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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Chartering
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  #1  
Old 08-24-2008
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Your favorite Moorings destination?

I just got back from my third bare boat sailing vacation. I chartered a boat from Newport RI and sailed to Cuttyhunk, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. It was great!

I'm already beginning to think about the next vacation. My crew and I want to charter a catamaran from Moorings. Our first sailing vacation was with the Moorings in the BVI. We are happy to go back there, but would also consider somewhere else. I'd like to hear from people that have sailed in the BVI and also other Moorings locations. What was your favorite place?

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Old 08-24-2008
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Try the moorings in the Abacos if you want easy sailing and even better water and reefs than the BVI's
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Old 08-27-2008
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Talking We loved Tahiti

The BVI are great -- we'll be going back soon. They are really perfect for easy sailing and a laid-back good time.

However, my wife and I had a glorious time chartering with Moorings in Tahiti. We picked up the boat on Raiatea and sailed around that island and also across open ocean (a full day) to Bora Bora. Both are exceedingly beautiful and exotic. The Polynesian people were also more friendly and hospitable than those in the Caribbean. Learning a few words in French helps a bit.

The rich and famous spend thousands to stay at the fabulous Hotel Bora Bora, with individual thatched-roof huts on stilts out over the lagoon. We, however, were anchored in the same lagoon and enjoying the same views for far less $$$, and even eating at the same hotel restaurant, and we could move around to the other side of the island whenever we wanted to. Also -- lots of friendly dolphins to keep you company under sail.


The sailing and anchoring are a bit more challenging than the BVI, which is a positive or negative depending on your tastes. I liked the open-ocean sail to Bora Bora -- it was challenging, but not so much as to be scary. You just have to stay well outside of the barrier reef until you find the range markers and buoys to safely pass through. The lagoons tend to be deep, so you often have to set a good hook with only 3-to-1 scope, to avoid hitting land if you swing during the night.

I really hope we can go back someday!
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Old 08-31-2008
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I have spoken to another person that sailed Tahiti. His thoughts were the same. Was his favorite place. I will check into the cost of flights.
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Old 08-31-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Try the moorings in the Abacos if you want easy sailing and even better water and reefs than the BVI's
I have been looking into the Abacos because of your suggestion. It looks pretty good to me.

Did you find it as crowded as the BVI? I was at the BVI in February, it was pretty crowded at that time. Having to be at the anchorage by 2:00 can take some of the fun out of the day.
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Old 08-31-2008
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Did Belize via Moorings twice. It was about 6 years ago and we still had to deal w copies of old hand drawn charts and tall sticks that served as channel markers. The gps made it easier but it was a true adventure. The best part was anchoring in hidden lagoons and the starfilled skys. The snorkeling and beaches were nice too.
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Old 08-31-2008
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In Belize, did you find much difference between islands or anchorage areas? I like deserted islands sometimes but also like to have restaurants and pubs to visit ashore. I'm imagining that in Belize there is not much on the islands that you visit?
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Old 09-04-2008
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You're right, there's not much on the islands in Belize. My wife and I just got back from a week's sail there with the Moorings on a 32' monohull...one of the few in their fleet of mostly catamarans. After seeing how shallow the waters can get in some of the reef areas I now know why keelboats are few and far between. In one week we only anchored at 2 inhabited islands in the southern sailing grounds. Most of the cays aren't much bigger than Sandy Spit in the BVI's...you know, that one with just a single palm tree on it just off Jost Van ****...so there isn't much area to build. Definitely nothing like Foxy's or Trellis Bay there. In all, we ate only 2 meals off the boat in the entire week, and they were both on Southwater Cay. But it made for some amazing experiences. We spent 2 nights at the Queen Cays, a string of three small islands just a couple hundred meters inside the barrier reef. Rather surprisingly, the largest of the three had several picnic tables, a giant brick bbq, and a his/hers outhouse with indoor plumbing fed by rainwater tanks. The first night we bought fresh lobster tails for dinner from the Mexican fishing boats anchored at the reef and by second night we were the only boat for miles, so we didn't even bother getting dressed that day. Those are a couple things you'd never get do in someplace like the BVI's. And the snorkeling was great. Lot's of big fish in relatively shallow waters. Placencia, the southern charter location on the mainland, is one of the best little Caribbean towns I've ever seen. But the relative isolation also meant we had no place to top up our rather small water tanks, and we ran out of water with 24 hours still left in the charter. All in all, Moorings was pretty good. It was our first charter with them. They treated us well, their provisioning was decent, and the office had the best air-conditioning in Placencia! But for Belize, Moorings and TMM are the only game in town, so you don't have much choice there. I'd still rather go with a good, smaller second tier company in busier locations, where you get a little more personal attention and more for your money. The older boats are worth the trade-off.
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Old 09-29-2008
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If you want to be around lots of other boats BVI is good. If you want to get away from the crowds try the Moorings out of Canouan in the Windward Islands - part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The base is a stone's throw from Tobago Keys - one of the prittiest spots on earth - and has easy access to lots of great places with LOCAL culture and no cruise ships. (Keep an eye out for a cream colored CSY with burgundy accents and come on over for a beer!)
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Old 09-29-2008
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I have yet to sail in the Med, but I've sailed with Moorings in the BVI, the Grenadines (Tobago Cays was indeed beautiful, but had so many boats there it felt like the BVI), and New Zealand. I have to say that the Vavau Group in Tonga is my favorite spot. Very uncrowded, warm and friendly people, and the sailing is quite good. Anchorages are awesome and plentiful. Not a lot of restaurants and bars like the BVI and other charter destinations, but you definitley feel like you left civilization behind. Shane Walker owns the Moorings in Tonga and Auckland, he and his staff are outstanding in every respect.

New Zealand (the Hauruki Gulf) was pretty cool, though. I definitley want to go back there and make it up to the Bay of Islands next time...
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