Astra Blog: Marquesas (Part 5) 14.06.08 - 16.06.08

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Fri 4 Jul 2008 00:14

Astra Blog: Marquesas (Part 5) 14.06.08 –  16.06.08


Saturday 14/6/08


After an early departure from Hanamenu Bay, we enjoyed a perfect broad reach in beautiful sunshine and 20 knots of wind for the 70Nm hop to Ua Pou.


As we rounded the south west corner of the island, a flock of sea birds gathering 100 metres or so in our wake confirmed that it was fish o’clock again and we tossed out the lures.  Unfortunately Pink Fluffy 2 and The Canary were both lost, almost simultaneously, to something with an exceptionally sharp set of fangs and an appetite to match.  We have since replaced all mono-filament leaders with steel wire in an effort to combat the steady demise of lures over the past few days.


As the sun was setting we dropped anchor in Vaiehu Bay.  There was just enough time for Jeremy, Ash and George to go reconnoitring around ‘Shark Point’ in the tender, it was a pleasant trip but sadly the sharks seemed to have gone to bed early.  After dinner and a game of scrabble we decided to follow suit.


Sunday 15/6/08


In the morning, we were slightly concerned to spot a launch heading towards us at full speed, especially when it became clear that it was the Gendarmes.  As it turned out, they were very friendly and after checking our passports and paperwork thoroughly over a cold beverage, they chatted to us about surfing, fishing, partying and for some reason politics.


Alone again, we had a fantastic breakfast of bacon and scrambled egg before getting on with the days mission of searching for lobster.  After changing the gear box oil in the outboard motor we set about constructing our makeshift lobster snaring device.  Following a lengthy discussion about materials and technique, we made the contraption in about two minutes flat with an old broom handle, some strong mono-filament and decent helping of electrical tape.


Complete with dive gear, netted bag and the new weapon, George and Ash were dispatched to the depths in search of food.  After 45 minutes or so of searching every nook and cranny along the base of the cliffs in low visibility and a powerful surge, they surfaced empty handed.  If there were any lobsters residing there they were certainly well hidden.  Clearly we will have to do a bit more research into this activity.


That afternoon we motored up the coast (which must be one of the most dramatic in the world) to Hakahau Bay where we anchored fore and aft in very shallow water next to two American yachts: Estrollita and Bliss.


Monday 16/6/08


In the morning we were able to appreciate the true beauty of the surrounding skyline.  The town itself was reasonably busy, with a large dock, a boarding school and many pretty houses with beautifully tended gardens.  Keen to get a better view and a bit of exercise, George and Ash climbed up to the cross which overlooks the bay before returning to Astra for lunch.


At 1345 we left Hakahau and set a course for Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva.  After a satisfyingly swift sail we arrived and just as darkness fell we slung the hook amongst the myriad yachts already lying there.