Vava'u - The Kingdom of Tonga, Pacific Ocean - 18.65°S, 173.99°E
Dates: Monday August 30 — Tuesday September 7, 2010
If you're a NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master or plan on being one before August 30th, then come celebrate your graduation by sailing with us in our Post Graduate Sailing Flotilla in The Kingdom of Tonga.
Tonga has been renowned for over 200 years as the 'Friendly Islands', providing a warm welcome to enjoy sailing in effortless surroundings. The hospitality provided by the local culture filters down through all aspects of this experience. The sailing conditions of crystal clear waters combined with Tonga's scenery and refuge for humpback whales all add to an experience that will remain with you!
Sailing Adventurer, NauticEd Founder and USCG Licensed 50 Ton Master Mariner, Grant Headifen, will be on hand to serve as your personal Fleet Admiral throughout the flotilla. Grant is co-author of the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Clinic and has lead dozens of successful and extremely fun flotillas world wide. He knows how to design such an event so that every day is packed with fun including water and beach games and competitions. However, on any day, you choose your level of participation.
Where in the world is Tonga?
173'E 18°S. Tonga (pronounced ton ga), officially the Kingdom of Tonga (Tongan: Pule'anga Fakatu'i 'o Tonga), an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprises 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited. The Kingdom stretches over a distance of about 800 kilometers (500 miles) in a north-south line. The islands that constitute the archipelago lie south of Samoa, about one-third of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii.
Tonga also became known to geographers as the Friendly Islands because of the friendly reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit in 1773. He happened to arrive at the time of the ?inasi festival, the yearly donation of the first fruits to the Tu'i Tonga, the islands' paramount chief, and received an invitation to the festivities. According to the writer William Mariner, in reality the chiefs had wanted to kill Cook during the gathering, but could not agree on a plan.
Tonga, the only sovereign monarchy among the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, has a unique history as the only island nation in the region to have avoided formal colonial tutelage. Tonga is poised to become a constitutional monarchy after legislation reforms, and a more fully representative election, takes place in 2010. More .... >>
How do I get invited?
Each boat must be skippered by a person who has been awarded the NauticEd rank of Bareboat Charter Master. If you have already reached that rank or plan on reaching it before August 30th, 2010 then you will be invited to skipper a vessel. Crew are invited individually by their skippers. Watch the video about how to gain a Bareboat Charter Master sailing certification. If you still want to come without the certification there are two options. (1) Invite an experienced friend who could quickly reach the Bareboat Charter Master Rank or (2) let us know your interest and we'll hook you up with a skipper who is looking for more crew.
Contact us today to register your interest
How much does it cost?
NauticEd is promoting this event as a celebration of graduation to Bareboat Charter Master. Therefore the event is not marked up for profit and is thus presented as a cost basis trip. Because of this - this will be the least expensive flotilla of it's type available. Come join us. Airline tickets and boat provisioning is not included.
Boat Cost: Depends on size of boat: See below - which includes total boat charter fee and insurance. Expressed in $US.
Other Items: $400 per person includes one resort night in Tonga (double occupancy), hats, tee shirts, prizes, 2 dinner evenings, treasure hunt prizes etc
Admiralty Fee: $150 Per person
Can I really do this?
It is our opinion and the opinion of charter companies that if you have completed the requirements of Bareboat Charter Master Rank then you are qualified to skipper a sailboat of this size. If you're uncertain, then we recommend that you visit one our flagship Sailing Schools or any sailing school in your area for a brush up on skills to get you to the bareboat chartering level. When you begin sailing the Tongan waters, we'll be with you all the way and can provide any assistance you might need. NauticEd Fleet Admiral, Grant Headifen, has lead dozens of these trips, and we'll do everything to make you feel comfortable sailing in new territory waters. If you're a competent sailor in your local water way then there is little need to fear the beautiful waters of Tonga. The coastal navigation around Tonga is simple. Land is always in sight and you'll have a chance to practice your new navigation skills learned from the NauticEd Coastal Navigation Clinic.
Who is on my boat?
Only people you want - your friends your family. If you can not find enough to fulfill your crew requirements then we will introduce you to people who contact us that are not qualified - but it will still be your decision as skipper to invite them as crew. You should plan on at least 3 other crew members. One of which should should have some sailing experience. We will give a free promocode to each crew member that you have to complete the NauticEd Crew Course - we also recommend that they complete the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Clinic.
What should I bring?
Flip flops, smiley happy attitude, shorts, swim suit, handheld GPS if you have one, sunscreen, you know - everything that we discuss in the Bareboat Charter Clinic
Contact us today to register your interest
How about the weather?
This time of the year in Tonga is very stable weather with 10-15 knot breezes typically. Thunder storms are intermittent. It is NOT the typhoon season. While not a requirement for this flotilla we always recommend that people take the NauticEd Weather Clinic
How do I get to Tonga?
From the USA/Canada?
There are a few routes.
(1) Through New Zealand. Fly into Auckland - flights typically leave from the west coast in the late evening and land in the morning (two days later due to international dateline) Then there are flights to Tonga in the afternoon. When leaving Tonga there is a flight from Tonga direct to LAX on Tuesdays coinciding with the end date of the flotilla - you'll land in LAX on Tuesday (before you leave due to international date line). New Zealand is a good option for those who like to snow ski for a few days then warm up in the tropics afterward.
(2) Through Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines will soon begin service to Tonga.
(3) Through Fiji. This is also an good option but connecting flight require an overnight stay in Fiji. (Not so bad - check out Denarau Island resorts)
From Australia or New Zealand?
There are various options to fliy direct to Tonga - Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue, Air Fiji, Air Pacific
From other locations?
Why should I come?
Other than you'll remember this for the rest of your life - we can't think of a single reason why - other than just everything :)
Start telling your friends
The Kingdom of Tonga Official Tourism Video
A youtube video of a sailing vacation to Tonga
Sunsail Sailing video