Be sure to read The Society Islands Welcome the Konis’s Part I to catch up on their adventures in Tahiti, Mo’orea, Huahine Nui, and Huahine Iti.
Day 8: Raiatea
We arrived in the sleepy little town of Uturoa on Raiatea. Unfortunately for us, everything was closed being that it was Sunday. We grabbed a mooring ball next to a small motu giving the boys a destination to SUP to.
Matt and I wanted to take the Konis’s on a hike, but even that was closed. It was a hike to the top of the mountain where there is a radio tower and a beautiful view of the bay. We hiked this trail several times and were sorely disappointed that it was marked as private property now.
Our friends on Maple were anchored nearby so they came over to hang out with us. We blew up our new float which we could not decide if it was a dragon or a Pegasus.
Maple had a small surf board and tried to teach Cole and Cameron to surf but the board was too small. Matt decides to show off and popped up on the 2nd try. Of course, he has spent years and years on wake and surf boards.
The boys having fun off the bow of the boat.
Day 9: Taha’a
It is a short 9nm motor from Raiatea to Taha’a which both share the same lagoon. We dropped the hook in one of our favorite spots off of Ilot Tautau also known as the “coral gardens.” Anchored in turquoise, sandy bottom water looking over toward Bora Bora. Ignore the “day 7” on the photo as it is wrong.
Taha’a is our favorite island in the Society Island Archipelago.
The famous drift snorkel of the coral gardens has to be experienced to truly appreciate the natural beauty of this aquarium. You slowly drift over coral and witness first hand the stunning life under the sea. The top photo is looking down the coral garden path and the bottom photo is underwater photo.
We found lots of fish wanting to play and discover what crazy things we were up to in their habitat.
Everyone enjoyed the spectacular experience. (again ignore the date on the photo is wrong).
Kimberly did me a huge favor by trimming my hair which had not been cut in over a year. It was so ratty!
We had beautiful views of the Bora Bora caldera from our perch at Taha’a.
Day 10: Taha’a
One of our favorite tours in French Polynesia is the Taha’a Vanilla and Botanical Garden Tour by Noah. We booked a tour for the Konis family and Noah let me tag along for free. Noah was born and raised in Taha’a and is an accomplished aeronautical engineer but has decided to live his life in Taha’a. He picks you up in a open air jeep filled with fresh, flavored water and reviews his route before beginning.
He pointed out the Kapok tree which is used for stuffing (mattresses, pillows), female papaya trees and the elephant ears or Tahitian umbrellas.
We swang by a pretty church and point out an old baguette box (not a mail box, but a baguette box).
We venture to an organic vanilla farm where he teaches you how the vanilla is grown
He then shows you how to manually pollinate each of the flowers (see our previous blog on this process). They cover the flowers to prevent the birds from eating them The bottom 3 photos on the right show beans at a few weeks, then a few months and finally at 5 months.
We pass by some beautiful views around the island.
He brings us a large fern so we can give ourselves tatoos.
We learn about copra and sugar cane farming (used for rhum).
And we end up at the Pari Pari Taha’a Rhum distillery where we learn how they make rhum, essential oils, and spices.
Day 11: Taha’a
A new day and a great excuse to swim the coral gardens again! This time there was barely any current at all. You could actually hover in once place admiring the beautiful corals and fish. We had a great photo op at a small motu just off Le Taha’a Motu.
The Konis family spoiled Matt and I by taking us to lunch at the exclusive Le Taha’a resort. It was beautiful and super tasty, but rather pricey. This is what I picture when I think of resorts in the Society Islands.
Super fancy day making us all feel like royalty.
Day 12: Taha’a to Bora Bora
I know Kimberly was especially looking forward to going to Bora Bora, but I was not. Mostly because it meant the end of their visit with us. Bora Bora is the most famous island in the Society Island Archipelago next to Tahiti.
It is a short 20nm passage from Taha’a to Bora Bora but it offers many breathtaking views of the islands. We had fun on the bow with the Bora Bora caldera in the background.
We picked up a mooring near Motu To’opua in beautiful light blue waters. It was a hot day so we jumped in the water in search of sting ray city only to be thwarted by its location. After drying off we decided to head into town for some lunch and shopping.
After a bit of shopping and discovering we headed back to the boat for some more water time.
DAY 13: Bora Bora
We watched several tour boats stop at a location just at the reef which we assumed was sting ray city. So, we hopped in Sweetie and joined the crowd. It sure did not disappoint. There were dozens of black tip sharks and sting rays wanting to be admired.
Afterwards, we walked from Bloody Mary’s to Matira Beach which was about 1.5 miles. It is a pretty beach, albeit with some coral. We hung out, played some bacchi and cooled off in the sparkling waters.
We cleaned up and took the Konis family to Bloody Mary’s for dinner. You can’t come to Bora without visiting Bloody Mary’s.
We selected our meals from the fresh bar, enjoyed many cocktails and a fun filled evening!
Day 14: Bora Bora
Today was a sad day because my sister and her beautiful family were heading home. We spent the day wrapping coral and packing as we made the 5-mile trip to Motu Tehotu where the airport is located. The boys enjoying the bean bags for one final trip. Kimberly touching the water from her escape hatch (me taking the photo from the starboard escape hatch) and a beautiful rainbow as a parting gift.
The new anchoring rules prohibit anchoring anywhere near the airport so Matt circled the big boat as I took the Konis family in two trips.
It is heartbreaking to say goodbye to my family. I text with my sister daily, but it still is hard to be so far away from her and the family.
The Konis clan flew to Tahiti from Bora Bora and had 9 hours to kill so they hung out at the Tahiti Intercontinental hotel for their last moments of Polynesian Sun. Mo’orea is in the background.
Some more random fun photos of my amazing family, Troy, Kimberly, Cole and Cameron Konis.
Just some of the beauty in the Society Islands.
I know the Konis family enjoyed the Society Islands as much as we did. It was so much fun to showcase these amazing islands.
P.S. For those of you wondering, this was still during the covid pandemic. The Konis’s had to get tested 72 hours before their flight and present the negative results. Then they had to do two self-tests on day 4 and submit them to the local medical authorities which was negative.
Lucky for us the Society Islands had procedures in place to handle the covid pandemic and tourists.
This post on the Konis family in the Society Islands was written in July/August 2020. Our blog posts are usually 6 to 7 weeks behind are true adventures.