Blog 35. Nuka Hiva. 08.55.09S 140.05.96W

David Batten
Thu 7 Apr 2016 02:24
Thursday, 31 March. A plan was made last night for a party of walkers, older ones that is, to walk to the local waterfall, except for Jane and the Skipper's wife, who elected to do the shorter walk to the Polynesian ruins above the village while also bird watching and visiting the village shop where Jane bought a pair of jellies. A lovely time was had by all including the mosquitoes, who were out in force at the ruins. Good anti mosquito strategies are essential in this part of the world. The afternoon's entertainment was trying to get Carango's outboard motor to work, with help of Ian from Zoom. Followed by swimming with the Manta Rays, which were doing summersaults in the water all around the boats and feeding on the surface plankton. Finding yourself face to face with a huge ray that has only just come into your visual field because the water is so murky that you can barely see your feet is quite awesome and there was quite a lot of squeaking from some of the female swimmers. Fixing the outboard was regrettably beyond the combined efforts of the Skipper and Ian. In a moment of extreme generosity which we hope he won't come to regret given our record to date with outboards, Ian has lent us his electric outboard motor.

Friday, 1 April. Up anchor and out of Hakahea after breakfast and the first rain squall of the day, which blotted out the exit to the bay. Motored out into a huge swell and another squall. Very wetting but it did clear in time for our arrival at Taiohae Baie before the next deluge. The water in the bay was rapidly turning brown and full of coconuts and debris washed down in the rivers and we could see 3 waterfalls from the bay. We heard Two Fish on the radio to Kevin of Yacht Services booking a car for Sunday and organising laundry, so we got onto the radio and arranged a car and laundry as well. A good day for sorting the domestics as it continued to rain and we spent a lot of time trying to get an Internet connection that worked at more than snail's pace.

Saturday, 2 April. Up at 05.00 as recommend by the local st Yacht Services if we wanted vegetables and even then we missed out on the cabbages! Mercifully it did not rain all day as at 2.30 we had a welcome party from the local tourist board with dancers and a drummer, followed by expensive retail therapy and then a really useful session on sailing in the Tuamatos given by Cameron, who has sailed there for years. Then it was supper, an interesting collection of local dishes and more dancing. Great fun and bring your own alcohol, only lemon juice and fresh coconut milk provided.

Sunday 3 April, we picked up the car at 08.30 and set off for a drive on the limited number of roads on the Island. A lovely day with blue skies and no rain, fabulous scenery and much better roads than Hiva Oa. We visited a huge but very overgrown Polynesian ruin, no Tiki but great walls and sense of the ancient. We also saw the Nuku Hiva Pigeon, a big bird with a very harsh call that looks like a cross between a vulture and a parrot. There are only a few hundred pairs left and it is only found only on this island. The highlight of the day was on the road to the airport, when once over the watershed, the views were fantastic on both sides of the top. This being our final goal, we headed back to the boat for an early celebration of Jane's birthday, actually tomorrow, but sadly she is heading back to Argentina and her very tolerant husband, Hugo.

Monday 4 April. A day of jobs. Filled car with petrol and returned it to Kevin by 07.30 as agreed. Took Jane and suitcases, lots, ashore to meet taxi at airport at 08.00. Final emails to Tessa and Bridget who are joining us here on the 7th using Yacht Services WiFi, the only one that really works. Shopping for the next few days, including much better veg at the almost daily market. 5.00am not necessary but early is better. Forgot to pick up veg on way back from supermarket, so Anthony sent back to collect it. Collected laundry and did another wash and cleaned the boat. Realised at lunchtime that we had left one bag of veg behind, so Anthony sent ashore again to collect it. Decided too many boats waiting for fuel so motored to Daniels Baie to meet up with Paradise Found, Wishanger and Into The Blue if she comes. They are all planning to go to Tuamotu Archipelago tomorrow, so we will not see them for a while. Carango was also at Daniel's, so we fessed up to the problems with the outboard after commiserating with Peter about his sceptic wounds sustained on the dinghy dock at Hiva Ova. He is such a gentleman, he was not at all put out by the fact that we had broken his outboard and even offered to pay for the parts, which will not happen. We are hoping Angus can sort out some parts in time for Vicky to bring them out. Had a lovely evening in Daniel's Baie I spit of more rain and made a plan to walk to the waterfall in good time tomorrow.

Tuesday, 5 April. Walked to the waterfall am with Kate, Steve and Hannah from Blue Summit, who also had Cameron with them for the day. Easy walk to the first river crossing where Venetia and I were glad to have a chain of men to hand us across the crutch deep, fast flowing water and then a wet and sometimes slippery walk through the forest to the second river crossing. After that, it was increasingly adventurous, what with loosing path in the forest ruins, 3 more river crossings and voracious mosquitoes. We did not think Jane would have enjoyed it, or indeed agreed to continue past the first crossing. The falls are in a spectacular setting and are reported as being the third highest in the world and worth the walk. It rained on the way back, but we made good time and enjoyed a pre-booked lunch at a house near the beach. Delicious barbecued wild pig and breadfruit chips, with home made lemonade, prepared by a fierce looking local with great tattoos, a pack of hunting dogs and a belt of long sharp daggers. He was very friendly, as was his wife, who spoke some English and we bought bananas and grapefruit straight from the tree from them.

Tomorrow we go back to Taiohae Baie to get fuel and prepare the boat for Tessa and Bridget's arrival.

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