Tahiti bareboat sailing

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of November 9-16, 1995

Swiss vacations for serious hardbodies
Pitcairn, the Pacific's most remote island
Eco-tours of the Galapagos
Tahiti bareboat sailing
Bicycle touring in Costa Rica
Best bets for Midwest backpacking

Tahiti bareboat sailing
Q: I'm planning a bareboat sailing vacation in Tahiti in April/May. How far is it to other islands? What kinds of interesting things can one do there?
Dixie Clark
Melrose, MA
[email protected]

A: If you're chartering a boat from the Moorings or another Raiatea-based yachting company, you'll want to spend at least a week exploring the French Polynesian islands. From Raiatea--about an hour's flight from Tahiti--you can sail about two hours north to Tahaa and moor there for the night. The next day, it's about a five-hour sail west to Bora Bora, where you'll have several great anchorages to choose from; try the one right off of the Bora Bora Yacht Club, and be sure to hobnob with other sailors over dinner at the Yacht Club's restaurant. Take time to sample the local culture, including the "pan-Pacific pop" music.

From Bora Bora, head back towards Tahaa and then further east to Huahine, about 25 miles away and a six-hour sail. One word of caution: The wide open waters of the South Pacific and the long distances between islands mean that you'll need to have a strong base of sailing experience if you plan on bareboating. This said, finding interesting things to do won't be a problem. French Polynesia is known for its spectacular snorkeling and diving, and your charter company will probably be able to provide you with sailboards and surfboards at minimal extra cost. For diving, call ahead and arrange a rendezvous dive with local companies. Bora Bora Diving Center on Bora Bora and Pacific Blue Adventures on Huahine are both experienced outfitters that work closely with the Moorings. Mid-season charter rates for a 40-foot bareboat at the Moorings start at $460 per day, not including provisions. For more information about prices and other activities, contact the Moorings at 800-535-7289.

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