Wednesday, 29 July 2015

12/2015 Last Days in Nuku Hiva

Hi from Clare,           No 12  Last days in Nuku Hiva              Tuesday 28th July 2015

We left the island of Hiva Oa after the blessing of the fleet ceremony at the grotto of the Virgin Mary out on the cliff face overlooking the ocean.

Path home from the blessing

We had a very pleasant 80 mile sail to Taiohae Bay Nuku Hiva in time for the Bastille Day celebrations on 14th July. The dancing was performed for the senior administrative officer for French Polynesia, local dignitaries and an enthusiastic crowd. One thing is for sure, the Polynesian people enjoy dancing and reportedly they dance for themselves rather than the audience. It seems that traditional dancing is a weekly event on all the islands - at least in July, their party month


Views of Taiohae Bay

The dancers and the drummers

Over the past two weeks, in our last burst for freedom, we left Taiohae Bay and circumnavigated the island of Huku Hiva stopping at delightful bays and small villages. We caught a large Wahoo and while Andrew was reeling it in some other larger fish snapped its tail off. It didn't really matter though as we ended up with enough superb juicy fillets for 10 meals.

This fish was way bigger before..

We spent the majority of our time in the flat calm of Anaho Bay on the north side of the island. There is a large kids camp there with horse riding, games and dancing. We were made welcome to come ashore and walk through the camp area and use the beach. It was all pretty relaxed. The four day camp is only accessible by small boat and so we watched the participants wading through the shallows with suitcases and bags on their heads for landing and departure. There are also lots of walking tracks and so Andrew walked to the next bay to see the beach. I stayed on the boat because I had enough insect bites and the nonos are said to be bad in this area. So Andrew smothered himself with insect repellent went for his walk, had a swim and came home with at least 150 bites. They must have struck when he came out of the water. The Marquesas islands are really beautiful and a tropical paradise but the insects (which don't seem to bother the locals) are unbelievably bad. I am seriously considering when I go home bringing my stinger suit back with me as I would love to do some of the walks.

Anaho Bay
In Anahoe Bay we firstly met up with Loren and Craig on the Kiwi boat Revilo and spent a couple of days with them. Their timing was perfect and happy to receive some Wahoo for their freezer. They were an interesting couple with many stories after working on super yacht charter boats for a number of years. They have now bought their own yacht and realise how much more they need to know to run the boat and get it safely back to New Zealand.

After they left the anchorage the French and Spanish arrived. We had a good night on the French Catamaran with eleven people from France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, America and Oz. There were three languages being spoken, French, English and Spanish and all going at once. However they were an interesting bunch with a published underwater photographer, a film maker, a well published authoress and a widow who along with her husband contracted malaria when cruising in Haiti some years ago. Her husband died on their boat and she would not have survived but for the American couple we met that night, who air lifted her back to the States for treatment.

The following day we sailed to Hatiheu Bay and the very picturesque village of the same name. This is where we had our lunch stop the day we did the guided tour of the island some weeks ago by car. It is the prettiest setting with a well developed village and very friendly people. By this time the French and Americans had left but the rest of us went out for dinner and traditional dancing. This was followed by a disco to pounding modern music and flashing lights. The traditional dancers were now dressed in normal clothes and went out of their way to speak and dance with the visitors. It was a good night and terrific community atmosphere with everyone on the dance floor from age three up. One little five year old in a bright pink party dress caught our eye as she had brilliant rhythm and knew all the moves. She was up for dancing the night away, impeded only by her strapless dress which keep slipping off her chest.

This becomes this after cooking

So now we are back in Taiohae Bay and preparing the boat for departure on Friday. Most of the big jobs are done and so it should be a good few days. We will spend a night in Tahiti before flying to Auckland NZ and then Sydney arriving Sunday afternoon for three months. Our friends Colin and Denise are spoiling us again and picking us up from the airport. We are looking forward to seeing you all.

Love Candy xx