Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nuku Hiva and Ua Pou (aboard Aranui)

My only regret about this segment of our journey is that we only had about 4 hours to see two of the islands we had not yet seen.

Before we had joined it in Hiva Oa, the Aranui had made an earlier stop here at Nuku Hiva, and passengers had time to explore the island by car. This is the principal island in the Marquesas, with several really good anchorages and a lot to see ashore. Nuku Hiva is where we will make landfall if we ever bring our own boat here.

Taiohae has a much nicer anchorage than Atuona, and a lot more yacht services ashore, that are a lot more convenient to reach. We only had time to stroll along the bay front and visit a few of the more important sites.

We spotted a few familiar boats in the anchorage. Evan, from Ceilidh, and Michael, from Whatcha Gonna Do, happened to be landing their dinghies as we were on the wharf, and I got to ask them about their passages. Ceilidh (a catamaran) had lost a rudder two days out from Taiohae.

The Aranui steamed to its last stop in the Marquesas, which had also been its first stop before we had joined it. Hakatau, like Atuona and Taiohae, is a port of entry and it also has a wharf to which the Aranui can tie up directly instead of anchoring out.

This was our last chance to buy Marquesan crafts, and we took advantage of it. We also had a nice stroll around the town.

As the Aranui got underway for the 500-mile crossing to the Tuamotus, we enjoyed the views of the fantastic skyline of Ua Pou.

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