Help w/ French Polynesia Charter
I''m trying to set up/book my honeymoon in late September/early October. The plan so far is to stay for 7 nights at a resort in Bora Bora and then to charter a boat for 5-6 days before returning.
The question re: the charter is how we should set it up. I''ve never chartered a boat before, although I own and cruise the Ches. Bay on a Beneteau 351 that I bought out of a Moorings fleet in Martinique (and a Catalina 30 before that). Most of my cruising has been in the Bay, although I''ve done some ocean racing and I did the sea trial of my boat in the Caribbean before it was professionally delivered:
- My original thought was to charter a larger boat, with captain and cook and just basically be waited on hand and foot and not have to worry about anything. That would eliminate any stress and alleviate me having to worry about the boat at all (for instance leaving it to go ashore), as well as getting the benefit of the captain''s knowledge re: where to go, explore, see & what to eat. The downside is it''s expensive, requires the charter of an otherwise unnecessarily large boat, weds us to meals cooked (for us) on the boat as opposed to restaurants, and means that we have another couple of people aboard during our honeymoon, when we might otherwise want to be alone?
- Then I started thinking about chartering a smaller boat (40ish feet) with just a captain, which seemed to have the same negatives and positives as above w/o some of the expense.
- I''m starting to wonder about just bareboating (probably through the Moorings) a B361. That is essentially the same boat I already own, so I would be familiar with it. It''s a lot cheaper, lets us check out some of the restaurants, and lets us have the boat to ourselves. Of course, it could add *a lot* of stress (dragging anchor through harbors, perhaps sailing in less protected waters than I''m used to, going *thump* against things that aren''t mud or sand, having stuff stolen while away from the boat etc.). We would also not have the perspective of a locally savvy sailor with us (for what that''s worth).
Anybody ever charter in French Polynesia? Know what the weather''s like? Is that a relatively challenging sailing area or an easier one? Anyone ever confronted a situation like this before? Am I a little under-experienced for this type of thing or am I worrying way too much about something that''s going to be relatively easy? Anybody know any more resources for info?
Help w/ French Polynesia Charter
I have chartered Tahiti with the Moorings 3 times since 1988, most recently 2002.
From the sound of your sailing experience you should be comfortable bareboating even a 45.
Tahiti is quite easy to sail, and has some of the most fun conditions possible for sailors inside the lagoons. Essentially flat calm sea with unobstructed (warm!) breezes. Outside the lagoons, open ocean conditions are encountered, but the distances between islands is small.
These French islands are well marked and charted with a directional mark on every reef, indicating the direction the reef bears. Nativagtion by water color becomes second nature after a couple of days.
If you charter for 5-6 days you can easily spend that amount of time just exploring Raiatea and Tahaa, which share the same lagoon; no open ocean adventure.
Send for the charter package, it is packed with the charts and guides, showing all the spots. It will give you a higher comfort level.
If you decide to do it, have dinner at the Hotel Vahine, it''s remote and romantic, and only accessable by boat. They have some moorings, so you won''t even have to anchor for the night. This is common at many of the most popular charter stops, now.
You may be sorry you wasted your time in a Bora Bora Hotel.
French Polynesia In Late December?
Matt - I am very curious to hear how your honeymoon went. I am looking to do the same trip for our honeymoon and wold love to learn from your experiences in French Polynesia. I am comfortable chartering but concerned about the weather given the time of year. Dec 21st-dec 27th. I am hearing different things in terms of what the "wet season" can mean. Im being told everything from daily torrential rain storms, to next to no wind, to (my favorite response) "dont worry about the weather"... Any tips, pointers, or general advice about chartering in French Polynesia is greatly appreciated.
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