04 - 14 April 2016: Taioha’e Bay, Nuku Hiva – 08 55S 140 05W
In the last blog I hinted that were we looking at a weather window to finally leave our cyclone season home of 8 months. Well the winds lightened some and we didn’t feel the window would be quite long enough for us to sail the whole way to the Tuamotus, so we are still here – but not for long!
New departure is planned for tomorrow, so here I am at 6.30am writing a blog posting having got up at 5am in the dark to get to the market before the produce arrived. I am elated to report that I purchased 3 bags of tomatoes from the delivered 10, tomatoes for the first time this year! Leeks, beans, capsicum and aubergines were also bought but not a lettuce in sight. Good thing I got everything they had last week and jammed it in the fridge.
Our Last Tiki Tour
Our Australian friends Carola and Jim off Koza arrived from Mexico and it was great to catch up with them briefly. They moved on in the weather window we passed up on and are now already in the Tuamotus while we are still thinking about it! We hired a pickup for the day with them and finally got to see the interior of this amazing island, what an eye opener.
First we went up, up and up some more to the high ridge amongst heavy tree cover, then the road wound down to Taipivai where we had sat for a month at anchor earlier this year. Next we climbed again, we had a wonderful vista of the elusive Trois Cascades that we had spent a day hiking to and never found. The road got narrower and narrower, heavy forest surrounded us, long patches of dirt road became frequent - on we went.
Eventually we popped out on the north coast, stunning Hatiheu Bay lay below us. On our way down we stopped at ancient paepae sights and sacred petroglyphs, revisiting some we had seen before and enjoying others we hadn’t. The crew of superyacht Dorothea give some perspective to the size of one of the trees at the paepae site, it was huge.
After a lunch stop it was back on the narrow road exploring the north coast then we retraced our steps high up again then took the road onto Toovii Plateau, wow! This high, cool, flat and very scenic plateau was a beautiful blend of grassed farmland and planted pine forest, it was totally unexpected and we could have easily been in rural New Zealand.
So we are ready, provisioning completed, fuel yanks full, heavy rain currently doing a great job of topping up the water tanks, bottom barnacle free and slippery. Farewells have been said (many times), care and walking of Spot and Goldie the cruiser dogs has been handed over to new arrivals. The weather forecast is being rechecked for the millionth time.
It is just a 4 day passage to the eastern atolls of the Tuamotus, they are small coral outcrops, absolute specks on a map, low lying with very little infrastructure and just small communities. Most of them have lagoons inside them with a surrounding coral reef, and we will chose the ones that have relatively easy passages to enter and exit.
Walking the dogs will be replaced by swimming with the sharks!