Since our arrival in the Marquesas on 2nd May, we have visited 4 of these stunning islands and are loving it here!
We arrived on Hiva Oa in a small anchorage and were met by Cheryl and Heikki from Zelda who we first met on the ARC+ in 2021. They were anchored in the north of the island and had a hire car for the day so were happy to pick us up and take us into town where we purchased sim cards, withdrew some local cash, picked up some supplies, visited the gendarmerie to finalise our check-in and then met up with fellow ARC mates for some lunch.
The people of the marquesas are extremely generous and friendly, we were waved over by a chap on our walk back from town who asked where we were from and offered us a hand of his bananas from his plantation. We took as many as we could carry and have since made banana milkshakes to use the last of them up!
That night we had a coming-together with another boat in the anchorage, not enough to cause any damage but it did make us want to leave the next day for somewhere not so congested. Its a small anchorage and some boats were swinging on their main anchor while others had a stern anchor out as well holding them fixed in one position so it was quite an unorganised placed to be and not one where you wanted to spend much time!
Having provisioned, we left and headed for Tahuata which was a relaxed beach paradise! White sandy beach, clear blue water, groups of mantarays greeted us as we entered the bay. We met up with friends Helen and Steve from Cerulean and had drinks on their boat that evening along with two other boats and had a wonderful night of chat about everyones Pacific crossing, what peoples plans were and it was so good to sit and chat and enjoy the sunset amongst old and new friends.
The following day we agreed to bbq on the beach early enough to watch the sunset. So at 1600 we landed the dinghy on the beach, unloaded the COBB bbq, drinks and food and set up camp. We were joined by a few ARC boats who had arrived that day and so it was quite a large gathering on the beach.
The next morning we headed for Hane Bay on the lsland of Ua Huka. The plan was to hike up to the tiki museum but when we arrived the swell was so bad in the anchorage we were up the next morning at 0500 lifting the anchor and headed for Nuku Hiva for a good nights sleep!
Taioha'e Bay in Nuku Hiva is wide and open bay and was the base for the ARC Pacific fleet's Prize Giving following the pacific crossing. It was a fabulous evening with food cooked in a fire pit, prizes, Polynesian dancing and fire dancing! We were also treated to a number of events at the tourist office earlier that day where we enjoyed fresh coconut milk, made local bouquets, horse riding on the beach and a local chap showed us how all the coconut is utilised from its husk to the flesh and milk!
There is a horse-tale waterfall on Nuku Hiva that is the largest in Polynesian with a drop of 350m. The start of the 2.5hr hike is from Hakatea Bay so we headed there for a few nights with Tony, Katy, Mark and Calvin from Tamlin and met up on the beach the following day. It was a beach landing like no other!! It started raining as soon as we left the boat, then on our approach to the beach we were swomped by numerous waves soaking everything including us! Tamlin were just ahead of us and they too were wet through!
The dinghy’s were lifted to high ground and tied to a tree before we started out for the waterfall.
The walk was mostly on a track, easy to follow with a few streams to wade through and the scenery was very Jurassic! You expected veloceraptors to appear at any moment! We have never seen such stunning scenery! The sheer cliffs and lush vegetation and fruit trees. On reaching the waterfall, we all swam in the small lake and into and under the actual waterfall itself! This is why we sailed the pacific!
There was much laughter and chatter along the way including the fact that we were all soaked to the skin as the rain was relentless. Most of us didn’t bother changing into swim gear as we were so wet from the rain!
That night we were invited to dinner by Desi, Pete and Rob on their catamaran Solis. We tucked into a delicious spaghetti bolognaise following by chocolate cake and fruit.
We then returned to Taioha’s Bay and arranged for a tour of the island with Caron and Martin from Escapade of London. The day was spent in the back of a safari jeep being driven up impossibly steep tracks and to some of the most breathtaking overlooks we have ever seen! A stop for lunch on the other side of the island and then headed back via some open air museums with old tiki’s plus the banyan tree which has an above ground extensive root system and was apparently the inspiration for the Tree of Life used in film Avatar!
There are some remote anchorages on the northern side of Nuku Hiva that we thought we should try so we sailed round to the north east into a full on beat for the first 2 hours before rounding the corner into Anaho Bay where we dropped the hook at about 1630. We decided to stay on board that night and heading up the pass the following day for a walk to the look out point. Little did we know that something was going round and we were all rather ill with stomach cramps, loss of appetite and more so we did get up the next day and go ashore all feeling a little depleted!
Our last stop on Nuku Hiva and in the Marquesas was Haahopu Bay. The tiniest little bay with room for only one maybe two boats and lucky for us, we had the bay all to ourselves for the night! Absolutely beautiful! A beautiful sunset as a farewell and dolphins the next morning to see us off.
We have really loved our time in the Marquesas, it has been too short for certain, there is still so much to see and do and I wonder if we might come back one day to further explore these rich and friendly islands.