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Old 20-02-2018, 16:08   #1
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Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Greetings from Coronado, CA!

A little more than three months till we charter a 40ft cat with Dream Yacht Charters...plan to do Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora over 7 nights beginning May 26. We've chartered in the BVI 5 times, but know there will be significant differences in French Polynesia. We're studying charts, the provided cruising guide, etc., but I'd love to hear any tips and tricks for what to see/where to anchor/what to avoid in those areas.

Cheers,
Jessica
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Old 07-03-2018, 21:20   #2
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

I posted an extended answer a while ago on TripAdvisor
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...y_Islands.html
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:54   #3
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jessica, and kika.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:24   #4
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

It’s going to be awesome. We chartered with Sunsail in December a few years ago and visited the same three islands, but had 12 days.

With your shorter timeframe I really recommend paying for pre-provisioning, so you don’t spend half of your first day buying groceries. We did that and even with the half-afloat option had tons of food - we’re still eating canned pate and roasted peanuts that were left over from the provisions.

Two standout locations for us were Motu Nao Nao in the very south of Raiatea and the ‘coral river’ at Le Taha’a Island Resort on the NW corner of Tahaa’s reef. We spent almost half our time at those two places.

Bora Bora is stunningly beautiful, especially as you sail south in the lagoon on the east side.

A dinghy trip up the river at the head of Fa’aroa Bay on the east side of Raiatea is pretty cool, but the bay itself is not that great and only has a few moorings (otherwise quite deep). If the trade winds are strong then you’re better off anchoring behind a motu on the outer reef on the east sides of the islands rather than in a bay with the full fetch across the lagoon.

A special morning treat is getting ashore early and buying fresh baguettes - available everywhere. The cheaper house wines are pretty good, but still relatively expensive. Consider maxing out your duty free allowances on wine and spirits before arriving in Tahiti.

The west coasts of both Tahaa and Raiatea have pearl farms and visiting one is a cool experience. We visited a family run pearl farm just past the south point of Apu Bay.

Travel during the mid-day hours only so you have a high sun. The lagoons are very well marked but you still need to be aware of individual coral bombies when you sail in green water and are anchoring.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:23   #5
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

We did a one way charter Raiatea, Huahine, Taha and Bora Bora on a Lagoon 380. Fabulous trip. We flew in to Raiatea and flew out of Bora Bora, this let us explore a little further in the 7 days and puts less pressure on needing to get back to base, especially if weather looks inclement. Highlights for us was Lagoon in Huahine and dinghy trip through the middle, feeding Stingrays at Bora Bora, dinner / cocktails at Bora Bora yacht club (if it is still going)
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:42   #6
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

We are going as part of a flotilla in mid April.

First day we are sailing the short trip to the East side of Tahaa to the Hibscus restaurant.

Next day over to Bora Bora and spending a few days in that lagoon before coming back to Raiatea to the river described above.

If I remember I will post a post trip write up. Here is a link to our proposed itinerary which has changed slightly but gives you an idea:

Marina Sailing Flotilla to Tahiti
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Old 13-03-2018, 20:25   #7
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Be super careful at Hibiscus. They put the stupidest mooring balls I've ever seen - two fisherman's net buoys (balls the size of the soccer ball) on a synthetic rope. Not even the marine rope, just rope from the hardware store. And this rope floats freely in the water, because balls, while not fixed to the rope, move along it and get together at one end. The other end is in the water. You know what happens when you motor to the buoy which has 15 ft of rope floating on the surface downwind.
Don't ask me how I know this.

Also, the restaurant is meh. Mai Tai at the end of the Haamene bay is much better and there's almost no wind there.
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Old 14-03-2018, 15:13   #8
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Quote:
Originally Posted by kika View Post
Be super careful at Hibiscus.
Thanx for the info

Quote:
Originally Posted by kika View Post
Also, the restaurant is meh. Mai Tai at the end of the Haamene bay is much better and there's almost no wind there.
I literally just read that somewhere last night... Again thanx.
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Old 19-03-2018, 12:00   #9
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Ficus Restaurant in Apu Bay has a weekly show and dinner - your charter operator should know which night, Friday from memory. And all the large resorts have a show that you can walk in and watch.
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Old 05-05-2018, 13:42   #10
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

So, we just got back from Tahiti and Bora Bora sailing a Moorings 4800 catamaran for 8 days 7 nights. I have attached a full report with all the mooring balls, anchorages, routes, provisioning, etc that we took along with positions of each. I also attached a KMZ file which will open up in Google Earth for you.

In short:

Le Ficus: Great mooring ball, free if you visit the pearl farm, and great show.

Le Hibiscus: We got there at night--long story, heeded the warnings of the mooring balls, we found them to be fine, free as we ate there, appetizer was great, main meal not so much.

Bora Bora Yacht club fun but expensive.

Maikai marina the same

Bloody mary's a hoot as with all other resort fun bars like that.

Hint: We bought a soft sided yeti cooler as carry-on bag and used it for provisioning etc and to help keep ice cold.

Great time, we will be back once we are live-aboards ourselves in 5 years.

Feel free to ask questions.

Gordy, Jody & crew on pirate night:

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Report Tahiti Sailing Trip April 2018.pdf (282.7 KB, 217 views)
File Type: kml Tahiti Sailing route.kml (23.9 KB, 64 views)
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Old 05-05-2018, 15:56   #11
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

So many great memories from our trip there! We did a 10 day charter and originally intended to go to Huahine, but just ended up in Raietea and Bora Bora.

*My suggestion would be to keep your schedule flexible, and not rush it.

Hibiscus and Bloody Mary's were great. We were there for a Halloween party at Bora Bora Yacht Club which was a blast. The area was some of the best snorkeling we've had. Check out the coral gardens near the Intercontinental (South East corner of Bora Bora).

Here's a video we made of our trip:
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:33   #12
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Thank you so much for the great info!
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:40   #13
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Quote:
Originally Posted by elee View Post
Check out the coral gardens near the Intercontinental (South East corner of Bora Bora).
I think you meant Sofitel (Sofitel Private Island) instead of Intercontinental.
Here's this place: https://www.google.com/maps/place/16...51.7350122,15z
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:35   #14
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

Quote:
Originally Posted by kika View Post
Be super careful at Hibiscus. They put the stupidest mooring balls I've ever seen - two fisherman's net buoys (balls the size of the soccer ball) on a synthetic rope. Not even the marine rope, just rope from the hardware store. And this rope floats freely in the water, because balls, while not fixed to the rope, move along it and get together at one end. The other end is in the water. You know what happens when you motor to the buoy which has 15 ft of rope floating on the surface downwind.
Don't ask me how I know this.

Also, the restaurant is meh. Mai Tai at the end of the Haamene bay is much better and there's almost no wind there.
Be VERY careful if anchored or on a mooring bouy at the head of Hamene bay (same bay where the Hibiscus is located but they are midway up the bay) as there have been a number of thefts in this spot. The thief onshore waits for people to leave their boat and go ashore to the Mai Tai and then comes out and robs the boat. Mai Tai is very much aware of this and so does the local police. I would say give it a miss or hide your valuables and LOCK your vessel!

Just last month another theft was reported by an Australian boat. That is the 3-4 theft in the past 2 seasons.

I would recommend you lock your vessel anytime you leave to go ashore or for a snorkel.

This is our 3rd year in FP and we love it. But like anywhere it pays to take the extra time and lock up.

Chuck
Jacaranda
Raiatea
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:26   #15
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Re: Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

In addition to the normal paper charts and e-charts that most charter folks use - a great addition, that costs nothing but will really help you navigate is to download the app Ovitalmaps.

Ovitalmaps uses GE.

You browse places where you are headed, zooming in to the anchorages, etc and it automatically saves the image for offline use. You should be able to zoom in close to all the islands you will visit in about 15 minutes with good internet. The closer the zoom the better to see all the reefs.


We have been using Ovital maps in addition to OpenCPN & GE2KAP and found Ovitalmaps a great addition to the navigation tools

Safe sailing

Chuck
Jacaranda
Raiatea
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