Monday, July 14, 2008

We have been taking in the festivities this past week in Bora Bora. I went to another night of singing and dancing and then Barry and I plus Tarun and Toketie went to the singles dancing and an evening of drumming. Each village had an entry into the singles competition, there was a male and a female dancer, after they had finished the drummers would set up and wail away. One of the dance moves for the males involves having your feet shoulder width apart and making your knees go back and forth, sounds easy right, well these guys would do a full squat, backs upright and continue to waggle their knees, my quads cried out in sympathy and I could just marvel at their athleticism. The drumming was very intricate and was a treat to listen to and watch some of the very large men put their whole bodies into their craft. It must have been exhausting.
We had bought tickets the first night but this time we chose to watch from the sidelines so we didn’t get such a good view of what was happening. The upside to this is that you are crowded around the edges with all the locals. The dancing area is cordoned off and then the locals put down mats around the edges where they can sit on the ground to watch from the sides, this is done during the day. Behind the mats everyone else crowds in, and I do mean crowds to watch. I had someone standing so close that I could feel her breath on my shoulder, her big curly hair was touching the back of my neck and her boobs were pushing on my arms, when she bounced her legs to the drum beats my body would vibrate. As someone who enjoys her personal space this was uncomfortable so I put my basketball training to use and flexed my elbows. That gave me some room for a little while. It was interesting to not only watch the show but observe the interactions between the Polynesian family members.
The other day Brian from Tarun and I got in our dive in French Polynesia. We had one dive inside the reef and one outside of the reef. We saw an eagle ray and an octopus inside the reef and outside we had some fairly close encounters with some sharks. There lemon sharks as well as black tip reef sharks. One of the lemon sharks was pregnant and she was huge, at least 10 feet long but very wide as well. They left us alone but it was a bit unnerving to be the last diver and turn around and look to see them cruising by behind you. The dive master explained that quite a bit of the coral was dead because something called the crown of thorns had migrated to the edge of the reef and was killing off the healthy coral. It was sad to see the grey dead carcasses of the coral on the ocean floor.
Today is Bastille Day and we are headed into town to watch the parade and then there are going to be some foot races where they carry loads of fruit on their backs. That should be fun to watch.
We have moved around to the Bora Bora Yacht Club anchorage, this is a famous South Pacific stop. Every night all the cruisers anchored here get together to share a drink and lots of “sailor” talk. There are boats from all over, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, England, Australia, United States, New Zealand and Canada, people share weather information, favourite anchorages, equipment tips and tall tales.
The rest of the pictures would not upload, will try again tomorrow