or so.  We remained at the table and watched some of our friends play before calling it a night.  It had been such a lovely day, and we heard we were getting beautiful weather the next day so we were excited to spend some time on the beach since we had no excursions planned!
Paddle Boarding :)

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