Hiva Oa & Ua Pou
Saturday May 28 thru Wednesday June 8
We went back to Hiva Oa for just a few days to pick up supplies and try to get internet. Saturday morning back into town to get veggies & bread. Unable to get any on Friday afternoon since the stores here do not carry many if any veggies, you need to find a local selling them, usually out of a truck parked near the store. Back to the boat Steve worked on our WiFi bullet antenna before the afternoon rain put a stop to that project. Sunday & Monday Steve still trying to get our WiFi antenna working, with no luck. I took advantage of the sunshine bringing laundry to shore to use the free water tap to wash a few clothes.
Tuesday we are underway by 7 to sail around to the north side of the island and anchor in Baie Hanaiapa. Seas & wind were calm as we motored east along the south coast of the island, once we were around the point to the north side heading west we were able to sail with the genoa. Winds still light 8-10 knots but the sail stayed full as we slowly made our way and were anchored by 1:15 with the bay to ourselves. After lunch, a nice swim in the bay then a relaxing afternoon on the boat. You can go to shore here, but no real easy place for us to land the dinghy, plus the dinghy was all secured for our trip to Ua Pou (pronounced Wapoo) the following day.
Wednesday 6/1, we had the day to relax and snorkel. Another boat came into the bay. We left just after sunset at 5:30 heading North West. We were able to sail in confused seas for the start of the trip, but after the 1 AM rain the winds died and we rolled up the sail and motored the remaining way arriving at Baie D' Hakahau, on Ua Pou by 8 AM.
All the islands here in the Marquesas are beautiful, with jagged mountains and gentle valleys, a combination of lush green and rock they are all stunning as you approach by sea.
The skyline approaching Ua Pou and the bay is even more spectacular, with its many mountain spires towering up into the clouds.
Shortly after we anchored 2 boats left so we re-anchored trying to get a little more protection from the breakwater and maybe not be rocking as much from the swell coming into the bay. A new dock is being built, so we had several options to tie up the dinghy to go ashore. With the swells that come into these harbors getting in & out of the dinghy can be quite challenging. We tied up to the stone dock and used a stern anchor to hold the dinghy off the wall. A nice walk around the beautiful village, checking out the grocery stores and bakery. Since this is the 3rd largest village in the Marquesas they are well stocked. We met Gerald from the S/V Saudade and then went to meet Jerome who owns the Pukuee restaurant & pension (small hotel), he also does island tours and hikes. We were set to do an island tour the following day and stopped by Gerald's boat to confirm him going also. The watermaker was vapor locked, so after lunch Steve fixed that. A fairly straightforward fix, basically just opening joints to bleed air out of the system, but very wet and messy with salt water all over the forward storage compartment, requiring the removal of a lot of “stuff” and mopping up the water. The usual boat job – 1 hour of prep, 10 minutes of fix, and 2 hours of cleanup.
Friday we picked up Gerald, and met Jerome on the dock at 8 AM. We used the new dock under construction for the dinghy this time, they have really nice ladders to climb up on, still using an anchor to keep the dinghy from going under the dock with the 4-5 foot tides here. A short walk thru the construction zone to get to the street. Jerome drives us around part of the island seeing some of the beautiful sites stopping at an overgrown archeological site in the formerly known Valley of the Kings where we fed the mosquitoes. Also stopped at a Hohoi Bay beach where the unique flower rock is found. This rock, known only to be found in this bay, and is used to make many artistic pieces by the locals which we have seen in many markets. Back by noon for lunch and internet at Jerome's restaurant. Back to the boats and another boat has left so we re-anchor again in a less rolly spot.
Saturday we are up early and greeted with a clear view of the mountain spires looking golden with the dawns light on them, an awesome sight! We pick up Gerald at 6:30 to meet Jerome at the dock again. We are going across the Island to the village of Hakahetau, where Steve, Jerome, Gerald and another local guy are hiking up to the Poumaka peak, one of the spires.
I knew it was beyond my capabilities so I was dropped off in the village to meet up with them on their way down at the waterfall. On my way up to the waterfall I met a young man, John, who spoke a little English along with his French & Spanish. He joined me on the walk to practice his English. Steve & the guys were supposed to meet me around noon, by 1 they had not shown up. Having swam & eaten lunch I walked back to a different trail that Jerome said they would come down on and started to walk up. I soon ran into them. They were delayed due to the difficulty Steve had on the trail. IT WAS EXTREME. He had a little heat stroke and his legs were barely holding him up. We all went back to the waterfall where the men went for a swim to cool off & have their lunch. Jerome's wife was coming to pick Steve & I up as there was no way for him to hike back to town as originally planned. Steve just waited to eat until we got back to the boat. He soon felt a little better but his legs were still shaky.
Sunday a rest day on the boat, watching a huge group of kids jumping off the dock & climbing back up the ladder with a few sitting on/in the dinghies tied there. Saturday when we got back to the dinghy there were just a few kids hanging around, and it was evident that they had been in ours but no harm was done. Monday the construction crew blocked off the ladders, we're pretty sure it was due to all the kids playing there and not because of us few cruisers walking thru. Once the construction is done I am sure it will be open for dinghies and the kids to play again, as it is easier than the stone wall to get in & out. We took an easy walk around the village, Steve's legs feeling better but still feeling the workout from the day before, stopping at the stores to see what we could find.
Tuesday an easy walk up the hill over the bay, to a cross & ceremony ground on top. This trail branches off to another trail leading down to Anahoa Bay with a beautiful sand beach.
Wednesday June 8th our departure was delayed by heavy rain but we were under way by 9:30 to go 25 miles to the “main” island of the Marquesas Nuku Hiva. We really enjoyed Ua Pou and hope to get back to stay again, but we have paperwork to complete for our long stay visas and some boat issues that need to be taken care of, and Nuku Hiva is the place to do all that here in the Marquesas.
Link to more pictures; https://picasaweb.google.com/103931849054358791487/6305924519592720737?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLq0ourv3Z6TtgE&feat=directlink