Papeete International airport on the island of Tahiti is a 45-50 minute flight from the island of Raiatea. Upon arrival at Raiatea airport, it's just a short taxi ride to the marina at Raiatea.
Papeete to Raiatea: Air Tahiti www.airtahiti.pf
Ferry for Raiatea: Departure from Tahiti on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora. Hawaiki Nui: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: that this boat is a cargo boat and does not offer great comfort and service!
Upon arrival at Raiatea airport, it is a short taxi ride to the Marina d'Uturoa Raiatea. Should you arrive a day or so before your charter then Raiatea Lodge hotel is close to the marina. Contact us if you would like to reserve a room in advance of your charter.
A tropical climate maintains even temperatures throughout the year, ranging from 24°C to 32°C during the day and 20°C to 26°C at night.
A tropical climate keeps the rich waters warm year-round, ranging from 26°C in August to 28°C in April.
The weather is comfortable and dry in the tourism high season of July and August. May through October is the austral winter and offers less rain and fewer crowds. The wet season is November through April and is the austral summer. French Polynesia is on the eastern edge of the South Pacific cyclone belt, and tropical storms are more likely from November to March. The trade winds prevail from the east making the eastern mountainous wetter than the western parts if the islands. In wet season, rainfall is heavy but doesn't last very long.
Tahiti has prevailing warm trade winds that are easterly between 15-20mph throughout the year, guaranteeing nice sailing on calm seas within the lagoons and spirited sails on the open-water passages. Inside the lagoons navigation is line of sight, but care is needed for shallow reefs. The tidal range is insignificant at less than a half meter.
The Pacific is a vast body of water and French Polynesia just a very small part. French Polynesia is a great yacht charter destination for beginner to experienced level sailors. A sailing license/certificate is not required for bareboat charter but you will be asked to provide a sailing resume. If you are on a skippered bareboat or cabin charter, you do not require any experience or certification to sail with a skipper.
French Polynesia offers smooth seas, and line of sight navigation. Care is needed to navigate through the many reefs an channel markers.
Tahiti and Bora Bora: Has prevailing warm trade winds that are easterly between 15-20mph throughout the year, guaranteeing nice sailing on calm seas within the lagoons and spirited sails on the open-water passages. Inside the lagoons navigation is line of sight, but care is needed for shallow reefs. The tidal range is insignificant at less than a half meter.
French Polynesia provides well-organized marinas offering berths and services ashore. There are many anchorages - in order to protect the marine environment from anchors, in some areas there are mooring balls provided by the local authorities designed for different sized yachts. Sailors can tie off to the mooring ball and make payment to a local representative. In other cases, private charter companies have installed mooring balls for their charter guests.
Pacific regions operate under region A of the international navigational system - red right leaving.
The legends and romance associated with Bora Bora bring an almost mystical presence to the island. Part of the allure, are the towering black peaks that dominate the center of this volcanic archipelago. The emerald waters of the lagoon and the surrounding barrier reef offer a kaleidoscope of colorful fish and living corals. You will be enchanted in this majestic place and by the friendly Polynesian people in this world-class destination.
The island is located 193 km north-west from Tahiti. The island has an authentic charm thanks to its historical prosperity, its legends and sacral mountain Mount Temehani at 772 metres high. To the south of Raiatea there are beautiful waterfalls and the Faaroa river, that offers the possibility of kayaking to enjoy the unspoiled nature of this mystic island.
Huahine is the wildest and most secretive island of the Society Islands it is composed by two islands: Huahine Nui (big Huahine) in the North and Huahine Iti (small Huahine) in the South separated by a narrow channel. Both offer a luxuriant vegetation, white sandy beaches, small coves hidden from the eyes, coral desert islets, a lagoon with turquoise colours and much diversified food and fruit-producing cultivation. A real haven of peace for recharging the batteries!
Embark: 12:00hrs. Fly in to Papeete Tahiti, and shake off your jet lag in a hotel for the day or connect directly by flight to our base at Raiatea Island at Marina Apooti. It is recommended to arrive at Raiatea Island on the early flight from Papeete. After checking in on the yacht and provisioning, sail the short distance over to the island of Tahaa and pick up a mooring for the night. Moor in a wonderful bay for the first tropical toast and the first Pacific sunset.
Sail around the coast of Tahaa within the lagoon the first morning and exit the fringing reef through Toahotu Pass for a spirited 4-hour sail to Huahine. Arrive at the lagoon entrance of Avamoa Pass and anchor to the left (port side) of the Bali Hai Hotel. This is a safe and picturesque anchorage for the night and an opportunity to take in some Tahitian nightlife at the hotel. The bar and restaurant are open to charter sailors who want to go ashore and dine or have cocktails at the bar.
Explore beautiful Huahine lagoon for the day trolling along the coast for some tuna or mackerel but if you don't catch one, stop in at Fare for provisioning at the supermarket, bakery and top off the water if need be. Later in the day sail down the west coast for some spectacular snorkeling at Avea Bay, also a good place to grill the fish and watch the sky turn every hue of red and orange.
Stay at anchor at Avea Bay and explore the beautiful beach and surrounding lush vegetation. Soak up the sun then cool off with a snorkel over a vibrant, colorful coral reef.
Raise anchor early and head out the Avamoa Pass for the 4-hour reciprocal course back to Tahaa. Enter the lagoon through the Toahotu Pass and head for the first island lying to starboard, Mahaea Motu Island. Behind the island you find a deserted paradise with fine sand and fringing palms leaning low over the shore. In the evening tie to a mooring at Haamene Bay, opposite Toahotu Pass, where you'll find the inviting Hibiscus restaurant.
Sail around the bottom of Tahaa Island and return to the base to replenish supplies and top off the water tanks. Once the provisions are stowed, sail west across the lagoon to the magical islet of Llot Tautau. This is the perfect spot to watch the sun set over the volcanic peaks of Bora Bora.
Make your way around the lagoon and exit the reef system at Papai Pass for a nice morning sail to majestic Bora Bora and the famous volcanic Pitons. Enter via the Teavanui Pass and sail to the mooring balls of the Bora Bora Yacht Club - a good place to indulge in a tropical cocktail.
Stay at anchor at Bora Bora and explore the islands interior in the morning - be sure to see the aquarium. In the afternoon, sail north around the top of the lagoon and down the eastern shore stopping at several tranquil tropical anchorages.
Sail up the coast and shop for handicrafts and provisions at the township of Vaitape. A good overnight spot is in front of the Bora Bora Hotel. 100 yards off the hotel beach are several coral bommies that offer superb snorkeling. The hotel is an inviting location for a magical evening meal.
Up anchor and hoist sail for the 4 hour passage out the Teavanui channel to the west side of Raiatea via the Toamaro Pass. Anchor in behind Toamaro Island (to port as you enter the Pass). This is a spectacular, tropical anchorage with a great view for the fiery Pacific sunset.
Head out the Toamaro Pass and sail south around the bottom of the island outside the barrier reef. Re-enter the lagoon through Naonao Pass. Make your way up the eastern side of Raiatea inside the lagoon for an interesting stop at Opoa Bay. This bay features some Polynesian Marea ruins on the headland. After lunch, continue exploring the coastline up to Faaroa Bay. Spend the night in this quaint little cove. There is a great restaurant ashore if you don't feel like cooking.
On your last morning continue up the east coast of Raiatea and make way to the base for departure.