If love is a many splendored thing, Tahiti is Romeo and Juliet, Scarlett and Rhett and every Mills and Boon novel all wrapped in one, big, beautiful, azure package.
It is love at first sight when we fly in to Rangiroa, an atoll circling the second-largest lagoon in the world. Rangi, as the locals call it, is in the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia, and while it is just a short flight from Papeete, it feels like we have somehow gone back in time on the Tardis or on a Polynesian version of the DeLorean.
The island is actually 240 tiny motus (islets) circling the massive lagoon like an exquisite pearl necklace and separated by passes or smaller passages, call hoas, which allow the water from the lagoon to ebb in and out. Only two of the islets are inhabited: the airport and the town of Avatoru are on one, while the hamlet of Tiputa is on the next island across – which is only accessible by boat. We are staying at the only five-star resort on the
If there was a fly in the ointment, it was that we were going there in late August. Not only is this hurricane season, it’s a time of year known for sweltering temps and dead winds. We would also be exploring the area aboard a monohull: a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42i named Little Darling. For years I’ve heard the only way to explore the thin water of the Bahamas is by catamaran, and the idea of plowing around with a 5ft 6in keel underfoot struck me as risky, to say the least. Luckily, as events proved, my concerns were not only unfounded, they were so off the mark as to be almost laughable.
Regarding timing: August may not have the best wind, but you also have the place all to yourself. During the short cab ride from the airport over to the Dream Yacht Charter base in Mangoes Marina, we not only didn’t see any other tourists, we saw almost no one else, period.
Setting off in a cruising multihull to enjoy the most beautiful anchorages is not reserved for a few fortunate owners. A few clicks on the internet, a visit to a boat show, some good reading (such as for example an excellent magazine about Multihulls) and the week(s) in delightful lagoons, aboard one of the countless cats or trimarans available for charter is (are) yours.
Of course, this dream has a price! There is the air ticket to get to the other side of the world, where the weather is good and hot all the year round, and then there is the charter of the longed for boat. Not to mention the essential provisioning and fuel top-ups… Yet if you look closely, holidays on a boat may not be as expensive as all that… Here then, according to the budget you have available, are the different possibilities for chartering a multihull all over the world. And you will see that there is something for all tastes and all budgets!
It took Ulysses ten years to cross the various seas bordering Greece, which shows clearly that visiting this country by boat requires time, to appreciate all the subtleties, the beauties and the rich cultural heritage. Moreover, some of our readers have been cruising in Greece for many years, without having felt the need to go and look elsewhere… Which just goes to show the attraction these thousands of islands (there are 6,000, only 227 of which are inhabited) can have for a sailor!
Our cruise around Langkawi, exploring its exotic ‘sea islands’ among a group of seven new-found friends, will remain one of the most treasured experiences of our life. What’s better than enjoying the azure sky, rolling with the waves, exploring nature and star gazing? It’s doing all these with friends, undisturbed by others, in what seemed like our own private world. I’ve always been a big fan of the Japanese manga series One Piece, yearning to sail to the far end of the world with a group of friends who would die for each other.
Since graduating from university, I’ve dreamt of having a boat that will sail me out of the stifling cycles of daily life and bring me a life of adventure. I don’t need a large yacht, but she needs to have an area for relaxation and be seaworthy enough to take me anywhere in the world. This dream was finally realized when I embarked on my first-ever sail – a four-day, three-night catamaran journey with Dream Yacht Charter in Langkawi.