01 – 13 October 2015: Anaho Bay, Nuka Hiva ~ 8 49N 140 03W
The days slipped into nearly 3 weeks with Balvenie tucked behind the breakwater at Hakahau on ‘Ua Pou, we enjoyed our time there but we were ready for a change of scenery. So we stocked up with as much bread, fruit and vegetables as we could find, pulled up both the anchors and nosed out to sea.
It’s actually quite amazing what a calming affect a small breakwater can have on a ocean that has the next closest landfall way over in the Americas, we were definitely back out into the big blue wobbly stuff once we popped out!
An uneventful sail across to the southern point of Nuka Hiva in a steady breeze in front of the beam (of course). Then as we sailed up the east/windward coast of Nuka Hiva the wind went very light and fluky which was all rather weird and we tiptoed along past Haatuatua Bay in a light breeze from behind.
Once we cleared the top of the island and turned dead downwind we sailed the last few miles then motored into the huge protected harbour of Anaho Bay. What an absolute joy to arrive, an anchorage with no swell so no roll, good depths in sandy bottom, sitting comfortably to the light trade winds and no stern anchor needed ~ paradise found!
There are a few houses ashore, an easy dinghy landing, fresh spring water piped right to the beach, nice long sandy beach, a reef for snorkelling and some hiking trails, but as the last eleven years has taught us ‘there is no such thing as paradise’. We too have been corrupted by progress and skipper now includes a shacky beach bar with satellite TV for live World Cup Rugby and free wifi in his list of must haves over the next few weeks, both conspicuous by their absence in this idyllic peaceful place.
The cell tower high on the hill is not beaming in phone coverage or our prepaid wifi signal, there is definitely no shacky beach bar with a big screen TV streaming in the Rugby World Cup, no fresh baguettes daily, actually no store at all probably because there is no electricity ~ oh well this is a remote spot on a small island in the middle of a very big ocean! But we are happy here, this paradise is quiet, flat and home for now.
Work & Play ~ All In One Day
One day we packed picnic lunches and along with Jeff & Katie went hiking off over to Haatuatua Bay in search of ancient ruins, a spot for lunch and possibly a fruit and veggie farm we had read about in the cruising guide.
We found a few black rocks just inland from the beach that showed no resemblance to ever having been buildings but ticked them off as the rather ruined ancient ruins, then we found a lovely shady area at the end of the sandy beach and set up to enjoy some leisure time.
Little rocks were found to use as our steel “boules”, another rock replaced the traditional wooden jack and we commenced a game of Pétanque. We don’t know the rules, so there weren’t any, but we had lots of fun and amazingly I won ~ when are we playing again??
Exhausted from our big game and replete from lunch we slowly made our way home in the hot afternoon sun. We had found the gardens on our way through so stopped to make our purchases on our return and arrived just before the horses were being loaded up with the days pickings.
This is a very remote garden, it’s a long way to the road in Hatiheu. Firstly it’s about 40 minutes along the trail behind the beach then around 50 minutes going up the switchback trail to the top of the ridge and other 40 minutes down the more gentle trail on the other side to the road. Quite a trek, then I guess the sacks get loaded on pickup trucks and taken to Taiohae for selling at the market or freighting to Tahiti. A lot of work to sell your produce.
But we didn’t have any horses so loaded ourselves up with pamplemousse, melons, tomatoes, papaya, aubergines and limes for around $6. They were all rather heavy but it was a relatively flat walk back to Balvenie and having fresh produce is worth it.
We have followed the horse trail over the ridge twice now for a full day out to neighbouring Hatiheu. It’s a beautifully manicured village set along a small pebble beach ~ there are several well kept houses, a lovely church, small museum, 2 rather poorly stocked stores and an excellent waterfront restaurant.
One of the stores has wifi which is almost strong enough to use at the neighbouring restaurant, so with espresso coffee in one hand, curried goat on order for lunch and the laptops fired up we can happily settle down for a few hours entertainment. There’s the news, sports results, weather, emails & facebook to check, updates to the blog to post, skype calls to make if possible, etc, all at the speed of worse than old fashioned dial up ~ but remember, paradise is never perfect!
Paradise? Yep ~This Is About As Good As It Gets