Hemisphere Hopper | Tahiti – Kiritimati
April 4 – April 18 | $4450
Join us in beautiful Tahiti for the sailing voyage of a lifetime! We’ll spend a few days exploring French Polynesia before heading north across the equator. This should be a very fast sail – a reach in in the trades, with warm water splashing aboard and frigates and boobies overhead.
About a week after leaving Tahiti we’ll cross the Equator, and King Neptune and his court will board Sea Dragon to turn her crew from pollywogs into hardened shellbacks. This secretive ceremony will mark your inclusion into an exclusive club of those who have crossed the equator under sail. Another day into the Northern Hemisphere and we’ll arrive at Kiritimati (pronounced and sometimes spelled Christmas) atoll in Kiribati. It has the largest land area of any atoll in the world, and is world renowned for its fly fishing, and perhaps more infamously known for British nuclear testing. You’ll have a chance to explore Kiritimati from the base of Sea Dragon before boarding the once a week flight back to Honolulu.
If you’re interested in celestial navigation, this voyage is a great opportunity to hone your skills. The trade wind skies of the tropics and sub tropics make for great sun, moon, planet, and star sights, and crossing the equator throws in an extra twist that most people only experience in textbooks.
All meals on board Sea Dragon are delicious and vegetarian, with the addition of fish if we catch any along the way.
This is not a trip for the infirm or physically unfit – you MUST be able to climb the 20′ steel ladder on the Kiritimati Copra Pier, have good balance, and be in reasonably good health. Please contact us with any health questions or if you answer “YES” to any of the questions on our health questionnaire prior to signing up for the trip!
This trip is an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and IYT MOY Unlimited qualifying voyage – contact us to discuss!
Ardent Training is offering a significant discount on the RYA Day Skipper Theory online course to anyone signed up for this trip. If you’re interested in taking the course, let us know when you sign up and we can give you the discount code!
- Cost: $4450
- Date: April 4 – April 18, 2023
- Start: Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
- End: Copra Pier, Kiritimati, Kiribati
- Length: 15 days, 14 nights
- Focus: Offshore Passagemaking | Swimming & Snorkeling | Tropical Island Exploration
Please explore the drop down menus at the bottom of the page for more details about this voyage.
While we can’t guarantee that our protocol will 100% prevent a COVID infection onboard, we are hopeful that with these constraints, it will seriously reduce the risk of the possibility of a serious COVID infection at sea, far from advanced medical care.
The Government of Kiribati has its own COVID-19 regulations, which you will need to comply with in order to enter Kiribati. We will keep you updated as far as we are able as the trip approaches.
In order to enter Tahiti, you will need to meet the current requirements of the government of French Polynesia. If you choose to obtain an immigration bond through our agent rather than purchase a refundable one-way return ticket from Tahiti for your entry, there may be additional requirements you need to meet that are not directly listed on the government website – we will keep you up to date as these evolve. For example, last year Tahiti required that you carry Travel Medical Insurance that provides coverage for COVID-19, with a minimum 90 days of duration, and that explicitly stated it was valid for French Polynesia. We will be working with an agent in Tahiti to expedite our entry, so we will be passing along all necessary paperwork from you to them in advance of the trip.
In addition to meeting all government requirements, the COVID-19 protocol for the boat is as follows:
Everyone on board the vessel must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, including a booster shot if it has been more than 6 months since the final dose of your initial course of vaccination on the date you board the vessel.
14 days before trip: I agree to take maximum precautions to minimize my risk of infection with COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines.
72 Hours Before Boarding: I agree to take a PCR or Rapid Antigen covid test at my own expense. This test must be administered or proctored by a medical professional, and the result must be on official letterhead. If a testing site is available that can provide results in less than 72 hours, I agree to get tested as close to the date and time of boarding as is consistent with receiving results before boarding.
Day of Arrival at boat: We will take your temperature and administer a rapid antigen test to you before you come in close contact with the rest of the crew. With proof of a negative pre-trip test result, a temperature of under 100.4 F, and a negative rapid test on the dock, you will be able to board Sea Dragon. Once everyone is on board, we will fall into the normal routine for trip operations. We’ll become a “bubble” with no masks required on board. You’ll choose your bunk, we’ll have a group dinner on board and go through safety briefings for departure.
In the event that you have a fever over 100.4F, test positive on either the pre-trip test or your pre-boarding rapid test, you will not be allowed aboard the vessel, and we will be happy to transfer your payment to a trip of your choosing at a later date.
Reserve your spot now with only a $500 deposit! This deposit is non-refundable per our crew contract. However, it is transferable or refundable in the event that we are forced to cancel this voyage or significantly alter the itinerary (date or location change).
Call Us: +1 (305) 330-4212 (Pacific Time), leave a message if we don’t pick up and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
Click on a heading below to learn more!Tentative Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive at Sea Dragon
You’ll join us at the dock in Tahiti after 1500 to move on board. You’ll have the opportunity to find your bunk and get settled in. Because of flight schedules, we won’t have any training planned, just a chance for everyone to get to know each other.
Day 2-4 : Safety Training and Exploration
This is your chance to explore French Polynesia – snorkeling, paddle boarding, surfing, diving, or just having a croissant and Coffee! We’ll mix in some necessary sail training and boat introductions. Depending on weather and plans, we may spend this time entirely in Tahiti, or explore another island as well.
Day 5: Training & Departure
After Breakfast, we’ll clear customs out of French Polynesia and your professional crew will go over safety drills and sail training on board. After learning to sail Sea Dragon, we’ll have a bit more time to enjoy Tahiti before a final dinner in Paradise.
Day 5-12: Underway Offshore
After breakfast, we’ll drop lines and head out to sea. As we set our sails and point north, the towering spires of Moorea and Tahiti will slowly fade and give way to a 360-degree endless horizon. We’ll settle into our watch schedule and routine for our 1200NM sail.
Day 10-12: Equator Crossing
King Neptune and his court will board the vessel to turn any newbies to his realm into hardened shellbacks. After this traditional ceremony, we’ll continue north into the Northern Hemisphere.
Day 13: Arrival
Welcome to Kiritimati! We’ll anchor off the main pier – after we clear customs & immigration we’ll have a chance to get ashore and explore.
Day 14: Exploration Ashore and Afloat
We’ll spend the day seeing what Kiritimati has to offer.
Day 15: Departure Day
It will be an early morning to be up and off to catch the weekly flight back to Honolulu in the morning.
– 14 nights accommodation on Sea Dragon
– All meals (vegetarian), snacks, and drinks on board
– Sailing instruction
– Safety equipment and foul weather gear
– Mask, snorkel, fins
– Use of Inflatable Paddle Boards
– Transportation from Sea Dragon to Kiritimati Airport
Contribution does not include:
– Transportation to and from Tahiti and Kiritimati
– Transportation to Sea Dragon in Kiritimati
– Additional nights spent ashore
– Personal expenses while in port
It’s hot in the Central Pacific – Take a look at our Tropical packing list.
You will join the boat in Papeete after 1500 on the first day. You will depart the boat early in the morning on the last day to make it to the airport in time.
Papeete International Airport (PPT) is a short drive from the harbor. Kiritimati International Airport (CXI) is about 20 minutes from where we’ll be anchored, and we’ll arrange transport to connect you with the one weekly Fiji Airways flight back to Hawaii. Please note that Kiritimati is on the same time zone but a day ahead of Hawaii, so the flight departs Kiritimati on the 19th of April but lands back in Hawaii on the 18th.
In order to be allowed through immigration upon arrival in Papeete (and possibly to board your flight TO Tahiti), you will either need to have proof of a return flight out of Tahiti or a bond posted by an agent in Tahiti to cover possible repatriation. We can and will arrange this bond for you if you would prefer to do it this way, but we will need some paperwork (flight details, passport, etc) well in advance of your arrival in order to do so. We will give you more details on this via email closer to the trip date, as requirements can and do change at the whim of the French Government.
All crew members will require a passport and visas from their home country that will allow them to travel to/ from French Polynesia and Kiritimati. Please ensure you have the appropriate paperwork completed before joining the vessel, or you will not be allowed to board. Please look into the specific type of visa you need for arriving at these destinations by sea, or contact us directly to discuss.