Trip Reports

Bora Bora Bora (04-Jun-2001-16-00):
4:00 PM local time Monday June 4th. (0200 June 5th UTC) 16 29 S 151 45 W. Bora Bora Yacht Club, Bora Bora, Iles de la Societe, French Polynesia. Temp. 85, Humidity 67%, cloud cover 65%.

Wednesday we left Tahaa for Bora Bora and anchored in front of the town of Vaitape a few hours later after an easy sail. The name Bora Bora, as you know, is but the native pronunciation of the venerable Yale fight song. The island's glamorous looks and large lagoon attract an army of admirers, who literally sit at her feet. Tahaa's sleepy, peaceful little villages are no match for the expensive resorts and hustle and bustle of her glitzy big sister, who is festooned with thatched huts over the water, chartered sailboats, helicopters giving rides to tourists, cruise ships, dive boats, and jet skis.

On Thursday we threaded our way through the channels in the coral reef on the backside of the island where things are considerably quieter, and found a picture postcard anchorage, as if we needed another one of those. Friday we came back and acquired a mooring at the famous but faded Bora Bora Yacht Club in hopes of picking up our prop Saturday morning but this has still not come to pass. Chief Surgeon Shrode has caught a bit of a bug, has a fever, and is resting in the Captain's quarters, which we have turned into sickbay. It seems odd not to have him up and around. I'm sure the rest of you share the Captain's hope that his health soon be fully recovered.

The Captain has another observation on the fauna of the islands, and then would like to respond to some posts he has received from our readers.

Roosters. They are everywhere here in the world the French call "Polynesie." How did they get the reputation for crowing, as Bob Dylan says, "at the break of dawn?" Roosters have the most ill-adjusted sense of time of any bird commonly encountered, and will in fact crow quite without reason at any hour, day or night, while other, more sensible birds are asleep or busy with the important business of life. Songbirds of various persuasions are far more reliable and can be trusted to sing, accurately, just at or before the break of dawn, depending on species. Please, Bob, consult the proper ornithological texts if you're going to call yourself a writer. Now on to y'all, not a few of whom wrote after our mishap in Tahiti that they were very concerned, not about our well being, but about the continued delivery of this particular diversion from their paid work. The Captain is flattered, or flatters himself that he is. To McEntee: On your first letter: Thanks for spending all the time composing your post, and in particular looking up all those big words. However, your innuendos are offensive, and I demand satisfaction. Meet me tomorrow at 9:00 AM local time in front of the Bora Bora Post Office and bring a second. Otherwise, sir, I will have no reason to revise my long held opinion that you are a caitiff and a scapegrace. On your second letter: Too many questions, but on the subject of blaming Mr. Shrode for almost losing the boat in Papeete, the Captain affirms, lest you think he has lost his mind, that of course this was his first impulse, to which he devoted many a thoughtful hour. But after considering that Mr. Shrode did not make the final decisions on where to anchor, how much rode to put out, and whether to veer the fateful additional rode, and after reviewing in his mind the many witnesses who might testify that Mr. Shrode was not anywhere in the vicinity of the boat when it actually hit the reef, and the more important point that these facts could not credibly be misrepresented, the Captain reluctantly abandoned what to him, as you can appreciate, was a very attractive story. And wishes accordingly to receive full moral credit for his modest forthrightness. To Norton: (Thanks so much for offering to help on this AOL mess.) I didn't even know they speaka the blues in Argentina, but as Ray Charles said, "Each and everybody can understand the blues." So now as you mention, we're in the same hemisphere--what are the chances of that?--and something tells me this happened once before, but maybe it was in the Northern Hemisphere?! Yow. That's trippy. To Kerry: Thanks for the good words. They came at a particularly helpful moment. Under the heading of seeing the hand of the Almighty in any particular event, and the Captain certainly does not presume to do so, it might be observed that delaying your ordination (for which congratulations) for 30 years was really best for all concerned. Some may continue to hope, or fear, that the damage you wreak will make up in intensity what it lacks in longevity. To Mac: Is Bob Dylan going to be present at this big birthday party for him? If so, please bring up my point about roosters.

Next report from this location: Soon, To Sea

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