Jadamama - Jadamama blog from Ua Pou, Marquesas
We arrived in Hiva Oa late on May 1/early May 2 after over 20 relatively peaceful days at sea punctuated by the odd excitement such as a fish, a boat or a weather event.
The last few days were a bit more difficult as the weather deteriorated and we had lost our starboard steering due to a break in the cable. Heno and Polly rigged a back-up system with dyneema and some u-bolts which got us in but there was another cable also perilously close to failing. We had no hand steering and were completely reliant on the autopilot system, even in the anchorage, until Heno put a longer term fix in place.
Hiva Oa is a forbidding island to arrive at as sheer rock rises up to a volcano crater that is shrouded in clouds. Jurassic Park is certainly an image that springs to mind ! As it was dark when we arrived, we were being encouraged to anchor outside a breakwater but there was such a swell that we made straight for the interior of the small bay past most of the anchored boats and settled there. Heno installed a stern anchor to keep us from drifting close to other boats, we set up an anchor track and alarm and went to bed.
Scott joined the boat on the morning of May 3rd and he brought a lot of helpful maintenance items with him. We spent the day fixing things that had come to our notice during our time at sea or since we had arrived and I spent the morning scrubbing the hull which had become very discolured with algae and the odd barnacle.
We had intended to visit Faku Hiva on May 4 however the elements were against us and we decided to remain at Hiva Oa to attend a cultural event and buffet in honour of the ARC on the quayside. There was an heroic band of four musicians who sang for over three hours as well as a haka demonstration from a local troupe that included teaching the men the fertility haka much to the amusement of the local ladies in particular. I would say each of us was older than all four of the haka troupe put together so we were probably not their best students.
Polly and Hugh leave us on May 10th so we decided to sail overnight to Oa Pou, an island that is most of the way to Nuku Hiva our final destination and where we expect to spend several days exploring. Oa Pou (pronounced wah poo) is also dominated by a volcanic caldera that has broken down to a number of rock spires that look like columns around a large amphitheatre. We walked most of the way towards the spires this afternoon up a fertile valley that has a microclimate of heat and moisture quite distinct from the rest of the island that is quite barren. This was followed by another lovely swim, a siesta and then a fabulous dinner at Pension Pukuee run by Jerome and his family. We leave for Nuku Hiva in the morning.