Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Anchored at Fatu Hiva

Current Location: Hana Vave (Bay of Virgins), Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia 10°27.90'S 138°40.06'W

After a long day of bashing to windward in 20-25 knot winds, we arrived at our destination yesterday about 3pm. What a relief it was to get into the wind shadow of this big high island. We sighted land at about 35 miles out--at about 9:30 in the morning, but it took us nearly all day to finally reach sheltered waters. We motored slowly along the coast, sightseeing--about 100 yards offshore, but still in 250' water.

This bay is beautiful. Like the rest of the Marquesas, it is volcanic, and rises steeply out of the water. The early sailors named this the Bay of Penises, because of the large rock spires that punctuate the sky. The priests who came later, add an 'i' to the 'Verges', to make it Vierges, which means 'virgins'. So officially, this is known as the Bay of Virgins. The Marquesan name is Hana Vave (or Hanavave).

We are hoping for rain, but so far only a sprinkle. We are really salt-encrusted. Dave washed the cockpit down yesterday after we arrived. Though we were well sheltered from getting drenched by big waves behind our cockpit enclosure, we only put up one side, so we get ventilated on the other side. But this makes a vacuum and sucks spray from the lee rail into the cockpit. Thank God for our big watermaker, that gives us enough fresh water to rinse things when we need to. But the rest of the boat will have to wait for a big rain.

There is only one other cruiser here--a small sailboat--a young French family with 2 small children, on a boat called Lares. During "Puddle Jump" season there must have been 20 boats in this anchorage--we are glad we are here now (waving good-bye to the PJ-ers as they hurry west now to Suwarrow, Niue, Tonga, Fiji, and NZ.

There is a small town here--but, sadly, they don't have a bakery here. No fresh baguettes for us today. But the people on Lares gave us a pampelmousse (grapefruit) yesterday when they stopped to chat. They had bags of fruit and veggies in their dinghy, and fresh green bananas hanging in their rigging. They said it was easy to trade for what you need.

We plan to stay here for 2-3 days and then head north for the town of Atuona on Hiva Oa, for some provisions and internet. We hope to hike to the waterfall today.
At 8/10/2010 4:06 PM (utc) our position was 10°27.90'S 138°40.06'W

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