This is it! Tahuata 4/26/07 (Ginger)
We had been at Nuku Hiva long enough and it was time to haul the anchor and start heading south. We were not particularly looking forward to this passage as it was up wind and we had experienced a taste of our expected weather on our short excursion on Nuku Hiva. It could have been so nasty that we might have decided to forego the rest of the Marquesas and head west for the Tuamotus. That said we both want to see Fatu Hiva and were willing to be a little uncomfortable to get there. We left Nuku
Hiva at noon on Monday 4/23 for the 80 mile up wind trip to Tahuata. Leaving at noon allowed us to arrive any time Tuesday in daylight. Some of the boats who left Zihua with us were there and we were looking forward to seeing them for the first time since Mexico. All of a sudden we were back to the 4 hour watch schedule. We were a little punchy and now you all get to benefit from our Nuku Hiva haiku:
Sweat running down neck
Annoying, feels like a fly
Must go swimming now
Ahh, clear cool water!
Eeek, What's swimming below?
Large blue eyed eel - weird
Hungry, must eat now
Pamplemousse, baguette, cold beer
nap, cool breeze, life's good
There were more, but we won't torture you with the rest right now..
We arrived at Tahuata at 5AM. The boat did well and we made great time we were lucky the trade winds are more east than south east right now. We took quite a few waves over the bow but we were making 5.5-6 knots and it was fairly comfortable. No matter how hard we try to plan we still ended up arriving before sun rise. We'll have to time it better for the Tuamotus as we won't risk entering a coral atoll in the dark. We sat in the cockpit eating scrambled eggs and watched the sun come up. A quick
glance over the side before going below to take a nap and we were shocked to see the bottom 30 feet below! The water is the clearest we've seen yet. We napped for a couple of hours and spent the rest of the day snorkeling and catching up with "Volare", "Talerra" and "Magnum". There is also a single handed sailor from Japan here and another boat we knew only from the radio, "Surprise". It was a very social day. The next day was spent snorkeling again and doing some boat projects. We have 90'
of anchor chain out and we can see it from the bow. The bottom is white sand where we're anchored but off to the sides there are coral outcroppings with (of course) a healthy communities of tropical fish, sea urchins and we even saw a yellow spotted moray eel. This is the first clear, see the bottom water we've ever anchored in and we're feeling like we finally made it. It sounds as if this is an unusual bay for the Marquesas so we won't expect to see this clear water again until the Tuamotus
but it was a great taste of swimming to come. "Bold Spirit" is just around the corner at Atuona, Hiva Oa, so we're hauling the anchor today to go visit with them, see the Gauguin and Jacques Brel museums and stock up on more baguettes. It's a very shallow and crowded bay so we're not planning to stay very long. We've already heard some hair raising stories about large waves that came in there a couple of weeks ago from the cyclone south of here. Boats were damaged and some people abandoned their
stern anchors to run for safety after being swept. We'll keep a weather eye while we're there!
Labels: 2007 - 04 - 06 French Polynesia