Saturday, April 28, 2012

around Nuku Hiva again, this time by boat

Vicki and I left Taiohae and headed back to Daniel's Bay, which Vicki had not seen yet. We got there to find no other boats; just before nightfall, our buds Carol and Livia on s/v Estrellita arrived. We hadn't expected them until the following day, so that was a nice surprise. In the morning, Carol and I dinghied over to Hakaui to fill water jugs. As we were doing this errand, two boats full of officials arrived to continue the investigation into the murder of a German cruiser, which happened last year in this bay. We also could see a woman who we think is the man's widow among the group. How hard it must be for her to have to return here without her partner.
After watching the large group set off into the bush, the four of us headed off in the opposite direction for the waterfall. This is a beautiful hike, shaded most of the way, passing numerous old Marquesan house platforms and a few tikis. We saw no other hikers today, but heard from the villagers that a tourist had gotten beaned by a falling coconut yesterday, so we were reminded to watch where we rested along the way!
We also availed ourselves of hardhats for the last part of the hike into a high walled gorge. We had a refreshing swim at the waterfall, and a leisurely hike back, stopping to visit Tieke and his wife Kua on the way. They served us banana fritters and lemonade, but unfortunately we had forgotten to bring money to buy some fruit from them.
Here is Tieke giving me a Maori-style "haka" grimace in thanks for the Island Planet Sails hat that I passed on to him. He and his wife are very nice folks and I was glad to see them again. Back at Daniel's Bay, Vicki and I were ready for a rest; Carol and Livia stayed ashore, talking with one of the boat drivers. He sharpened a stake for them and showed them how to use it to husk a coconut, and then to use some of the outer fibers to squeeze the milk from the meat. They traded him some ice for some fresh fish, and he showed them how to make poisson cru (raw fish with coconut milk). Later in the evening, they made some of their own and shared it with us - delicious! Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Estrellita, who are heading for the Tuamotus soon. We got an early start the next morning and motored around the west and north sides of Nuku Hiva, intending to meet up with more friends in Anaho Bay. Conditions stayed mild for the entire way, and we arrived in the early afternoon, passing Mark and Michelle on s/v Cheers on the way. There were only two other boats in Anaho, both friends from Mexico: Beausoleil, with Mike, Karen, and their son Falcon; and Buena Vista, with Don and Deb.
Anaho is a beautiful and peaceful anchorage, with less swell than anywhere else we have seen in the Marquesas. But there was also a lack of breeze, making it very hot and humid, and allowing a swarm of no-nos (no-see-ums) to bite us at will during our stay. Because of the bugs, we only stayed 2 nights here. Snorkeling was nice on the coral reef fronting the beach, and we enjoyed walking the sandy beach around the head of the bay.

We also took advantage of the calm waters to change headsails, repair the autopilot, and send me to the masthead to check things out. Friday we set off for the return to Taiohae. Conditions got pretty bouncy even before we got into open water; once offshore we took a few green waves right over the bow, with quite a bit of water making it through our cabin-top vent, an unwelcome and fortunately rare occurrence. We had to tack our way to the NE corner of the island, but were finally able to crack off a bit for the passage to Cape Martin on the SE corner. When we finally got back to Taiohae around 2:30PM, there was a nice spot for us to anchor close to the quay, and conditions were the mildest we had seen here. Today (Saturday) we did chores: we jugged 10 gallons of water, 20 gallons of diesel, and 5 gallons of gasoline to the boat. Duty-free diesel is about $4.50/gallon; gasoline is not duty-free and costs about $7.50/gallon. We also tried to replenish our supply of fresh vegetables, but the market was already sold out of almost everything by 6AM! I also tried to pick up our propane tank, which I had dropped off for filling yesterday; but the place is closed until Monday. We have checked out with the gendarme, and plan to leave on Monday as soon as we can get our propane tank back. Our last chance for fresh stuff will be Ua Pou, but what we have heard about the anchorages there makes us dubious of being able to land the dinghy.

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