Sharks and Stingrays in Bora Bora

Well, it’s official.  I’m moving to the French Polynesian islands.

This is the first time I’ve traveled further west than California, and I’m loving the time change.  We’re five hours behind Kansas City time, which means we’ve been waking up around 6:00 am every day and going to bed around 10:00 pm.  I’m NOT a morning person; I would have laughed if you told me I’d be waking up at 6am on vacation.  But it’s great and makes the days seem so long!

Monday was nothing exciting.  We read, laid around, and just took it easy all day.  My (very awesome) coworker back home gifted me a massage.  I told the lady I wanted firm pressure and I think she took that as a challenge to see how much this little white girl could handle.  I took it as a challenge to not cry uncle and gritted my teeth as she dug her elbows into my back.  A little painful but felt amazing afterwards!  When she finished, she put my chair up and this is what I saw.


Tuesday we went swimming with wild sting rays and sharks.  It was my idea to do this, but it freaked me out!  A boat picked us up from the hotel and drove around until they saw some rays.

enhance (15) The Husband was super excited; he was the first one off the boat!  The rays swarmed him immediately, a half dozen came all around him!

enhance (16)  These are WILD ANIMALS with the stingers still on…however, a lot of tours come to this area and feed them every day, so they’re friendly and used to people.  Still, they’re wild and that scared me.  I put on my big girl panties and got in and touched them a few times.  After playing with the rays for awhile I put on snorkel gear and stuck my face under- and realized I was SURROUNDED BY SHARKS!!!  These are black tip sharks, maybe 4-5 feet long, and look like they could eat us for dinner.  Nope.  Not into it.  I tried to just float without moving for awhile so they wouldn’t be interested in me.  After we finished up at that stop we headed to another one, which was much deeper.  It was so beautiful.  We saw schools of fish with thousands of brightly colored little creatures.

enhance (18) It felt so peaceful- under the water you were in your own little world.  You couldn’t hear much and were privy to this entire creation, swimming in seemingly magical choreography.  I again got back on the boat before everyone was finished, and I was so glad I did because then the group saw a LEMON SHARK!  AAAAHHHH!  Nope.


From Wikipedia, no way I’d get that close.

We went to one more stop after that and I didn’t even get out at this one.  The group saw eels and a barracuda. Despite me being a wuss I did really enjoy the excursion, but not as much as The Husband.  He LOVED it!  He said it was the ‘best thing he’s ever done’ and that it was a spiritual experience for him.

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After the excursion we went back to the hotel and I started Wikipeding these creatures.  I was reminded that Steve Irwin died from a stingray (thankfully I read this afterwards).  They tell us sting rays are docile, but I’m no Steve Irwin!  I also read that lemon sharks- the really scary looking one- rarely bite humans.  But the black tip sharks- the ones that surrounded me on the first stop- account for 16% of human shark bites!  I think I’m all done swimming with wild sharks and sting rays.

For dinner Tuesday night a group of 20 of us headed to the main island to eat at Bloody Marys.  Bloody Marys is a big tourist destination, and there are a few signs outside documenting all the famous people who have eaten there.


The ambiance is cool and the restaurant has sand floors.  To order they call your table up and show you the raw selections so you can select your dinner to be grilled.

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I chose mahi mahi and The Husband chose marlin.  But the food itself was just so-so. Next up; mountain hiking!

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