Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Fatu Hiva

Early on June 29th, we left for a short stop at our 4th and last bay on this island of Tahuata in the Marquesas. We dropped anchor at Hapatoni Bay (aka Hanatefau Bay) a short distance away (S09°57.755' W139°07.112'). We dinghied a couple of miles to the landing and walked the ancient road lined with volcanic rock at the wee village.

Village road

We spoke with a bone and shell carver and admired his work. A couple hours later at 10:00, we left for Fatu Hiva. This will be our last Marquesan island to visit before we proceed more southern to the Tuamotu atolls.

By the light of a 3/4 moon, we set anchor at 19:40 on June 29th at what has been called the most beautiful bay in the world (S10°27.869' W138°40.085'). This bay is known by 3 different names: Penis Bay, which was later changed by the Catholic Priests to Bay of Virgins, and finally Hanavave Bay.

Rocks of phallic form

The anchorage was tight and crowded as there were about 10 other boats all trying to get close in as the bottom drops off deep and quick.

Sea Turtle at world's most beautiful bay

On Saturday, the last day of June, we wandered the main street - not much here - but the island is indeed very beautiful. We listened as the church singers practiced their songs with a ukulele player. Talent was in abundance.

On July 1st, we watched young boys and teenagers (and 1 girl) partake in boxing matches. It was all handled very professionally with a referee, boxing attire, trophies, and medals.

After the matches, Bruce and Jeannie aboard SV Jabula arrived with a much appreciated gift of their freshly caught large Dorado.

Later, 3 of the young boxers approached Sea Turtle and we traded items for loads of freshly picked fruit from them. One of the boxers stated that he had carvings for sale if we wished to meet him the next day. Which we did, along with Bruce and Jeannie. His carvings, as well as his mother's and father's, were all exquisitely done. We purchased a sea turtle of his and Jabula acquired one of his father's carvings.

Jordan and Judy with carver/boxer Matia

We were asked by 4 young children if they could see our boat so we brought them out by dinghy. Their first words aboard were Any candy? Laughing, we gave them treats and surprises to take back to shore. We had been expecting this question as we had heard that the kids on Fatu Hiva can be quite forward as they so seldom ever see candy.

2 of the 4 youngsters aboard Sea Turtle

Then it started to rain and continued on and off for the next 1.5 days. Therefore sadly we were not able to walk the 45 to 60 minute trail to Fatu Hiva's tall waterfall and pool as it was now too muddy.

Throughout our stay at the Marquesas, we found it necessary to usually have bug spray handy for mosquitoes and the pesky, biting no-see-ums (also called no-nos here). The islands have all been very beautiful with their high cliffs and green growth. Next stop for us is the Tuamotus which will have a lot of low-lying atolls and few mountains and cliffs.

Final rig check by Jordan before 4-day passage to the Tuamotus...

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