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Enjoying the Marquises

April 23, 2013

The highlight of our stay in Atuona, Hiva Oa, (lat 09 50.6S, long 139 01.4W) is a trip to the north side of the island to see the tikis. We hire a van and our driver Frieda for the all-day excursion which takes us along treacherous dirt roads on cliffs that fall into the sea. It’s great to have Frieda at the wheel.

The entire island is lush with vegetation. We pass through small villages on the north shore before arriving at the ruins of what was once a large and powerful village. The tikis are in remarkably good condition as we walk amongst them and the ceremonial platforms. Afterward we eat lunch by the beach.

We spend the next day getting phone cards and Internet and a bit of final provisioning. We leave the anchorage the following morning at first light headed for the island on Fatu Hiva. This is a windward island that we bypassed last time but we enjoy a relaxed beam reach sail in light trade winds and arrive just after lunch at the village of Hanavave (lat 10 27.8S, long 138 40.5W). This is far-and-away the most magnificent anchorage we have ever seen with its volcanic plugs guarding the bay and the deep valley beyond. You can imagine that King Kong is out there somewhere.

We go exploring ashore and find a quaint village full of friendly people and more breathtaking scenery. At the boat landing we meet Jacques and Desiree who immediately befriend us and invite Brian to go night diving. They return with lobster and fish. We are invited to have dinner with them at their house the following evening.

Dinner is a wonderful low key affair with bar-b-que’d chicken and fish from the previous night’s catch. Jacques climbs a coconut tree and picks coconuts which become our drinks for the evening. After dinner their son Alex puts on his traditional costume that he wears to their cultural exhibitions. We received coconut oil, a banana stock, and cultural head and neck decorations.

The following day Randi and Wayne embark on the 10 mile hike to the next village while Sandie and Brian take the easy route by dinghy, stopping to snorkel along the way. We meet up in Omoa and enjoy the cultural museum before heading back to Persephone where we are treated to a spectacular sunset.

We leave the next morning and motor-sail to the island of Tahuata where we anchor in the bay at Hapatoni (lat 09 54.5S, long 139 6.5W). This is our first anchorage where we are alone with no other boats and it is beautiful as well as protected from the swell. We spend the next two days diving along the cliffs and Randi becomes a scuba diver!

We motor to the main village of Viatahu and go ashore long enough to see the town. We then continue up-island to the very popular anchorage at Hanamoenoa which we share with 12 other boats. Things are getting crowded as the main Puddle Jump fleet is arriving. We dive and walk on the beach before returning to Persephone for another in a string of fantastic on-board meals. Brian goes fishing in the dinghy that evening and hooks a sail fish that dances all over before breaking the line. Good thing; how do you land a sail fish in a dinghy and what would we do with it?

A manta ray swims through the anchorage the next morning as we set sail for the north side of Hiva Oa. We are joined by dolphins as we sail through the pass. When we arrive there is a heavy swell rolling into the anchorage and the beach landing looks a little too exciting so we spend the afternoon reading before heading for Nuku Hiva after dinner. We enjoy a pleasant over-nighter with gentle trade winds on a broad reach and arrive early the next morning at Baie de Taiohae (lat 8 55.0S, long 140 05.8W) where we are currently anchored.
We plan to explore some anchorages on this island before heading to the island of Ua Pou. After that we are off to the Tuamotus that lie nearly 500 miles to the southwest where we hope to find Internet and make another blog posting.

Dinner with Jacques & Desiree

Dinner with Jacques & Desiree

Jacques gets coconut drinks for everyone

Jacques gets coconut drinks for everyone

Dinner with Jacques & Desiree

Dinner with Jacques & Desiree

Alex in his cultural garb

Alex in his cultural garb

Church in Omoa

Church in Omoa

Lobsters from the night dive

Lobsters from the night dive

Jacques signs some craft work for us

Jacques signs some craft work for us

Desiree, Sandie, and Randi

Desiree, Sandie, and Randi

Nice sunset at Hanavave

Nice sunset at Hanavave

Looking at crafts on the beach

Looking at crafts on the beach

Dinghy landing on Tahuata

Dinghy landing on Tahuata

Climbing on Hiva Oa

Climbing on Hiva Oa

Driving to the Tikis on Hiva Oa

Driving to the Tikis on Hiva Oa

Our driver Frieda

Our driver Frieda

Tikis on Hiva Oa

Tikis on Hiva Oa

Tikis on Hiva Oa

Tikis on Hiva Oa

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Village on Hiva Oa

Village on Hiva Oa

"Smiling" tiki on Hiva Oa

“Smiling” tiki on Hiva Oa

Landfall on Fatu Hiva

Landfall on Fatu Hiva

Landfall on Fatu Hiva

Landfall on Fatu Hiva

Anchorage at Hanavave, Fatu Hiva

Anchorage at Hanavave, Fatu Hiva

Going to see the village at Hanavave

Going to see the village at Hanavave

Hanavave

Hanavave

Hanavave

Hanavave

Tiki at Hanavave harbor

Tiki at Hanavave harbor

Recess at Hanavave school

Recess at Hanavave school

Copra at Hanavave

Copra at Hanavave

Laying on our backs looking at the sky

Laying on our backs looking at the sky

Kids from Hanavave come out to be on their first sailboat

Kids from Hanavave come out to be on their first sailboat

From → Travel

3 Comments
  1. Dave Wong permalink

    Great pictures. The water is so blue.

  2. It looks so great out there, we are so jealous. We are still hoping to join you in New Zealand, Hope you need crew for the jump to Ausie land.

  3. JoAnn & Ed permalink

    I’m getting more and more envious of your relaxed life style!!!!! Ed, of course, is envious of all the fishing. . . . I love all the pictures. Sandie – you’re really getting a beautiful tan.

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