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Old 09-07-2014, 12:08   #1
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Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

Aloha all, I'm booking a 10day charter out of Raiatea with Sunsail and looking for any suggestions on best anchorages/routes etc. I'm more into quiet anchorages and snorkeling vs. Nightlife/Towns. I'd be grateful for any suggestions. Mahalo

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Old 09-07-2014, 13:28   #2
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

It would be a short sail to weather from Raiatea, but we had a delightful stay in Huahini when we cruised the Society Islands. We spent several days in Baie D'Avea on Huahini Iti and didn't want to leave. There are some great snorkeling spots on T'Ahaa. You can take a dink up a river at the head of Baie Faaroa on Raiatea where there's a bio-reserve. Look for a guy named James. We'll never forget the experience.

The charter people will have lots of good ideas.

Have fun, fair winds and calm seas.

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Old 09-07-2014, 15:52   #3
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

I'm sure the company will have some kind of anchorage booklet. Some of the charterers used to go over to Bora Bora, don't know if you'd want to spend 3 days that way.....

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 10-07-2014, 18:54   #4
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

What Neal said! Huahini was our favorite of the Societies.
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:10   #5
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

A lot of people go to Bora Bora and it is an incredible lagoon but the suggestion to go upwind is sound. I have seen the charter boats bashing upwind to get back on their last day. Did not look like fun. From Huahine you can return at your leisure. The leeward side of Huahine can receive more rain than some of the other islands though. Be sure to hike up up the hill over Uturoa for a magnificent view of the Raiatea lagoon.

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Old 11-07-2014, 00:47   #6
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

Your charter company will have suggested itineraries and they will give you the limits for your charter.

Good point about going upwind first
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:58   #7
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

You may be limited by the charter company. Check this out first. I know some allow Raiatea and Tahaa only, when chartering from Raiatea.

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Old 11-07-2014, 07:28   #8
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

We did 12 days with Sunsail there 5 years ago in July. It was our best charter trip ever. I'm sure you're looking at all the options and see there are 4 key islands. Realistically you can only do three unless you really move aggressively. We didn't go to Huahine so can't speak to that - but gives us a good reason to return. Sunsail will have good advice. Don't worry about nightlife or towns - you have to work hard to find them, not avoid them. It's mostly a quiet piece of paradise there with the ability to just pick one of hundreds of quiet spots, drop anchor, and enjoy. Lot's on empty coastline on the main islands and the barrier islands to anchor off, dinghy ashore, and explore/enjoy.

We loved Bora Bora. If you watch the weather/wind forecasts and stay flexible you can avoid the painful beat back. We had beautiful sunshine/temps every day, but highly variable winds. Sailing inside the expansive barrier reefs at Bora Bora and Tahaa in strong winds but flat seas is a blast. Go as far around the lagoon of Bora Bora as your daft will allow. The far reaches along the barrier islands define paradise.

In July in Bora Bora the local towns hold a dance/drum competition for a couple weeks that we lucked into. It's not contrived for tourists, it's truly authentic Polynesian performances with each village putting their hearts into it. Just wonderful. The competitive performances happen in the main town of Viatape but the villages seem to practice every night so when you're out at anchor you often hear the tribal drums in the distance, sometimes from several directions. Seriously cool. Of course all the local dancers and their costumes are stunningly beautiful.

I forget the name but on the west side of Raiatea there's a smallish bay that hundreds of porpoises frolick in. The entry is tricky but worth a night. Not far from the Sunsail base, but you have to go out and back in the barrier reef to get there.

One pleasant surprise, unlike most of the Caribbean, is the food in the restaurants is outstanding. It is French Polynesia of course and while overall the islands certainly do not feel French, they did adopt the culinary delights. We couldn't eat enough.

Another interesting twist here is that the sailing is not dominated by charter boats, unlike everywhere else we've been. Instead you meet many circumnavigators that had to work hard to get there and love to tell their stories. We felt like frauds having flown there and chartered, but they didn't care at all. Make a point to stop at yacht clubs where these folks hang out and you'll meet great people willing to talk all night. You'll instantly spot their "real" boats wherever they are.

Writing this has brought back great memories. Thanks! Enjoy!
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Old 13-08-2014, 19:47   #9
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

Another option, if they allow it, is to go into Maupiti (27 miles West of Bora so a beat back). It is an advanced pass so that depends on your skill level but it is amazing there. One of our favorites.
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Old 14-08-2014, 18:07   #10
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Re: Society Islands Itinerary (Tahiti)

As others have said it depends on your charter area so it must be checked, but Huahini and Maputi are visited less and hence not so touristy with great diving and the locals are really welcoming. They get my vote.... have a wonderful time!

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