Two blog posts in one week after so long without one… We have been hanging around Bora Bora and meant to leave today to go to Rarotonga, Cook Islands but last night we got challenged to a race. So we will leave Sunday racing against the guys on Obelisk. We have decided that this is the First Annual MaiKai Regatta to Rarotonga and hope others will race it again next year, but who knows.

We also saw some more of the island. We went to the eastern side and anchored on some sand flats. The purpose of going over there was to snorkel with manta rays again. The rays were pretty cool but the water was full of plankton (which is why they are there) and they stayed mostly on the bottom. We didn’t take a tour or anything and this really made the guides a little angry. They kept yelling at us for going beneath the surface as though we would scare off the mantas. Really the mantas don’t care but maybe if the hundreds of people who go there a day harassed them then they might. Then they wouldn’t be able to sell a tour. The part though that was really annoying is that they where telling us that they are protected and we can’t break the surface and the area is protected and all of this. Meanwhile these clowns have anchored all over coral (something that is actually protected) and destroyed a large portion of the reef. We left shortly after, having seen our fill of the reef mantas.

We came over to another anchorage to just relax, on the west side of the islands and it was really nice. Clear water over a sand shelf and only 15 feet deep. We saw some friends from Good to Go, a catamaran, and they gave us some mahi so that saved us from having to eat canned chicken. We moved back to the a MaiKai the next day since we would need to check out of French Polynesia. The checkout process was quite belabored and every paper had the same info and you filled it out so many times. Ugh, but we are cleared out now and will clear into the Cooks soon. But for now, lots of MaiKai happy hours.

French Polynesia has been a really great experience. The only thing I regret is that I don’t speak French or I think I might have gotten much more out of the 10 weeks that Slick spent here. I think I also would have liked to spend more time in the Tuomotos and perhaps learned to dive, yes I still haven’t done that. The Society Islands are nice and would make an easy vacation, but it is very touristic, especially compared with the Marquesas. Each set of islands is unique though and I am sure I will visit all of them again some day.