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Old 25-08-2010, 14:50   #1
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Chartering In Tahiti . . .

I am taking a trip with my wife next July sans Kids to Tahiti. I was originally going to take a land based vacation but had to look into bareboating. I got a good price for that time of year from one of the big three on Raiatea. I am thinking of going to Taha , Huahine & Bora Bora over an 8 day period. Any one out there charter from Tahiti Yacht Charters? What was your experience. Any feedback from charterers and sailors in that area is much appreciated. Also, even though the price is good it is still a bit more than a very nice land based vacation. I know this is a loaded question but is it worth it? I could save the money on the charter and take a land based vacation and with the savings have half the money for a Caribbean charter on our next vacation or perhaps the Aegean where chartering a bareboat is the only way to go IMO. I guess what I am asking is people who have done a good bit of chartering and sailing in different destinations ,would you recommend a charter in Tahiti? Thank you in advance for your replies.
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Old 27-08-2010, 10:16   #2
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Isles 'under the wind'

Hi,
I don't know if my advice will help. I lived in French Polynesia in 1997 and sailed in and around the "Óles sous le vent' as they are called. It's some way out of Tahiti. There's a nice charter and renting base on Raiatea itself. It will be a very special holiday, different from sailing elsewhere. I'd give it a go.
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Old 27-08-2010, 10:20   #3
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I really liked Moorea. On Raiatea there is a nice shallow river you can go explore with your dingy. I liked that.
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Old 27-08-2010, 10:46   #4
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I can't speak to the area, but would question whether or not you think you'll have MORE fun chartering then you would on land.

I have found chartering (2nd trip coming up in just 48 days) to be less expensive than being on land in the same area although we do have a small group and haven't gone with just my wife and I yet (planning that now and so far it still seems cheaper for the type of accomodations we'd want).

So if it was me, I'd look at what we'd do and where we'd stay on land and compare. Personally I'm quite happy staying off land and spending most of our time in the water snorkeling and diving. If you are the same, chartering probably makes sense.
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Old 28-08-2010, 06:02   #5
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sailing in Raiatea-Taha

I guess by now you've done some google research and you have made up your mind. Just in case, have a look at:
Complete Guide to the French Polynesian Society Islands of Raiatea and Tahaa : Tahiti Sun Travel
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Old 28-08-2010, 10:39   #6
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For perspective, I have sailed there - delivering a boat a couple of years ago - and had a "land vacation" in the early 'nineties - actually went camping on three different islands for three weeks. My impression - it is an extremely pleasant place. Most of my delight though was in interacting with the people who live there and enjoying the combination of European and Polynesian culture - especially the food, dance, and music. And all populated areas are right on the water, you can hardly get more than a kilometer away. Take a snorkel and some fins and jump into the water wherever you want. Or hire someone to take you out to a motu for a day. Small planes and ferries go from island to island and from Tahiti out to the Iles sous le Vent.
Chartering a boat for only eight days means you will be spending some large proportion of time figuring out the boat, the navigation system (red left returning), the provisioning - a lot of distraction for a short period of time. The flight from Georgia to Los Angeles, followed by a nine hour flight from LA to Tahiti (passengers closely packed), followed by a flight or sail to Raiatea, will leave you exhausted, so subtract a little more time to recover.
Soooo... You pays your money, you takes your chances... But I would go for a land-based holiday for a first visit.

Michael
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Old 29-08-2010, 19:24   #7
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We are on our own boat and just recently left Raiatea and Tahaa and Bora-Bora. We sailed and traveled on land. The places you can go by boat are fantastic, so I vote for chartering. The islands/harbors are close together and the sailing & navigation is easy.

Here are some current pictures from our time there: Home Page

I am sure you will have a great time whatever you do.

Enjoy,

Jim
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Old 31-08-2010, 10:54   #8
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Thank You all for responding.

Michael your thoughts do stick in the back of my mind as well and are at the core of my indecision. Although, we will have 8 days on the boat plus 3 travel days so we arrive as fresh as can be after traveling half way around the world. As far as your other comments I think they are all spot on and have merit with the exception of your final statement about a first visit. I am not sure I will be there again any time soon so I want to plan as carefully as I can. Sailing is my passion, but I do not want to wear us to the bone doing it. Thanks again for your feed back.

Jim, That was my thoughts. We are all about exploring other cultures but peace and solitude on the hook also appeals greatly to us. On the flip side to the pros of the land based vacation is the thought of being at a touristy resort and staring out at a catamaran in the lagoon able to come and go as they please. I look forward to checking out your pics. Thank You again.

Got all the pricing together and not that much of a difference after all is tallied, about 5% more for the charter. It comes down to the issues above. In the end still tossing it around.
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Old 31-08-2010, 11:42   #9
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I have chartered from Raiatea 4 times in the last 20 years. Each has been an exceptional experience. I much prefer being on a boat to the common tourist hotels. You can have as much of that as you want, then sail way to a place those people will NEVER know exists (unless they see your pics).

Like many islands, Tahiti's are best seen from the deck of a boat. Inside the lagoons the water is calm and the reefs are almost excessively marked. Outside the water is VERY deep with no hidden hazards; your destination islands (like Bora Bora or Huahine) are clearly visible and can be made in some hours of fun sailing. Trying to do all four islands is a bit ambitious, that said, Iíve done several times in a 7-8 day trip. Bora Bora would be the one Iíd skip, but if you havenít been thereÖÖ

It sounds like you have the travel-time portion down. I have always spent the night in Papeete after the LAX flight, then on to Raiatea the next day; largely because itís not always possible to make that connection in one day. The LAX flight is not a bad one (7.5 hours) as pacific flights go: only 2 time zones, good food, open bar, in-seat entertainment, etc. on Air Tahiti Nui.

Canít help with TYC, never used them. Their clients are mostly Europeans, they seem especially suited to French-speaking clients (naturally). Their boats do appeared to be well maintained. They are in the same Marina as the Moorings/Sunsail group.

Don't hesitate to charter; the hotels will still be there when you have to swallow the anchor.
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Old 31-08-2010, 12:01   #10
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Jim, Thanks for sharing your site with me. Awesome! I think you helped tip the scales for me.
Cheers,
Rich
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Old 31-08-2010, 12:22   #11
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1ercru, Thank You. That is very helpful. I will not push the itinerary. I am thinking night 1Taha, Day 2 sail to Huahine, day 3 stay in Huahine, Day 4 sail to Taha anchor there or Raiatea, day 5 stay in Taha/ Raitea lagoon, Day 6 to Bora Bora, Day 7 Bora Lagoon Day 8 Back to Base on Raitea. I can stay longer or shorter in any given area, and of course play it by ear. Does this sound like a good basic plan?
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Old 31-08-2010, 13:52   #12
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Rich,

That's do-able, and it sounds like you are staying flexible. I'd pick my route/destination via the best weather/wind as I leave the marina. I've had the wind on the nose to Bora Bora and that was not fun, only to have the wind on the nose to Huahine several days later (trade winds? go figure!)

You can have an excellent trip just staying in the Raiatea/Tahaa lagoon. Sailing on those calm, flat waters with unobstructed breezes is fantastic.

Coming back from Huahine, I like to enter the lagoon at Irihu Passe, then anchor in Baie Faaroa and do the river trip that day or next AM. Fun for the kids AND adults. Take a couple Hinanos for the adults.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:41   #13
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Thanks 1 ercru. What areas do you like for anchoring in Huahine?
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:24   #14
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I also have been there twice and bareboat chartered there. Frankly, it is better than any movie of the place. Be sure to get Charlie's Charts of French Polynesia first and study up on the islands and places. We did 10 days chartering out of Raiatea and sailed to Huahine then over to Bora Bora and back.
- - One great way for "fly-in's" to get some "local knowledge" is to take the ferry boat from Tahiti to Huahine then on to Raiatea. We parked ourselves up on the deck above the bridge and had literally a "bird's eye view" of each entrance through the reef to the harbors. That experience on the ferry boat was worth its weight in gold for getting real experience of how to navigate the passes before you have to do it yourself on the charter boat.
- - Also you get a real life feel for what the waters are like in between the islands. Flying over by little airplane is just not the same as being on the water watching and feeling how a professional ferry boat captain handles everything.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:37   #15
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Rich,
Around Fare (the classic french polynesian town) I've always liked anchoring close to beach on the left of Passe Avamoa, next to what used to be the Bali Hai. My favorite is Baie d' Avea, out on the inner edge of the reef. Spectacular colors, good breeze, "end of the world" feel but with Relais Mahana right on shore. Great romantic spot for a couple to have dinner or drinks.
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