Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chartering Bora Bora

After three and a half days of a quiet existence on Taha'a, we say good-bye to the little island and board a fishing boat to Bora Bora. Other than the crew and perhaps some bait, Kimi and I are the only two on board.

Our ride to Bora.


Approaching Bora Bora by air is stunning, but to approach the island by water is to see her shores the way the Polynesians have for centuries. Frigate birds circle above schools of mahi mahi. Terns, wintering here from the arctic, follow tuna through the currents, and on the horizon, Bora Bora sits majestically upon her watery throne. She is the queen of these islands; we, merely her subjects.


Flying fish escort us north across the Pacific. One travels at least 15 feet before falling back to the sea. Even our captain, born and raised on these waters, is impressed. As we draw closer to Bora Bora, green-bottomed clouds reflect the island's lagoon like a road sign in the Pacific. On the low-lying island chains to the south, it is these reflective clouds that guide lost fishermen to land. We, too, are given a chance for reflection as our captain tells of a Polynesian history that, unfortunately, isn't so ancient. He speaks of a culture- no, that's too easy of a word- he speaks of a people, moms and grandfathers, pushed to the edges of extinction. He tells of a group of people who lost their customs, their beliefs, and nearly their language to another man's ideals. He shares all this with humor, wisdom, and I believe, a sense of responsibility- to the past, but also the future.

I ask him what he thinks is the answer. "Well, we aren't going back," he responds. "Nope," I agree. "The answer," he says, "is respect. Respect Mother Earth. Respect each other." The green-bottomed clouds are almost on top of us now. I look up and think about his answer.

If a man, living on a volcanic rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from land in any direction knows this, what's our excuse?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

4 comments:

Mom said...

OMG, Lisa! You crossed over. I mean it. I think you really crossed over to another plane. I felt I did it while living in Vermont and found the same message from the native VTers there many years ago. It's something that never leaves you and that you'll never, ever forget or feel. That man, that person, that "captain" was an extremely special person, as were those flying fish dancing their show around you all. A magical moment in time, a gift given to you by Mother Nature herself. In fact, her birthday present to you. What better present could you have received. She gave you her thoughts. Her feelings. You should feel very honored! I'm so happy for you. Use your gift well!
Love you forever, mom xoxo

Split Pea Traveler said...

Thanks, Mom. I love what you wrote, and I did feel very connected to all that I experienced, especially the captain's message. The boat ride was great, and as it turned out, unexpected, part of the trip. Thanks for reading along and sharing how it affected you too. :)

Constance Brewer said...

I love looking at pictures of water, even though I am a dry land kind of girl. The flying fish must have been an incredible sight.
Respect is an important lesson. So easy to forget these days...

Split Pea Traveler said...

Being a dry land kind of girl probably works well living in Wyoming! The flying fish were amazing. I was just thinking about them this morning. So cool!

Hope you're staying warm out there in the Plains. Thanks for dropping a line.