Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tahiti StS - Arrival in Paradise

8 days to go, can you stand it?!  Some have left already ... sob's.   We're fired up.  I have been buried in details but, as it does, dawn is breaking and I can see Tropical Paradise on the horizon.

Nothing really new in this email for those who like to go with less info.  Be at the base around 1100 on Mon 23 May.

If you are arriving by plane the morning of StS, the charter base airport shuttle will try to meet you at the airport.  If you don't see it, take a cab.  If you are staying on Raiatea the night before, have your hotel will tell you the best way to get to marina Apooiti. 

You should arrive at the base at Apooiti around 1100.  Most of the prep should be done by then.  When you get to there find a skipper.  They will have blue Lats & Atts hats on.  They will have the current crew lists and point out your skipper.  Your skipper will answer your questions and let you know when it is ok to board the boat.  Some boats won't be ready until noon.  Please do not bother the base staff, we have 80 people and 11 boats.  We want the base staff to focus on releasing our boats.  

Before you board the boat you may want to take a trip to the store in Uturoa, Raiatea to pick up any special items:  snacks and booze.  A case of beer will be on the boat but that doesn't usually make it out of the harbor.  Base suggestion:  "As most hard liquor is expensive in Tahiti it is suggested the clients bring in duty free up to 2 liters per person."

Lats & Atts International Party at Bloody Marys
Saturday evening we will be at Bloody Marys for the big event.  Eric Stone will be playing and there will be drink specials and some soft sand dance floor action.  Time to be announced on the cruise.  Before the party, Bloody Marys is hosting a private dinner for us and any local cruisers we invite.  BM's is a high end restaurant.  To make it more affordable, Rick is offering our Shailors a buffet of local catches and dishes for 4000 cfp (about $48).  There will be a drink special and a L&A discount of 300cfp on must have to piss off friends at home - BM shirts.  The concert/dancing is free of course.  

I'm going to give you the crew lists as they stand now - subject to change.

Sunsail Boats
Skipper Bob and Jody Bitchin
Glenn and Sherry Bishop:  23 May Air Tahiti #360 at 0845        
Tom and Lynn Cray:  23May #492 arrive 0830                              
Tabitha Lipkin and bf

Skipper Tom and Sharon Brownell:  23May Air Tahiti 0830        
Jim and Vicki Norman:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel
Patricia Zajack:  La Pirogue on Tahaa.  Will ferry over.
Mike and Tammy Anderson:  21May #vt438 arrive 1135

Skipper Neil Flynn:  no arrival details
Ellen Baird:  Sunset Beach Motel
Hilary Aven:  Sunset Beach Motel
Robert Engle:  22May, no hotel given
Albert Honaker:  23May Air Tahiti VT492 at 0830                        
Wes and Lee George:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel

Tahiti Yacht Charter Boats
Skipper Woody and Dena
Chuck and Ann Stewart:  no arrival info
Wayne and Terri Gott:  23May Air Tahiti #VT492 arr 0830      
Mike and Kimber:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel

Skipper Mike and Sue Morgan:  23May Tahiti Nui #492 arr 0900
Tom Lunsford:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel
Dave and Carol Faith:  Sunset Beach
John Carlton, Darlene Norring:  Sunset Beach

Skipper Eric and Kim Stone: no arrival info
Bob and Ruth Ging:  Hawaiki Nui Raiatea
Dennis and Jane Stock:  Raitea Hawaiki Nui
Clay and Kendra Buford:  23May VT492  arrive 0830                      
Skipper Zuzana Prochazka:  23May Air Tahiti #492 arr 0900       

Joe and Betty Deneault:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel
Bill and Mary Hughes:  23 May Air Tahiti #360 arrive 0845        
Doug and Michele Skeans:  Vahine Island Resort

Skipper Adam Ellis:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel
Brandon Durbin, Jerri Wilson:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel
Larry and Barbara Gamble:  22May #446 at 1725, Bellevue B&B
Robert Smith:  no arrival info

Skipper Doug and Wendy:  Raiatea Hawaiki Nui Hotel
Terry and Marlene Storry:  Raiatea Lodge Hotel
Chuck and Lynn Lenschow:  Raiatea Hawaiki Nui
Dane and Danica:  no arrival info

Skipper John and Sandy and their crew

Skipper Bronco and his crew
Base info:
Marina Apooiti
Raiatea (40 minutes de/ from Tahiti by air)

BP 860 - 98 735 Uturoa-Raiatea Tel +689 450 400- Fax +689 66 28 85
Email :
Tel   (689) 66 28 86
Fax  (689) 66 28 85
VHF 69
Sunsail - same address.  No contact info given, that's how they roll.

Fun info about the big island of Tahiti:

My experience with the island of Moorea:
For sure do the bike ride around the island if you have a full day.  They have a perfect road that runs along the water.  There is also a steep hike that takes you to a lookout that oversees the Bali Hai peak and the two anchorages.  Tourist buses go there too.   Moorea has a Club Med if you're into that sort of thing.  It used to be $30 for the day.  Lunch had all you could drink beer and wine.  And then there are 10's of activities to play with.

You can contact me by email until Mon 23 May morning and then VHF ch69 on the cruise.  

See you in paradise,

Captain Woody

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tahiti StS: What to Bring

What to Bring

OK, raise your hand if you’re fired up for some Polynesian Cruising!  Yep, me too.  Just 30 days to go until we're swimming in warm turquoise water over powder white sand.  I know some of you are already packing so let’s get to it.

What to bring:
The nice thing about these tropical trips is you can pack pretty light.  When selecting clothing think light weight and light colors.
- A collapsible bag.  The big hard case luggage is a no no.  There is nowhere on a boat to store stuff like that so if you bring it, you may end up sleeping with it.
-Shorts and shirts and bathing suits and light clothing for boating in tropical weather.
-Something nicer for evenings ashore – toned down (or loud and touristy) Hawaiian shirt, khakis or dress shorts for him; a light blouse/skirt/sun dress for her.  Whatever women wear always seems to be fine.
-A pullover or light jacket for the odd rain squall.  Sweats or something to layer with if you're prone to a chill.
-Sunblock, sun glasses, hat with chin strap (shades head and neck a plus), bug spray for evenings ashore.
-Your bathroom stuff.  Sheets and a set of towels are provided.
-I sometimes bring my own mask but the charter base will provide mask, snorkel and fins.
-I go barefoot aboard and wear flops ashore, light shoes on the planes and in nicer restaurants.  Your deck shoes should be non-marking (no black soles).
-Camera?, MP3 player with FM transmitter (we only need one per boat - I’ll bring mine).
-Your drinking cup can be handy (with a Winch Wench to hold it?).
-Do we all have our passports sorted out?  They should be good for 3 months after arrival.  I once had a crewmember obtain a passport in 24 hours.  It cost him but it can be done.
-Money:  for meals ashore, food bought to bring aboard, trinkets, airport departure fee ($20?), cabs etc..  There's no requirement to tip your skipper at the end.  To prevent navigational errors, get the crew together and take your skipper out for a hot meal ashore sometime during the adventure.

Upon Arrival:

If you like, wear your Lats & Atts apparel (purchased at while you travel so that other Shailors can spot you.  You'll want to hit the ATM in the airport to get some local money.  I hear the airport bank in Papeete is open 24 hours but don't, er, bank on it.  The two charter companies we are using are Sunsail and Tahiti Yacht Charters.  They have been given your arrival times and one or both should be standing by with minibuses.  Look for their signs when exiting the airport to save a couple bucks on the ride to the base.  If there is no shuttle you can get a cab.  Both bases are at Marina Apooiti, a few minutes from the airport.  

It would be good to get to the base by 1100.  We board the boats at noon.  Find me or a skipper to learn your boat assignment (check the bar).  Please don't ask the base staff which boat you are on because they won't have the current list.  Don't freak out if your boat doesn't leave the dock right at noon.  We represent a large flotilla and the base prep is extensive.  We'd like to keep our reputation as the fun and easy-going group.

The Cruise:

That first night we'll head to a nearby anchorage to chill and ease into our amazing surroundings.  As those who have done a Share the Sail know, we keep a cruising schedule.  This helps us to make last minute changes in plans so we don’t miss anything kewl.  If weather allows, we're going to get up to Huahine.  The big Bloody Mary's Bora Bora International Lats & Atts Party is Saturday May 28.  That gives us a full day to get back up to an anchorage near the base for the last night Sunday.  We've got some idyllic spots we're eyeing for the rest of the week.

Each boat has a Lats and Atts skipper.  Most of the Lats family has been shanghaied for this adventure including our fleet Commodore Bitchin and Admiral Jody, edider Sue and her Mike, TV host Zuzana, Eric and Kim Stone, Tom and Sharon B, Mustang Sally's Doug and Wendy, Dena and I and others.  As usual we have a lot of repeat Shailors.  We’ve got ten boats in our mini fleet and may be joined by cruising boats in the area.

Basic food provisioning is provided:  simple breakfasts and lunches and a couple dinners.  We encourage you to get ashore for some local flavors.  Bring what you like aboard.  Individual boat crews tend to make up a list of additional items and all pitch in.  Lats & Atts will put a a booze starter kit onboard.  Be surprised if it makes it out of the bay.  Often the drinkers will pool funds in each port to restock.  Consider duty free on your way in.

Coral:  Please don’t touch it.  If you brush the slime off, it dies.

Scuba:  there’s no room on the boat for all your gear.  Where it's available, you are welcome to book same day dives as long as they don't inconvenience the rest of your crew.  Scuba boats will provide everything you need.  With our loose itinerary, I discourage you from booking in advance.

Boats:  French Poly is 220v, different from our 110v.  Boats have 12v receptacles like your car.  Power may be limited as we will be on battery most of the time.

Travel:  If you haven't, be sure you have a flight from Papeete to Raiatea.  Some travel tips and other info here:
People are flying on different airlines.  These are Tahiti Nui's baggage rules:
TSA's liquids rules:

Exchange rate:  CFP or XPF to USD is about 82 to 1.  Drop two zeros from item cost and you'll be in the ballpark.
“US dollars and Euros are widely accepted.”  

Tipping:  5-10% of meal.
Base Info:  
Marina Apooiti / Raiatea Island
tel:  011 689 60 04 85
Onsite shower, restaurant and dive center at Sunsail.  Supermarkets are 10 minutes by taxi in Uturoa.
French Poly info:  from the charter companies:

The boats are not always perfect, the inventory is not always complete and it's likely to rain some.  Please direct your concerns to me and not your fellow shailors.  The adventure and the fun are in you.

Questions?  Fire away:  
All emails posted here:
Skippers will receive an additional email.  If I can think of anything else, I'll email everyone.  Otherwise ...
See you in paradise!

Captain Woody

(OK, you can put your hand down)

Quality, Balance and a Clean Wake

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tahiti StS Update:

Just 109 days to go to our Adventure in French Polynesia.  The trip is full.  We have ten sailing cats in our mini fleet.  Sailing with us are the sailing industry's kewlest readers plus skippers Bob & Jody Bitchin, edider Sue and her Mike, the Eric Stone and Kim, the Mustang Sally crew, Zuzana from L&A TV, Dena and I and on and on.  

We are flogging out the details for the Lats & Atts International Party 2011 which will take place during our cruise, likely at the end.  World famous Bloody Mary's is closing the restaurant to host our little island get together/concert.  Eric Stone and friends will be playing live.  Bring your dancing feet.  Shailors are guaranteed a spot and what's left of the restaurant will be filled with any local cruisers we can shanghai.  

Coming soon (between now and the cruise):  The Share the Sail Crew Questionaire for boat placement and then the What To Bring suggestions.  

Captain Woody