Bora Bora was a major U.S. logistics base during the Second World War. The military chose the site because there was only one entrance to the lagoon. It could be easily defended. The island is surrounded by motus, or flat coral islands. One big is enough for an airport, the first in French Polynesia, built by the U.S. before Tahiti’s. The island is still dotted with bunkers and leftover cannon from the Pacific war. Some people opted to take a four wheel drive tour of the old fortifications.
It was here (and in American Samoa) James Michener served and it was here that inspired his “Tales of the South Pacific” which became the musical “South Pacific.” This was Michener’s Bali Hai. In tribute there is a bar called Bloody Mary’s in Bora Bora (Michener took some of Bloody Mary’s traits from Angie Gray, who ran a bar and hamburger place in Samoa.) American tourists suspend disbelief and relive a part of the musical by having a drink in this bar, which was started in the 1970s. We didn’t go there but a lot of our cruise mates certainly did.
What we did do was take a boat ride around the island, stopping to swim and snorkel in three places (see the separate post “Shark Shark”) and visit a Pearl Farm (to be described in a future post “Pearl Jam.”) We also took a walk through the town of Viatape, Bora Bora’s principal town, and a very small one. Bloody Mary’s is outside town about a 10 minute drive, near the Pearl Farm.
For us it was not really a field trip day. It was a relaxing day on and in the water, relaxing even though we swam with the sharks.
I am still learning how to take pictures in this tropic light, which is much brighter and more direct than in Sitka. I tend to over expose. I need to use different settings while making the exposures and different electronic filters in processing when I try to make the pictures look the way my eye sees them. Here are some attempts from Bora Bora.
Suzi took the first two pictures.