Redondo Beach, California
May 6, 2004
I was completing my PADI open water certification dives (referral from the dive shop where I live, I'd already completed the bookwork and the pool dives). Thierry, the divemaster who worked with me in Bora, was wonderful -- he could tell I was initially a little nervous, but he patiently and matter of factly had me perform the various skills. Our first dive was very shallow, at the Coral Gardens site. Plenty of fish and coral distracted me from the rest of my nervousness.
Our second dive was to see the mantas. Unfortunately, we didn't see mantas on that dive, but my confidence diving was bolstered by the 70ft depth we dove.
Third dive was with Michel (owner of Bora Dive) and Christine, another of his divemasters. We went outside the lagoon to Tapu to see the blacktip and lemon sharks. The water clarity was gorgeous -- after getting off the boat all you had to do was look down and see the blacktips already circling. Michel had brought a chunk of tuna which he placed under a rock. We all backed off to see the lemon sharks, attracted by the tuna, come circle the rocks. (I loved this dive while we were actually underwater, but the rather large swells topside made me miserably sea sick.)
Fourth dive in the lagoon to see mantas -- and we did! Fifth dive we saw eagle rays.
On all the dives we were transported to the dive site by the dive boat. The boat captain and the divemasters loaded the boat with our gear and tanks and helped us get the bc's on. All entries into the water were backwards, not giant step (which is what I'd learned previously). On some of the dives they offered us water or juice after the dive.
The dive center at which I met Thierry , an extension of Bora Dive Center, was located on the beach right next to the Sofitel Marara. Bora Dive Center itself was located further down the road to Vaitape, but Michel or Anna (Michel's wife) picked us up at the Sofitel and drove us to the center.
By the end of the dives I was hooked on diving -- and ready for the second part of our trip, Rangiroa.
From journal Bora Bora and Rangiroa Diving Trip