14 – 24 October 2015: Anaho to Taioha’e, Nuka Hiva ~ 8 54S 140 05W
We stayed happily anchored on the north east coast of Nuka Hiva in Anaho Bay for a few more days, enjoying the peace and flat water. Another “hill session” over to Hatiheu one morning had us setting a new personal best of 50 minutes one way, something to improve on over the cyclone season when we return there! (Skippers note: had to wait for Admiral at top!!)
Re-energised after a long black espresso (run out of all manor of milk options at Chez Yvonne's and both stores!) it was time to walk further afield and explore part of the nearby ancient sites.
Hikoku’a is set in yet another beautiful location. This was the site of the public plaza and ceremonial centre. It has been extensively excavated and restored, previously removed tikis (now displayed in various museums worldwide) have been replaced with aging replicas and it was much easier to imagine this as a centre for the large population that once lived here as parts of walls and platforms were still in situ.
Anchoring the dinghy had seemed a very good idea when we left it ashore at Anaho Bay in the morning at low tide.
Have the tides really been this high? we commented as skipper waded, then swam out to Douglas the Dinghy who was now happily afloat in about 8 feet of water 100 metres offshore, whoops, won’t do that again!
We spent another couple of days in paradise, skipper occupied himself by making his way around Balvenie searching shade at every opportunity, servicing her winches for another season.
Meanwhile I spent a couple of afternoons ashore with my twin tubs making the most of the excellent piped fresh water supply ~ doing laundry by hand has never been so much fun, sun scorched hot water and bubbles everywhere, everything washable on Balvenie is now squeaky clean. Next time I might even pop up a clothes line between the coconut palms, lie back in the shade and wait for them to dry.
Off To The Big City
The quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup were fast approaching and we needed to be able to watch the games live. Rumour had it that the Snack Shack on the dock in Taioha’e would be showing them so we set sail for the main town in the Marquesas, we were off to support the men in black, our All Black Rugby Team.
Enroute skipper deployed his new fishing line, we had made another investment in extra strong line, hooks and tracers and we even bought a new bicycle inner tube for the bungy while at Ua Pou in an effort not to lose more gear to sea monsters. Of course the flip side to that is now that we have gear tested to 180 kilos we are somehow supposed to actually land said sea monsters, that could be a problem! But today we were lucky, a long sleek Wahoo decided to join us for dinner, we had him wound in, onboard and supping on vodka before he knew what had hit him. Our new line has already paid for itself.
We entered the large open bay of Taioha’e mid afternoon, about 15 other yachts lay at anchor, 3 small local craft were tied to the concrete dock, a couple of two story commercial buildings showed some sign of business life, a few pickups drove along the waterfront road and the sweet smell of woodsmoke wafted out from shore, this was definitely not some sprawling metropolis or even bustling town.
A late afternoon excursion ashore reconfirmed our first impressions, just a couple of local cafes at the dock, a small produce market with souvenir section nearby, less than a handful of other shops, a bank, post office, mini hospital, administrative offices and 2 small groceries were all within short walking distance, any signs of other commerce were not apparent – perhaps on further inspections!
Most importantly we did find what we had come here for. Henri, the very friendly, rugby loving owner of the Snack Shack at the dock confirmed that he would be bringing in a big flat screen tv and opening at 5am for the 5.30am New Zealand – France quarter final game in the Rugby World Cup. Music to skippers ears!
So it was out of bed at dark o’clock and ashore just as the skies were lightening to fly our flags, get front row seats and settle in with a big cup of coffee. We were definitely in the minority, this is after all a French Territory. At half time we were feeling confident but we know these French, anything can happen, half way through the second half it was all going our way, by full time it was a very gloomy bunch of French supporters sitting with us, but we were two extremely happy All Blacks supporters, off to the semi finals, yippee!
A Week to Wait till the Semi’s
We settled in for the week, the anchorage was a little rolly but we had a stern anchor out to minimise the discomfort. A large cruise ship came in one day and we were overrun with hundreds of tourists, dance groups performed in the shade, souvenir sellers displayed their wares ~ it was a happening place for a few hours, but then they left and calm returned.
Appointments were made for dentist and physiotherapist visits to fix overdue ailments, the hardware store was found up the valley, free wifi was available in at the Snack Shack, just a shame they don’t serve alcohol as it would be a great spot for happy hour. Instead we put our glad rags on one night and visited the very upmarket Pearl Lodge for happy hour along with Jeff and Katie off Mezzaluna and enjoyed a wonderful view over the harbour as we sipped on our cocktails. We finished the evening with pizzas at a small local restaurant. What more could we possibly want?
Maybe This Will Be Home For The Cyclone Season