Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bonjour from Tahuata!

We are anchored in the beautiful Hanamoenoa bay on the island of Tahuata here in the 
Marquesas Islands.  I wish the images we attach were not reduced to such poor quality, 
because we have so many gorgeous pictures we would love to share with you!   We had a very 
brief moment of internet access while in Atuona on Hiva Oa, and I had written a long post and
 was uploading a bunch of pictures, and before I could finish, I lost connection and was 
never able to post the update with the photos.  So back to Iridium satellite it is...

Since our last post we have left Fatu Hiva after a great reunion with our friends on 
Cheeky Monkey and a party with almost the entire anchorage on board their boat.  It was one
 of their crew member's birthday and everyone was invited.  There were people from all over
 the world on board that night:  South Africa, U.S., New Zealand, Germany, France and 
England!  Great fun was had by all!

Sadly we had to leave the next  morning, and we had a rather bumpy 7 hour sail over to 
Hiva Oa, where we had to check in.  We we thrilled to find that the normally crowded 
anchorage had only 8 boats in it, so we found a good spot and that was home for the next 
3 days.  We had a very pleasant check in process, with the friendly Gendarmerie (police) 
welcoming us to French Polynesia!  The town of Atuona was about a 45 minute walk from the 
harbour, but we never had to walk it once!!  The people are so friendly, we were always 
offered a lift!  The most we ever walked was maybe 10 minutes before some kind soul picked 
us up!

We arrived on Tuesday night, got all our provisioning, check in and refueling done on 
Wednesday, and then Thursday was Bastille day.  We went into town early on Thursday morning, 
and were treated to a parade through the town, with the procession ending in a big field, 
where there was traditional Polynesian dancing.  It was great to experience the festivities!  
Sadly we heard about the  attack in Nice during their Bastille day celebrations.

We then had arranged for a tour of the island, with the end destination being the Iipona
 archeological site near the village of Puamau, where there are huge stone tiki carvings 
perched on massive stone pedestals, which are estimated to be over 2,000 years old!  The 
ride there and back was breathtaking, with the road at times being somewhat questionable, 
with hairpin curves like we've never experienced before!  The whole outing was amazing, 
giving us a great overview of the island, and tiki were fantastic to see.

The kids also hit the jackpot, when we made friends with Stewart and Louise, and their 
2 daughters, Eleanor (10) and Hannah (8) on "Skylark".  The girls even had a sleepover on 
our boat the one night!   We also finally met up with John and Julie on "Mary Ann II", the 
boat we were in daily contact with via SSB during the crossing.  It was great to put faces
 with the voices and also to meet their  ship's dog, Murphy, a cavalier spaniel.  Gaby and 
Ben were thrilled to have a dog to pet again!

Yesterday, after a last, quick trip into town, we headed over to this anchorage.  It is 
simply stunning.  We are the only boat here...There was one other boat, but they left this
 morning (we may have scared them away!).  The water is crystal clear and turquoise, the 
bottom is sandy and there is a beautiful, big, Palm tree lined beach, (where we had 
sundowners last night).  This bay is known for its manta rays.  These gentle giants sweep 
through with their huge mouths open, vacuuming up the plankton.  We have not been 
disappointed...We've snorkeled with them a couple of times, and as I write this, the alarm 
was sounded again: "Manta!"  Everyone is scrambling to get their fins on!!  

We have downloaded the weather and it looks like a good weather window to head over to the 
Tuamotus atolls, about 580 miles from here, if we leave tomorrow morning at about 6:00am.     
We  expect a 4 day passage with good winds of 15-20 knots.  While we would love to 
spend more time exploring the Marquesas Islands, we do need to keep moving to get Garrick 
to Bora Bora, where he will hop a flight to Tahiti, since he flying out of there on August 
1st.  But we have no doubt that the next spot that awaits us will be as beautiful as the one
So for now, au revoir!

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


  1. Wow wow. Bloody brilliant!

  2. What a beautiful view and the water looks so nice.