Astra Blog: Marquesas (Part 2) 03.06.08 - 06 .06.08
Astra Blog: Marquesas (Part 2) 03.06.08 – 06 .06.08
Before setting off to
We were to get a little
more wind than we bargained for. Within minutes of leaving the relative sanctity
of our anchorage and getting the sails up, we were hit by a very large squall
bringing torrential rain and over 40 knots of wind. Conditions were unpleasant
to say the least and we had to reef the main – for the first time since crossing
The most obvious
feature of the
There were only three
other boats with which to share this breathtaking bay: Free Spirit; Trenelly; and On Vera. As we saw activity on Free Spirit we popped over to say hello.
Their passage across the Pacific was a little different: they covered the
(shorter) distance from
In the morning we set
off for the Vai’e’
Jason, Fiona and their two year old son Dillon from Trenelly came aboard for drinks in the evening. Young Dillon put Ash “Monkey” Rudd to shame with an impressive display of acrobatics, climbing anything and everything in sight.
Having limbered up we
decided the next day to set out on a lengthier expedition. There are two
villages on Fatu Hiva with an 11 mile road connecting them. The villages are
both at sea level with the path between them rising to over 2000ft. Not everyone
fancied the idea of walking both ways so we decided to take the local means of
transport from our bay to the
After a very well timed approach to the beach through the crashing surf, we started by visiting the boulangerie to buy some baguettes for lunch. We thought that it would be relatively straightforward to find our way back to Hanavave as there is only one road on the island. Unfortunately this road continues past Omoa for a couple of miles before trailing off into the jungle – something we discovered by setting off in the wrong direction! An hour into the walk we were back where we had started with another three miles to add to the total.
With added direction, purpose and each with a baguette under-arm we started out again. Ash and George formed an advance party, with Jeremy and Sally bringing up the rear. 2000ft in about 5 miles is a decent climb but the views were worth it. The advance party completed the walk within 3 hours; the rearguard managed a very respectable but slightly more leisurely 4 hours (including a lunch stop).
That evening blistered feet aided weary limbs in propelling aching joints back into Hanavave for dinner; George and Ash went too. A local caterer, Theresa, invited us to come and eat at her house as there is no restaurant in the village. It was a Marquesan feast comprised of chicken, papayas (prepared to have a very similar flavour to sauerkraut), poison cru, and, the crowning glory, some peculiar, poached, pink bananas.
The next day Sally and Jeremy both made excellent headway with their books and gave their muscles a little time to recover. Meanwhile Ash and George continued with the seemingly never-ending task of scrubbing the hull. On this occasion matters were complicated by considerable movement on Astra’s behalf; gusts of up to 35 knots funnelled down the valley causing us to swing to and fro on the anchor chain. Having already cleaned the portion above the waterline from the dinghy, Ash and George donned scuba gear and did their best to wrap themselves around the keel in order provide Astra with an exfoliation. Not only did they leave the hull sparkling, they also got to see three white tip sharks and a spotted eagle ray into the bargain.