We did an 11 day charter last December on a Sunsail catamaran
based at Raiatea. Originally I planned similar to you, but in the end decided to skip Huahine - this allowed us some down time and the ability to stay over if we really liked a place.
Our favourite spots were Motu Nao Nao (south Raiatea), the coral
river at Motu Tautau (NW reef of Tahaa), and Motu Piti Uu Tai (S Bora Bora). We spent two nights at each to have a full day to explore and relax at these extra special (to us) locations.
At Bora Bora
, the Lagoonarium was very cool and a chance to get in amongst sharks and rays. Tahaa has some great family
pearl farms around Apu Bay. The river at the head
of Faíaroa Bay is very interesting.
There are a number of cruising guides
on the net that you can print out - it doesnít matter about their age as you will get fully up to date information from your charter base. They will also give you paper charts
if you ask for them and can mark all the moorings and other special places on them.
Do visit the outer reef where you can, consider snorkelling a pass (the first pass SW of the Sunsail charter base has a little island named Tahu Naoe - anchor
to the N of the island and head
to the pass side to snorkel - almost no current
so safe, and awesome drop off), take in a Tahitian show (not at a resort if possible) - the show on Friday nights at Le Ficus restaurant at Apu Bay was great. Fresh baguettes are available everywhere and well worth a morning trip ashore to a local store. Your charter base should be able to tell you about any special events
We had 7 of us on a Sunsail 404 - 3 teenagers, 2 parents and 2 grandparents. The condomaran didnít sail very well in the off season light trades, but was a perfect platform for a multi-generation charter. The dinghy
, SUPs and sit in tops were fully used everyday by everyone.
Booze is really expensive so bring as much as you can with you. Hinano beer
is OK, there is lots of French wine and even the house quality (ie cheapest) is pretty good, but the spirits are crazy expensive. We went with a partial provisioning
from Sunsail and did one shop on the first day in Uturoa for meat and pasta - otherwise everything we needed was on the boat
with the provisioning
pack. We still have a couple of jars of olives and pate left over from the provisioning.
Iím sure you will love it just as we did. It was my second time to Polynesia and the combination of beautiful place and French is awesome. A little conversational French helps with shopping
in non tourist locations.