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Tahiti, Tahiti & French Polynesia

Suggested 7 day Cruising Program

A Tahiti sailing itinerary typically includes easy passages within the protected waters behind the beautiful coral reefs that encircle the islands, allowing for relaxed sailing in one of the most exotic cruising grounds in the world. Snorkeling and scuba diving on the reefs, swimming and sunbathing on white-sand beaches, enjoying the delights of luxury resorts, shopping, and fine restaurants, and spending quiet evenings aboard your yacht in picturesque anchorages are all part of what makes sailing in Tahitian waters so appealing. Relatively short passages between the islands (see Tahiti maps) integrate open-ocean sailing. The longest passage to windward is about 18 nautical miles. The open-water passages downwind from Huahine to Tahaa and from Tahaa to Bora-Bora are simply spectacular, South Pacific sailing at its very best

Day 1: Apu Bay

Apu Bay - 3 nm. Tucked into the south end of Tahaa, Apu Bay provides excellent protection except in south winds. The mountains on Raiatea and Tahaa are magnificent. The scenery is picture-perfect South Pacific and a key reason why yachting in Apu Bay is so popular.

Mooring: Moorings are available at the Taravana Yacht Club (free of charge to diners at the restaurant). Anchoring is not recommended in the north end of the bay due to excessive water depths and potentially gusty winds funneling down from the mountains.

Dinghy dockage: Dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do:A great meal at the French restaurant at the Taravana Yacht Club and then relaxing over cocktails is a splendid way to relax on the first day of your charter. Take a stroll and admire the scenery.

Facilities: Water and garbage disposal are available with permission from the yacht club manager.

Day 2: Pt. Raititi

Apu Bay to Pt. Raititi. The lagoon widens north of Pt. Raititi with Povai Bay to the east along the shore of Bora-Bora. The scenery is truly spectacular, which accounts for the several hotels and restaurants in the vicinity and why Pt. Raititi Bora-Bora yachting is so popular. To the west is the small island of Topua, the only remaining vestiges of the massive volcano that formed Bora-Bora.

Mooring: Moorings are available for diners at the Bloody Mary restaurant in Povai Bay. Anchor west of the beacon marking the north end of the reef near Pt. Raititi. Another great anchorage for spending the night is close to the west shore of Topua at the south end of the island in Topua Bay. Also in the bay are day anchorages with easy access to the beach and the reef.

Dinghy dockage: Dinghy dockage is available at Hotel Bora-Bora for boaters who avail themselves of the excellent food and drink at the hotel's restaurant and bar.

Things to do: There are several excellent beaches accessible by dinghy for snorkeling on the reef. Scuba diving excursions are available. A leisurely stroll ashore takes you to a number of shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

Day 3: Bora-Bora Yacht Club

Yachting in Bora-Bora waters is a journey through paradise. For centuries the fabled island has drawn sailors and inspired the imaginations of travelers throughout the world. A highlight of Bora-Bora cruising is a visit to the Bora-Bora Yacht Club located north of Vaitape Village, the main town on the island. It's a favorite spot for globe trotting cruisers, and you're sure to meet some interesting people as you sip a cool drink at the yacht club bar.

Mooring: Moorings are available. free of charge when dining at the yacht club restaurant.

Dinghy dockage: Dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: The yacht club has a restaurant and bar, world famous among long-distance cruisers. You can also access the Internet free of charge if you're dining at the restaurant. Vaitape Village isn't far off, with its various shops and restaurants. Car rentals in the village are available for island tours.

Day 4: Haamene Bay

Tahaa is a beautiful, mountainous island known for its many vanilla plantations ensconced in valleys. It is very similar in nature to Huahine in terms of agriculture and the laid-back ambience. Haamene Bay cruising brings you to the largest protected body of water on the island.

Mooring: Moorings are available at the Hibiscus Restaurant. Anchor at the head of the bay for the best protection and scenery.

Dinghy dockage: Dinghy dockage is available at the Hibiscus Restaurant.

Things to do: Dinner at the Hibiscus Restaurant is a pleasant way to pass an early evening. At the head of the bay is a scenic hiking trail through the dense tropical forest over Mt. Taira to the head of Hurepiti Bay.

Day 5: Faaroa Bay

Cruising in Faaroa Bay Raiatea waters brings you over the north end of the island of Raiatea, then southeast along the eastern coast. The channel is well marked. To starboard, opposite the Passe Irihu ou Maire, is Faaroa Bay, a fjord-like indentation deep into the shoreline. Steep mountains rise on either side, lush with tropical vegetation and tall palms. Beyond is the valley of Mt. Tefaatuaiti.

Mooring: Moorings are recommended. There are 15 available.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do:Aside from its stunning beauty, the main attraction of the bay is the opportunity to explore the Aopomau River by dinghy. In no other place in French Polynesia can you take a river trip! As you head up the river, jungle fronts both shores, interspersed with the cultivated lands of working plantations. The mountains are ever present, looming above like watchful sentinels. At an elevation of approximately 3,400 feet above sea level, Mt. Tefaatuaiti is the tallest peak in the Tahitian Leeward Islands.

Day 6: Opoa Bay

Opoa Bay and its surrounding lands are steeped in history. The lagoon was once a major staging area for long-distance Polynesian voyages that led to the settlement of New Zealand and the establishment of the Maori. The sea was integral to Polynesian culture, and thus it is no surprise that the Polynesians would build a major religious center at Opoa because of the area's great importance as a port. Faaroa Bay in particular was a key location due to its protection from most wind directions. Today, a small village is on the shores of the bay, and there are vanilla plantations inland. Opoa Bay Raiatea yachting is a must during your cruise of the Tahitian Leeward Islands.

Mooring:No moorings are available. Anchor off the village. The anchorage is open to the prevailing easterlies. Make sure the anchor is well set, and watch for the Pearl farm buoys.

Dinghy dockage: Dinghy dockage is available for a short time only.

Things to do: Ashore in Opoa is the archaeological site of Taputapuatea Marae, restored in 1994. Work continues to preserve the marae, which is being tentatively considered for inclusion as a World Heritage Site. The great stone altar is the centerpiece, but there are many other interesting points of interest, such as stone figures called Tikis. The size of the complex indicates its importance. It dates back to earlier than 1000 A.D. and was a place of sacrifices to the gods and gatherings of the best seamen in Polynesia who passed on their knowledge to students.

Final Morning: Although you won't want to sail back to reality (you can always come visit the Tahitian Leewards again!), the final leg of your charter will be an easy passage back to the Moorings base. Please check in by 10:00 A.M.


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Country info: Tahiti