9.31S 140.00W Saturday 6th April
The Marquesas are volcanic in origin: basaltic cones, cliffs and spires
are their trademarks, and none more fantastic than those of Ua Pou –
arguably one of the most striking natural skylines on the planet - which were
formed by subterranean magma hardening as it was pushed slowly above the
surface all those millions of years ago. Apparently the same phenomenon
occurred on Martinique in the Caribbean but
there the spires fell over, unlike the ones standing majestically over us in
our anchorage here in Hakahetau. They could well have inspired the
‘gerkin’ in the City of London!
Fantastic spires of Ua Pou overlooking the bay of Hakahau
Yesterday we had a choice – we sailed 26 miles to Ua Pou on a
glorious sunny day with the wind on a beam reach and could have anchored in
Hakahau, Hakehetau, Hakamui or Hakamaii! It brings back the silly
childhood joke Q: why aren’t there any telephones in China?
A: Because there are so many wings and so many wongs they might wing the wong
number!! We had heard over the VHF that a large party was gathering in
Hakehetau so we deliberately came to peaceful Hakahau – but when we got
here a number of other yachts had had the same idea and Big Blue on their
Catamaran Lagoon 47 hosted cocktails on board for all 16 of us anchored in the
bay! Quite an experience to have ice in our drinks again and to be able to
offer cold beers to that many people is a feat not possible for most of
us. Then all 16 of us made our way ashore for a Chinese of all
things! And what a great Chinese it was – the chef having spent his
entire life in Tahiti before retiring here
three months previously – we were in luck! We had an unexpected and
The unexpected Chinese Dinner!
Sunday, a quiet day in our beautiful anchorage with the magical spires
of Ua Pou as an incredible backdrop. We managed to get most of our
‘jobs’ done including the usual washing, drying, cleaning and
stowing routines. We had already paid to have our hull cleaned by a brave
young chap in Nuka Hiva – there had been sightings of tiger sharks in the
bay aggressively feeding on huge manta rays so it was worth every penny and he
did a really professional job. A chicken madras dinner invitation by Big
Blue rounded off our day!
The next morning all the Blue Water Rally yachts began their journey to
the Tuamotu Archipelago but we thought we
would just spend one more day relaxing – four o’clock and Zippy
came in to join us! We thought they were way ahead of us but they had
been let down in Nuka Hiva by the laundry and had to wait over the weekend to
collect it. What a lovely surprise – and of course we had to show
off our Chinese discovery and complete three days of international
cuisine…… we tried to buy grapefruit here (200 Pacific Franks
in Nuka Hiva, 50 PF in Daniel’s Bay) but here they wanted 5 cents and
then refused to take the money and gave their fruit as gifts.
There are 2000 inhabitants on this island but they rely heavily on the
supply ship which brings frozen meat, tins, cleaning products and vegetables once
every three weeks. It is a general cargo boat which also takes passengers
on a tour of the islands and at 6.30 this morning it arrived in our bay,
dropped anchor about 20 yards away and gave us a heart stopping wake up call!
Heart stopping wake up call – she dropped anchor just a few yards
We were soon up and ready to leave…… and are now on
our way to Manihi, made famous by its production of black pearls.
On route to the Tuamotus – can you see the air strip of Ua Pou?
Alarmingly it goes up hill for landings and downhill for take off!