Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

S/V Aspen - June 4, 2010 - Log #42 and Video
Position: Bora Bora; Bora Bora Yacht Club, French Polynesia

Hi all! Aspen and her crew have been enjoying French Polynesia for the past 6 weeks. The French wine and cheeses have been fantastic and the sailing is some of the best in the world. However, all good things must end so it is time to hoist the sails and push further westward, toward the Cook Islands.

Since Moorea we have visited Huahine (the savage island), Raiatea (the sacred island), Tahaa (the vanilla island) and Bora Bora (first born). Each one offers a glimpse of French Polynesia as varied as the wind.

Raiatea is etched in our minds as the island that launched a civilization. All of Polynesia: Hawaii, the Cook Island, Tonga, Easter Island, and even New Zealand's Maori originated from Raiatea. All of the long distance Polynesian sailing canoes were launched from one Marae on Raiatea called Taputaputea. Whenever a new Marae was built in the Pacific it always contained a rock from this most sacred site.

But Polynesia is now very French! Hmmmm. It seems that the missionaries descended upon Polynesia, drove the Polynesians from the mountains, abolished the tattoo, banned dancing and the wearing of flowers, prohibited the exposure of skin and converted as many of the native peoples as possible in the early 1800's. About 50 years later, the queen of Polynesia, Queen Pomare, aligned herself with the French and the rest is history!

Today, dancing has returned, flowers are worn everywhere, the tattoo is a national tradition, and the people are welcoming and friendly once again. Ooh la la!!!

The Blue Water Rally will soon depart these fabled islands, with Aspen heading out tomorrow for Raratonga. Tom on the S/Y Island Kea put together a nice video of Aspen and her travels around these islands. Just click here to see it:

We have more pictures posted on our blog as well, in case you would like to see them:

Sail on sail on Aspen…

Steve and Maria


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