August 18 – 22, 2013
Before settling down for the night, Flour Girl gave us a call on the VHF to warn us that their solar powered mooring lights had been stolen off their stanchions while we’d all been snorkeling. We were shocked that anyone could have done that in broad daylight with lots of other boats in the anchorage. Therefore, we made sure to bring everything inside for the night. We piled all of our fishing rods, a surfboard, all of our shoes, and snorkel gear inside the salon, and then went to bed. It was a full moon in a crowded anchorage, so we were sure no one would try anything. Regardless, we were playing it safe.
The following morning, I did something that I’ve done every morning since we started cruising. I walk out into the cockpit with my cup of coffee, and have a look around at the scenery. Not only do I look at the scenery, but I also check to see if our small 5 hp dinghy engine is still on the bracket. The lock that we had for it became corroded, and we never got around to replacing it. Every morning for over a year, I’ve looked to see if the engine is still there. On this particular morning, I glanced and couldn’t see the engine. There were clothes and swimsuits hanging on the lifeline near it, so I made an extra effort to peek around the items on the line. The dinghy engine was not there. I went inside and asked Wil if he’d brought the engine inside along with everything else from the night before. His answer was no. My fears were confirmed. Our dinghy engine had been stolen!
Our hearts sunk and the anger set in. Someone had stepped foot onto our boat (footprints were there to prove it!), and they had stolen from us. We looked around at our surroundings and realized that the engine could be anywhere from the main island of Bora Bora to any of the surrounding motus. There was no way we could track down the engine. We were also checked out of the country, so reporting it to the gendarmerie didn’t seem like a good idea. Wil desperately wanted to set a trap for the next night. He wanted to leave our dinghy in the water with a couple of our good fishing rods in it. Then, he wanted to hide in the bottom of the dinghy and wait with a baseball bat. Just like what seems to be common in theft victims, a variety of emotions soared through us. We wanted to leave Bora Bora only to never return.
We’re not sure how the coral gardens near Piti Uu Uta got its name. The fish were more amazing than the coral itself. We think that this snorkel spot should have been referred to as an aquarium. Hundreds of small reef fish were everywhere. The numbers of sergeant majors reminded of us Thunderball Cave in the Bahamas. We remembered how we’d been swarmed by these fish when we fed them bread. Therefore, as a test, we dove to the bottom for a handful of sand. We would barely reach the surface when these fish started darting after the falling sand from our hands. It was obvious that these fish were also used to being fed by tourists. It was still fun to tease the fish though!
Once we’d had our fill of playing with the fish, we hauled up anchor and returned to the Mai Kai Marina area for our final provisions and preparations for departure from Bora Bora. As beautiful as Bora Bora is, and as much fun as we’d had, we were ready to escape from the soreness we were experiencing. Our next trip would need to start in the wee hours of the morning for a day sail to Maupiti.