John Clifford, April 2009
Overview - Give us a snapshot of your time with The Moorings?
Imagine a lusher, more beautiful version of Kauai, take away the crowds of tourists and the unfortunate business that exist to cater to them. Now surround the islands with the most beautiful and amazing protected water in the world and you have an idea what Raitea and Taaha are like. paradise - so long as you are on a boat and not stuck in a cookie cutter resort hotel.
This was our fourth charter with the Moorings - 3 in the Bahamas and once in the BVI. We were scheduled to be on a 4600, which we learned a week before the trip would be unavailable. So...We found ourselves on a crewed boat. This was a delightful, if different experience. The Captain (Didier) was great, Pauline kept us well fed and the boat spotless, and we were free to enjoy the most beautiful islands in the world.Highlights - What were the most memorable experiences of your vacation and where on your itinerary did they happen?
Sunrise painting Bora Bora orange and purple while the smell of fresh croisants and coffee filled the boat.
Didier's "secret" snorkeling spot on Bora Bora.
Having one of the most beautiful anchorages I have ever seen TO OURSELVES; a nice change from the BVI.
Sailing fast inside the lagoon - 10 knots in absolutely flat and calm water.
The clearest water I have seen outside of the abacos.
Making the crossing to Bora Bora - what sailor hasn't dreamed of sailing the south pacific?Tips - Do you have any advice for fellow Moorings guests visiting this destination?
While Bora Bora is amazing and not to be missed, it is developed. When you are on your own boat, this is not such a bad thing, but don't shortchange your time on the other islands. Some of our best experiences came in areas where we appeared to be the only visitors.
The mouth of the Faaroa river makes a great (if quiet) last night's anchorage. A dinghy ride up the river is worth the effort.Yachts - What features of your yacht did you like the best?
While older, the yacht was well maintained and was a very enjoyable place to spend a week.Crew - What did you think of your captain and chef?
Didier and Pauline are pros - they will be as involved or as invisible as you would like them to be. The food was fantastic, but you will want to eat ashore some nights. I would suggest that you save dinner aboard for nights when you will be anchored away from towns.
DO NOT let Didier convince you to anchor off of the harbor entrance in Bora Bora - what was gentle rocking to the Captain made for a very uncomfortable night for some of the less seaworthy guests. Also, the crossing to Bora Bora can be ROUGH. If anyone is prone to seasickness, medicate ahead of time. Otherwise, you are sailing on the calmest water I have ever seen.Is there anything else you would like to share?
If you have the chance to go - DO IT. you will not regret it. Also - stay the night before you embark - it will give you a chance to acclimate and was one of the smartest things we did. The Hotel recommended by the Moorings was a far better choice than the one we selected. Also, the Moorings has a deal with a local hotel that allows you use of a room and the pool after you leave the boat in exchange for a promise to buy lunch. Take them up on it.