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Old 17-02-2020, 11:50   #16
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Itís just a short day sail from Tahiti to Moorea. Without doubt stop there. Forget the marina located near the ferry dock, itís much better to anchor in one of the large bays behind the barrier reef. If you choose Opunohu Bay just inside that bay on your port side about one mile past the big Marriott Resort is a beach side marine park. You can safely anchor just near this place and the park has free fresh water showers you can use. Itís walking distance to the Marriott and there you find restaurants, bars, coffee joint ect. Walk the other way further down the road going more into the bay and you come to a nice small store you can buy food. I lived right across the street from this marine park so I know this area very well. Please enjoy your travels through these islands, they are indeed very special.
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Old 17-02-2020, 11:52   #17
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

All you mentioned are good, none are great, which doesn't bother me much since I'm not a foodie freak. We eat mostly on the boat. Pick up your and drive around the corner to Uturoa, tie up to the sea wall, walk 100 yards and buy provisions at Liaut and Champion which are very close to each other. Shop at Champion (I think) on Bora in Viatape. The Hotel Bora Bora was closed the last time we were there (2010 of so). The Pearl resort of Tahaa used to welcome yachties; eat, drink, swim in their pool. You can usually get free water from Bloody Mary's and the Bora YC would give you free water if you bought a meal there. There is a good restaurant on Tahaa at the end of a long fiord... "Moana something I think.
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Old 17-02-2020, 12:24   #18
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Bora Bora is somewhat a big tourist trap. While the lagoon is wonderful the island itself is less then.
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Old 17-02-2020, 13:09   #19
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Not the question you asked but:

Be wary of the moorings in Bora Bora. You will be offered use of any free mooring in the island for as long as you nominate for a fixed charge. What an amazing deal! There is however one minor problem and one major problem.

The minor problem is that by the afternoon there are not many free moorings around. Ok so you are better off getting a mooring in the morning. No big deal.

The second problem is a bit more tricky. The moorings can be badly placed and are not properly maintained.

I took one of these moorings, the wind direction changed and my stern was within 3m of a reef. Could you sleep at night knowing that?

At the same time I had a friend with a beautiful shiny red 50' Outremer. He took one of these moorings, he left the boat, the boat dragged into a building on the water. He got a very large hole in the side of his lovely boat. The only good thing about his adventures is that the hole was above the waterline.

So.............. enjoy French Polynesia. It is great. Be a bit more careful than usual about the bouys in Bora Bora.

And BTW don't miss swimming with the sharks in Bora Bora. For me it was near the top of the list of things to remember in 6 years of cruising.

Cheers

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Old 17-02-2020, 17:44   #20
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

See if I can help. We did 2 weeks in October:

Bora Bora Yacht Club: Excellent food. Not horribly expensive. Kind of like US expensive. $30-40 for an entree.

Bloody Mary's: We found the appetizers to be excellent. Drinks reasonable during happy hour. Others have said that if you are on a budget, avoid the dinner, where they charge you by the kilo.

You are allowed 2 liters of alcohol per person. Buy it at Duty Free when you leave, probably from LAX? There is also duty free in Papeete. You can buy more. Beer is $50 a case. Hinano. 4 flavors, look them up, because each is excellent in its own way. Drinkable bottle of wine is $15.

If you have Verizon or ATT, just get their $10 a day (Verizon) or $30 a month (ATT) add on. We had cell service just about everywhere. It's one thing we heard was horrible, and it was great.

Grocery stores really do have most foods. Just be prepared to pay for it if you need it. Tomatoes $9 a pound. But eggs are reasonable, and available. Bread daily is awesome.

Tahaa: Coral river, though choked a bit with algae, is really great. We found our very best snorkeling at the southwest corner of Bora Bora's reef, inside the reef. It's tricky and you will need to swim your way to the reef, but you can get all of the way in. It's worth it. Pic attached.


Moorings only now in Bora Bora. And they have MOSTLY been replaced. But dive any mooring you take.



Feel free to call and discuss more. I have a document I'm still working on of where we went what we did. 21O.SIXSIX3. 8O70
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Old 17-02-2020, 19:30   #21
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

We chartered out of Raiatea in September 2019 for 8 days. We really enjoyed it.


I posted a few reviews on trip advisor, but to summarize:


Raiatea:

  • Anapa pearl farm
    • Very nice people
    • Rock solid mooring blocks with good chain
    • Dropped off warm fresh pastries and bread to our boat at 7am and left us for an hour. Picked us up at 8am and took us to their shop/reef.
    • We snorkeled their reef for about an hour before buying a good amount of gifts for people at home
    • Maybe not the "true pearl farm" experience, but I'd choose it again, everytime.
  • Fish and Blue
    • Nice sandy patch right across the channel from Fish and Blue, 3-8' of water with good sand.
    • Fish and Blue was GREAT. Not cheap, but a great place for our last night. Dinner on the beach with Bora Bora in the background. Beware, serving sizes are large. Very nice people.


Taha'a
  • Noa is now running the Vanilla Tours that his parents started after they sailed their home-built catamaran from France to FP! This is a must do. Noa grew up on the island, and will show you around. He'll include the Pari Pari distillery in the tour, which is really fun to see. He doesn't have his trip advisor page up yet, but can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Vanilla.Tours.Tahaa/


Bora Bora
  • We found Francis (the guy who is running the mooring ball service for Bora Bora) to be very helpful. Yes, you have to pay. But he takes your trash, will spend time giving you the lay of the land, and was available by phone if we had questions.
  • The new mooring balls have "BBMS" (Bora Bora Mooring Service) stamped on them. But, there are plenty of balls that say TYC (Tahiti Yacht Club) that were solid (mostly deadman augers in sand). Francis will tell you to look for BBMS mooring balls, but we grabbed many that were TYC and slept comfortably.
  • If I had to do it again, I'd skip Bora Bora Yacht Club and Bloody Mary's. Bora Bora Yacht Club will do laundry, but it's a touristy place. We caught Bloody Mary's when a cruise ship was in, so it was a cluster. Food was ok, but we ate at much better places.
  • Again, if I had to do it again, I would enter the pass and go straight to the east side of the lagoon. When we walked up by the WWII cannons, we were really jealous that we didn't grab a spot in one of the anchorages on the east side.
  • There is a great sandy patch west of Toopua, just south of the pass. Great spot if you get in late, or plan to leave early. We spent our first and last nights on moorings there are found it really nice.

We rented from Dream Yacht Charter. They were great.


Enjoy!
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Old 17-02-2020, 21:55   #22
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Thank you everyone for the EXCELLENT information. Sorry, for the late response as I was gone all day.

We are leaving tomorrow.

Again, many thanks. Your contributions are most helpful.
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Old 20-02-2020, 21:04   #23
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

I figure I will give updates a little at a time instead of all at once.

We arrived in Raiatea yesterday after an uneventful flight to Papeete. Uneventful except for the dozen or so passengers that disembarked last minute because they didn't have health certificates. We were all given a temperature check once we arrived.

Short night, so we stayed at the airport hotel on the hill. It's right across from the airport parking lot. Options are to take a cab for about 20 bucks, or schlep your bags up several flights of stairs, up a steep rough driveway and and a couple more flights of stairs to arrive at the lobby.

Hotel room was very basic but clean. The next morning we passed on the $15 sugary cereal and fruit breakfast and dined instead at a gourmet restaurant at the airport terminal...McDonalds!!!!!! hahaha

We rented a guest house on Raiatea and got a rental car the next day. This saved us huge on cab fare and we were able to provision in advance as we had a full size fridge and freezer. Leo's and Champion is where we bought our food and booze....Champion was a bit cheaper on the booze which is ridiculously expensive.

Tomorrow morning early, we set sail on our cat....probably direct to Bora Bora. I like to bypass the "meh", and go straight for the G spot! haha

New rules! Some restaurants ( Bloody Mary's) would let you moor for free if you dined at their establishment. NO MORE. There is NO anchoring in Bora Bora....balls are 30 bucks period, regardless of where you dine.

So except Bloody Mary's, we will be cooking on the boat.

THat's it for now.....

Oh, one more thing. We drove around the entire island of Raiatea today. Only about 110km and we averaged about 40 Knots SOG. hehe

Beautiful island, esp the southern part.
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Old 28-02-2020, 18:23   #24
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Back in PPT after a GREAT time cruising Bora Bora, Taha'a and Raiatea. The weather was PERFECT! Next stop tomorrow.....Australia. We're just gonna keep heading west since I am NOT working for the foreseeable future! woo hoo!

I will start with Bora Bora.....We spent 4 days there

Absolutely beautiful, esp from a distance. The two best places to moor are by Toopua and Motu Piti Aau. From there you have GREAT snorkeling at the coral gardens and the 2 small islands nearby, Piti uu Uta and Pita uu Tai. I wouldn't bother with mooring at either Bloody Mary's or the Bora Bora Yacht Club. We visited both and were not impressed.

My lady wanted to go to the Lagoonarium to swim with the sharks....sigh. $25 a pop to visit 4 small shallow pools. One with fish...pass. One with turtles... no swimming allowed. One with 2 manta rays.....yawn. One with maybe 8 to 10 sharks. One black tip reef shark and the rest lemon sharks...a couple quite big. Sorry, but not worth it.

Bora Bora is VERY touristy...even in the off season with lots of boats running around and plenty of people. A huge ass cruise ship arrived on the day we were departing.

You can provision in Vaitape at the Chin Lee grocery store if you want. The selection and prices are not much different than from the stores in Raiatea.

More later....
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Old 01-03-2020, 14:08   #25
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Taha'a......

After our 4th day on Bora Bora we sailed to Tahaa. Motu Tautau was recommended to us for the "best snorkeling" in the islands.

Well.....We went as suggested, dinked over to the small isles next to Tautau to do a drift snorkel in clear shallow water. It was ok, not great as there were no coral heads to speak of. So off we sailed to Motu Mahaea on the east side of the island.....

We liked this area a lot and anchored for the night. We had some GREAT snorkeling near the "passe" Lots of coral and tons of fish. Motu Mahaea is private, as are just about all the motus we sailed by, but for 5 bucks you can hang on the beach and walk the island if you want....we passed.

Next day off to Raiatea.....

We sailed down the east side of Raiatea to the south end of the island. We anchored at Motu Nao Nao. This was a lovely spot and another great spot to snorkel.

Finally on our last day, we sailed up the west side of Raiatea and took a ball at Apu Bay by the Champion Pearl Farm. The mooring ball is free if you visit the pearl farm. BTW, there were lots of opportunities to visit pearl farms during our cruise.

Only regret was we didn't stop at Marae Taputapuatea. This is where the ancient Polynesians struck off on their voyages across the Pacific. I still have no idea how they had the balls to do that. Voyages into the unknown.....

In any case, I hope this small contribution may help some of those that choose to spend some time in this cruising ground.
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Old 03-03-2020, 16:14   #26
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Thanks for the write up!
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Old 04-03-2020, 02:05   #27
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Quote:
Originally Posted by justsail.net View Post
Thanks for the write up!
My pleasure..... Just trying to add a little to the information base since intel appears to be a bit skinny for this cruising ground.

The viewership for this thread is quite low, however, I feel it's well worth writing about as we really liked FP.
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Old 20-01-2022, 19:51   #28
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Thank you so much for all the info! I know it's been almost two years, but just read through the entire thread twice. Going to Raiatea next month (end of Feb 2022) for 10 day bareboat charter. Thank you for all the info!
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Old 21-01-2022, 04:07   #29
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post
Thank you so much for all the info! I know it's been almost two years, but just read through the entire thread twice. Going to Raiatea next month (end of Feb 2022) for 10 day bareboat charter. Thank you for all the info!
My pleasure....Have a GREAT trip!......we had an awesome time.
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Old 21-01-2022, 05:28   #30
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Re: Bora Bora and Raiatea Favorite Places

Tahaa:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...y_Islands.html
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