Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bye Bye Taiohae and Nuku Hiva

At last, we managed to pull ourselves loose – quite literally since the anchor was buried well after the last 1.5 months – from Taiohae, Nuku Hiva’s capital. It’s not that we didn’t want to leave earlier (believe me, we did!), it’s that we still needed to do things to allow our departure. Like scraping and cleaning Irie’s bottom for three days and getting nauseous while doing so. What a dirty mess that was; the green beards flowing and sticking with the boat bouncing up and down, the barnacles being stubborn to let go of their hold. We also had to buy some more vegetables, probably the last ones for a while, and continue some online duties.

When we were ready to leave, it rained. All day and night. Just like the weeks prior. The following day, Nuku Hiva entrapped in clouds, a sight we were used to; the sky looked bluer off shore. The wind predictions were on the high side, but we would put two reefs in and let the east winds push us to our destination. The reduced sails did their job, but the wind came from the southeast instead, so there we had to go again… upwind! It was a wet and quite boisterous ride, Irie flying and jumping along at 6-7 knots. We reached Ua Pou, 27 miles south of Nuku Hiva, fast and in time for lunch, and hoped for some rain to clean the decks. This is our sixth and last Marquesan island before we continue on.

As seems to be customary in this archipelago, Hakahau is another choppy harbor with inconvenient shore access. Once again, we are living on a hobby horse, attached to two anchors to limit swinging room (with the gusty winds we are always worried to hit our neighbors) and to be faced into the swell. We are bouncing up and down, being pushed back and forth between the two rodes. Once again, it takes us a while to try some different configurations to leave the dinghy safely for our excursions onshore. The people are friendly, the church yard has pamplemousse and breadfruit, the locals practice rowing in their outriggers every day and we have discovered the biggest, most modern store of all of the Marquesas. Now the reports of stocking up in Ua Pou before heading to the Tuamotus make sense! It is exactly what we plan to do, after obtaining butane (a half a day’s event), focusing on more work stuff and checking out the view from the top of a hill.

Arriving in Ua Pou

Hakahau anchorage

Daily rowing practice

Massive breadfruit tree and lime trees (in the back) near the village cemetery

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