Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rock the Plank


Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Arriving to Bora Bora is easy.  We work on our Halloween costumes the whole ride there, with Hanne at the helm!   Ripping up clothing, fashioning scars & loot, sharpening our swords (someone tell Jamie that after a couple beers it's not a good idea to spraypaint on deck).  Making ourselves dirty & ruthless.  This year, we're pirates!
We’re the filthy vermin that will set you people free

It's a funny thing to arrive at an island you've never been to & already know when & where the parrrrty is that night.  Coordinates courtesy of Bill on Galena.

Bill's costume outdoes us all.  He's got the long red jacket, tri-cornered hat & puffy shirt.  He's not a pirate - he's a British privateer!  Draw your swords you scallywag & we'll see who's the true buccaneer!  Oh, we only have one sword on the boat.  Captain Bill, can I borrow a sword & scabbard for my costume?  It's only a costume, really.

Our time on Bora was cool because it wasn't what I expected it to be.  When browsing through a tourist guide at an abandoned resort it features: Catamaran rides!  Sunset cruises!  Deep sea fishing!  Island tours!  Whale/Dolphin watching!  Swimming with stingrays!  Scuba diving with sharks!  Sounds like they're advertising our everyday lives.  We are extremely privileged.

Hanne & Jamie are both certified scuba divers, while I've only been diving twice & the first time was in a swimming pool.  We've got diving equipment on board, so we went out in search for sharks with Guy (aka Man Overboard) from Sargaço.  Let's all hop in & go shark hunting!
I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING.  Advice?  Please?
Keep breathing - yeah okay check.
Don't panic - you'll be fine.
The fact Jamie let me do this says alot about his confidence in me.  He's told us stories about swimming hand in hand with other rookies.  Down to 10-15m, chilly, bit anxious.  I suppose I couldn't tell you I have trouble relaxing in the water, but at a depth where you can't tell where's up is a bit unnerving.  There's a presence behind me, electricity in the water (not making this up!) & there's an 8ft lemon shark cruising nearby.  4-5ft black tips & 7-8ft lemons.  Wicked!

On Bora Bora, there's a spire that points up from the centre of the island.  It mocks us from the bay.  It rains for 5 days before we take to conquering her.  Slippy, uphill climb.  Steep scrambling, rappelling up riverbeds.  3hrs one way.  Cool breeze, head in the clouds on top.  Muddy & legs of jelly back at the bottom.  Felt good! 

One of the coolest things we did were all night epic games of Mexican train dominoes filled with heavy conversation between us 3, Bill & Guy.  When I say heavy I mean gun control, separation of church & state, sexuality, death penalty, freedom, war with a side of abortion.  No holding back.  Great friends & great conversations!

Between these, dancing, shooting pool & karaoke at le Recife, reciting toasts, drinking girly drinks & entertaining bored-to-death honeymooning couples at Bloody Mary's....you get the idea.

May the winds of good fortune fill your sails
May you sail upon gentle seas
& may it always be the other guy
who says "This round's on me!"

Bora rules!  But not the way you'd expect it to.

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