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24 May 2010

South Pacific: Bora Bora

Went snorkeling yesterday outside of the reef near the pass getting into Bora Bora. In water for a few seconds and spotted a black tip shark on the bottom. Came up to the surface to tell Heidi there was a black tipped shark below. Went back to looking underwater to notice two more now a total of three. Heidi jumps in and the three sharks start to come off the bottom and circle in perfect triangle around us. Each one 5-6 six feet long just circling. Now they are twenty feet away all three below the surface about three feet, just looking at us. Maybe curious but just a little too much for us. Both jumped back in the dingy. Back inside the reef for more snorkeling but with smaller fish.

Rented a copy of Mutiny on the Bounty couple of nights ago. Invited two boats over to watch, Crazy Horse and Ocean Jasper. The colors in the film are the same here. Great flick being very near the actual sight of the famous Mutiny. An epic night!!

Yesterday we were lent a copy of South pacific, finished it this morning. The local history books say there were 150 American children born here on Bora Bora during World War II. The book mentioned that only sixty percent of the children born survived once the normal conditions restored after the Navy left Bora Bora. Today the average age of these children today would be sixty-one.

Bora Bora is surrounded by a barrier reef with only one pass to get into the lagoon. There are about a dozen islands with the main island having a 3500 ft mountain in the middle of it. The barrier reef keeps all the large wave out of the lagoon; it is just like a lake in the middle of the ocean. The color changes as to how deep the water is in the lagoon. Some clouds change color to a green/teal from the reflection of the lagoons.

We did some varnish touch-ups this morning. Sean and Sofia are having a weekend ashore at one of the many on the water huts.

We leave for Suwarrow in the Cook Islands tomorrow.

- Casey

20 May 2010

Dive Master Extraordinaire

After over a week of discussing scuba diving, we finally put our plans into motion. Having all of the right equipment onboard - three full dive set ups, tanks, and a compressor - is clearly the most efficient means to see the underwater beauty of these island nations.

However, the one concern is not having much local knowledge of the best dive sites and their potential hazards. We were a bit nervous about the currents off the town of Fare on the island of Huahine, where we were, so Sofia, Sean, and I went on a mission to find some local knowledge. The three of us rolled up to the front of the Pacific Blue Adventures office and let our Dive Master/Captain Extraordinaire, Sean (he’s logged at least 5 dives since his Padi graduation), start seeking data while Sofia and I stepped back. We were sitting on a street bench close enough to hear the encounter. Sean was trying to get as much local knowledge as possible without giving away our trump card. After learning about a couple possible nearby dives, it hit the decisive moment where the actual dive master said, "So are you interested in doing one of our dives?" Sean responded with, "We actually have all of our own gear on the boat." I've never seen a conversation end so quickly. The moment that came out of Sean’s mouth the Pacific Blue Adventures dive master immediately turned and started walking away. He mumbled something and then said, "Enjoy."

As we were filling the tender with gas, we ran into a diver partially suited up. He was a pleasant Frenchman. Having not gathered too much data from the first encounter, we were keen on picking up some more info. This particular dive master told us exactly where to go, told us to pick up his blue buoy out by the reef, and do one of his planned dives. And just like that we were ready to conquer a dive.

Sofia opted out so it was just two of us. We found the buoy, geared up, and dropped in. The first portion of the dive was quite mellow and beautiful at about 60 feet as we checked out a lot of reef fish. We turned the corner and entered the second inlet – as the pleasant Frenchman explained – and hit a two-knot current directly on our nose. We struggled in it for a few minutes before we saw a long pipe on the ocean floor and both of us at the exact same time realized it was there to walk us up the ridge in the current. Once we got to the top, I looked at my pressure meter and realized I was halfway through my air. I gave the signal to Sean. He looked at me in amazement since we were only 13 minutes into the dive. You could tell he was thinking, "You greedy bastard. You used up all your air already!" Until he looked at his and saw he was at the same level. Hamming into the current definitely limited our time underwater.

From the top of the ridge we saw a white tip reef shark hammering by us about 30 feet away, which we could clearly see because the water was so clear. We hung out there waiting for more sharks for a few minutes then went down on the other side of the ridge where we spotted him. We were down to 80 feet by that point and decided to turn back running a bit low on air. On our way back we swam through a huge school of exotic fish and some more current, but as long as we stayed close to the reef the current wasn't that painful. Our entire dive took 25 minutes and when I surfaced I had about 15 pounds of pressure left in my tank. Thanks to my dive master extraordinaire, my first dive in the south pacific was an overwhelming success.

Thanks to the crew of Wild Tigris for a taste of the awesomeness that the round-the-world trip has to offer. It’s a fun ride and I hope to be back soon.

Cheers, Warner

16 May 2010

The Pearl Regatta

Since we left Tahiti and Morea we did a quick night sail up to Raiatea, 120 miles northwest of Tahiti, to attend the Pearl Regatta.

Casey and Warner went of on Ocean Jasper to be the tactician and Mr. Muscle. Meanwhile Wild Tigris is following around as the mother ship….or nowadays more known as the floating bar! =)

Sailing around Raiatea, Bora Bora, Tahaa and all these other exotic islands is fantastic. We are surrounded by the most stunning views all day long with turquoise water full of fish.

During the days we been entertaining ourselves with sailboat racing, loads of swimming and snorkeling and some wakeboarding.

And during night time we have been gate-crashing the parties. They all seem to take place on the smallest little islands, with an improvised bar built of palm trees and there is enough rum to make us all feel a bit sorry for ourselves in the morning...

Another night, another party!


16.38.47 S


07 May 2010

To all the armchair WT sailors out there

After spending some time in the boat yard ticking things off the work list, Casey decided that he was tired of docks, marinas, yards and all that BS (as he puts it) and we went for a little cruise.

Wild Tigris ended up in Cook’s Bay on the island Morea, 15 miles west of Tahiti.

Woke up this morning with the sun shining in through the hatch, as I went on deck to enjoy my morning coffee, I glanced over the side to see a giant Manta Ray. Couldn’t help myself so jumped in and went for a snorkel to the beach 50 metres from the boat. It is like swimming in an aquarium with turquoise water and everything from parrot fish to sea cucumbers hiding in the coral reef.

Of course we’ve also been doing some work.... =)

Got some dive gear onboard with compressor and everything! weeeeiii! =)

Casey started a project of varnishing the saloon table... which we like to call modern art...

The show must go on!