25 Oct – 22 Nov 2015: Taioha’e, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas ~ 8 54S 140 05W
With France knocked out of the World Cup Rugby in the Quarter Finals by New Zealand there wasn’t nearly as much interest in the Semi Final game ~ South Africa v New Zealand.
The big flat screen television had disappeared but beggars can not be choosers, the old 26 inch with the bright reflection of the harbour almost stronger than the picture was as good as we were going to get at 6am, so we settled in for another 90 minutes of spell binding, edge of the seat rugby. The Men in Black came through again (just) and earned themselves a place in the final, another early start next Saturday for the BIG game!
With more boats arriving daily a pot luck dinner was organised to meet our new neighbours. Our venue was interesting, Henri at the Snack Shack happily agreed to the use of his cafe, even though he is open evenings (which we didn’t actually realise because there is never anyone there at night). We all brought our own food and drink and Henri provided the venue, plates, cutlery and a big smile, what a gem he is.
A group of us returned to the Pearl Lodge for Friday Night Happy Hour (when cocktails are a mere $7 instead of $14), again with Jeff & Katie off Mezzaluna, and new joiners Barry & Sylvia off Iolani from USA and Roger & Sasha off Ednbal from Australia. It is a lovely spot to sit back and enjoy the end of the day in tourist style comfort.
In between all this eating and drinking there was a leaking water tank to fix, gaining access to this was a two man and power tool job, floors were taken up, holes were made, chaos was created and at the time of writing a 100 per cent fix has not been accomplished ~ suspect this little leak might provide us with many more hours of entertainment yet, what we really need to do is take the tank out but that will not be happening here!
After extensive onshore excursions we have confirmed that there are no more hidden parts to “town”, what we see is what we get, and that isn’t much! The upside to this is there is very little to spend our money on, so after a record high 6 month spend for the first part of this year we may have a chance to have a record low for the remainder.
Champions or Runners Up ~ What Will It Be?
Henri promised to bring back the big flat screen for the New Zealand v Australia final, the alarm was set and we were in well before the start to decorate everywhere with our flags but the Aussies got there first, what! Roger and Sasha had flags everywhere, in addition there was a charity breakfast on so there were palm fronds around the posts, balloons up and a live band playing ~ the Snack Shack was crowded, children were running round everywhere, music was blasting, this was certainly going to be a lively game in more ways than one!
It was a tense game, but then we expected nothing less. The All Blacks lead of 13 points at half time did not make us feel confident and a determined fight back by the Wallabies the beginning of the second half had us on the edge of our seats for quite some time. Meanwhile the party atmosphere continued around us, the band carried on, Henri’s Snack Shack had never been so busy.
A couple of quick All Black tries half way through the second half and we were starting to breathe again, but it is never over till that final whistle goes, especially when we play Australia so it was with immense relief and huge pride to see our All Black side become the first team ever to retain the World Cup, well done to our Men in Black and thank you.
With the need to have access to a television over with it was time to give some thought as to what to do now. There are a few other anchorages on Nuka Hiva that we want to explore but the cyclone season has only just started so we have about 6 months to visit them, should be plenty of time we think!
Instead we decided to stay the week as we had cruising friend Bill arriving in from Panama, he was doing a huge delivery trip of a mates boat from the Rio Dulce in Guatemala to Cairns in Australia, around 9,000 miles. Bill and friend/crew Brett were intending on travelling Panama to Cairns non stop but had engine problems and needed a new starter motor so had organised for one to be sent in here. We had been in radio contact with them for days monitoring their progress and on the morning of their arrival winds were very light and without being able to start the engine they were parked up, just 5 miles away.
We had a quick tidy up below, buoyed our stern anchor, raised our main anchor and motored on out to meet them and tow them in. But a light breeze got to them before we did (Murphys Law of course) and as true sailors they persevered and managed to sail right in amongst the boats and drop anchor, well done. It was great to catch up and a fun night was had onboard, along with Ednbal and another Australian boat Arizona who was passing through. Next morning the starter motor had been installed, fresh produce, cheese and baguettes were onboard and by 10am they were on their away again ~ Cairns bound, phew, rather them than us!
And so we have stayed in Taioha’e. There is a constant stream of yachts coming and going, just 15 when we arrived and 48 this morning. The additional numbers have put a huge stretch on the internet facilities here which at best were poor to start with, if I manage to post this I will be amazed and very happy. The upside of all the extra boats is happy hours here and there, more pot lucks organised, we have even found a little cafe that opens in the evenings and does a great fish n chips, there may even be a turkey roasted for Thanksgiving.
We are busy doing boat jobs, parts for our generator have been flown in from Tahiti and that is working well once again. I have been doing a major remake of all our canvas work, replacing all the stitching, clears, zippers and worn panels. Trying to get this done between rain showers is becoming increasingly difficult, El Nino has moved the convergence zone eastwards so instead of it being the dry season here now we have had rain for around 7 days, we are hopeful this pattern will not continue for the next 6 months.
This weekend there is a festival here, a dress rehearsal for the big 4 yearly Marquesan Festival to be held on Hiva Oa mid December. We have watched the practice a few times, and hear them every night. We will stay for the festival and then think about a change of scenery.
If This Is The Dry Season We Are Glad We Didn’t Come In The Wet Season!