A Tahiti gay 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 our luxury catamaran in picturesque anchorages are all part of what makes Tahiti sailing 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: Boarding start at 5.30 PM at the Marina Uturoa, Raiatea Island. After meeting with your Gay Crew in the afternoon we show you your cabin, have a welcome drink, an introduction round and the first briefing. Then it is time to unpack your stuff and have a swim and/or a shower before we go to out for dinner.
Day2: Tucked into the south end of Tahaa, Apu Bay provides excellent protection. 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. 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.
Day 3: The lagoon widens north of Pt. Raititi, 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. 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 4: 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. Vaitape Village isn’t far off, with its various shops and restaurants. Car rentals in the village are available for island tours. The very name Bora-Bora conjures images of a far-off South Pacific paradise. The island has long been a favorite of sailors, and it still is. A single barrier reef encircles the two islands that make up Bora-Bora. The black basalt rock face of Mt. Otemanu rises 2,362 feet above an azure sea, with impressive Mt. Pahia nearby. Both dominate the heights and provide breathtaking views from the anchorages in the lagoon, one of the key attractions because of its superlative snorkeling and swimming. The smaller island, Topua, is all that’s left of the ancient volcano of Bora-Bora. Secure anchorages, white-sand beaches, restaurants, shops, art galleries, luxury resorts, and island tours are among the pleasures of a visit to Bora-Bora.
Day 5: 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. 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. The fragrant scent of vanilla fills the air on Tahaa, just north of Raiatea and encircled by the same barrier reef. In fact, 80 percent of all the vanilla in French Polynesia is grown in the mountain valleys of Tahaa, earning it the nickname of the Vanilla Island. Plantation tours are an interesting sojourn ashore. Black pearls, one of the prizes of the region, are grown on aquatic farms, some of which are open to the public. Local artisans craft fine jewelry featuring the pearls, and the intricate and beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and rings are for sale in shops throughout the Tahitian Leewards. Tahaa is home to a sea turtle preserve, where visitors can observe the creatures in a park setting. The island has many fjord-like inlets both scenic and well protected for anchoring, and the snorkeling on the reef is superb. White-sand beaches are ideal for swimming and picnicking.
Day 6: 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. 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. The second largest island in French Polynesia (Tahiti is the largest) and the largest of the Tahitian Leewards, Raiatea was known as the Sacred Island. In many ways, it’s still the cultural heart of Tahiti because of its rich history. It was once an important port on the ancient Polynesian routes through the islands, covering an enormous triangle stretching from Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, to present-day French Polynesia. The many fascinating archaeological and historic sites are well worth visiting on an island tour. They provide a glimpse into Polynesian culture that must be experienced firsthand. Of particular interest is the site of Taputapuatea Marae, the most significant in the islands. Horseback riding and hiking in the mountainous interior of the island are a splendid way to sightsee in a pristine tropical setting.
Day 7: 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. 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. The second largest island in French Polynesia (Tahiti is the largest) and the largest of the Tahitian Leewards, Raiatea was known as the Sacred Island. In many ways, it’s still the cultural heart of Tahiti because of its rich history. It was once an important port on the ancient Polynesian routes through the islands, covering an enormous triangle stretching from Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, to present-day French Polynesia. The many fascinating archaeological and historic sites are well worth visiting on an island tour. They provide a glimpse into Polynesian culture that must be experienced firsthand. Of particular interest is the site of Taputapuatea Marae, the most significant in the islands.
Day 8: Time to return to the Marina and say goodbeye to your new friends!
How to Get There
The time difference in Raiatea is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) -10 hrs. Make sure your documentation is in order to travel. You may need a visa depending on your country of origin, please speak to the French embassy in your country or talk to us to make sure you have the correct documents before you travel.
The currency is Franc Pacifique and Visa and MasterCard are accepted, but very few shops accept American Express. ATMs are in every town. Most banks open 7:30am to 3:00pm, although some shut for an extended lunch between 11:45am and 2:00pm, so be prepared.
Use www.hotspot-wdg.com to check where the Wi-Fi spots are. You can buy prepaid credit at the base or use internet cafes at Uturoa, Bora Bora and Papeete town. Be warned that the internet is slow and expensive in the region.
How to Get There
Fly to Papeete-Tahiti and then catch a direct flight to Raiatea, where the marina is, Marina Uturoa. Internal flights between Papeete and Raiatea are with Air Tahiti.
Air Tahiti Nui
Air New Zeland
Customs / Immigration Information
A valid passport (for each passenger) and crew list is compulsory for clearance. Expiration date must be no earlier than 6 months after your planned return. A customs declaration form must be completed at the port of entry.
Raiatea airport - Tahiti/Faa'a airport
Transfers from Raiatea Airport are easy by local taxi.
At our base in Marina Uturoa, Raiatea. The base is close to the airport and 500 m from Uturoa, the capital of the Leeward Islands.