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Date: 17 Apr 2010 04:39:59
Title: Tahuata

Hello Friends                        "9:54.5S 139:06.3W"
 
We found a good anchorage at the NW corner of Tahuata - proper good holding in sand and good clear water for swimming and snorkelling. Oh, and of course the traditional golden sand beach fringed with coconut palms...
 
 
For quite a lot of the time we must admit that we just chilled out here, reading, swimming and a certain amount of quality hammock time. We did venture south to look at the other two bays, though the island is generally so precipitous (as are most of the Marquesas) that the other two anchorages were rather small affairs, with deep water a few metres off the bow and the beach just behind you - not much room for error.
 
So Michael stayed on board in Vaitapu, the 'capital' while George and Simon had a wander around and did a spot of shopping. (They purchased the first potatoes we've found since crossing.) Then we motored down another mile for lunch and to look at the other bay with a similarly marginal anchorage. This time George stayed on board while Michael & Simon went exploring at Hapatoni. This turned out to be a very gentle unspoilt corner, with the local guys swimming in the dock with the kids and the local girls enjoying what appeared to be a game of bingo on the grass nearby. Not much else seemed to be going on at all.
 
Here's the seafront at Hapatoni:
 
 
We repaired to our original bay (top photo) for a safe anchorage for the night and were then joined, quite suddenly by a number of other boats. So it became too busy and we decided to head on to Fatu Hiva.
 
Early in the morning we made our start (well we just about got the hook up before 0900) and sailed all the way in excellent conditions. Making the most of the good breeze we beat up between Tahuata and Hiva Oa on starboard tack and went about just before Hiva Oa got uncomfortably close and carried on the whole way to Fatu Hiva on port tack, leaving the rocky lee shore of Tahuata just a safe distance to starboard.
 
Here's a photo which shows just how unfriendly theses shores are to a boat without sufficiently careful navigation arrangements.
 
 
The Baie des Vierges anchorage at Fatu Hiva is a very tight affair with a seabed like a ski slope, but rather cheekily we moved up to the front of the fleet and managed to get comfortable right under the famous rock pinnacles.
 
The 'Bay of Virgins' (Baie des Vierges) is believed to be a corruption of the original 'Baie des Verges' - or 'Bay of The Phalli' which the missionaries found too, er, direct. You can judge the rocky spires for yourself. Here we are yesterday afternoon, with the evening light helping the photo: glorious.
 
 
 
But we're getting carried away to the next blog already: what we can say is that we have a number of adventures already planned so hopefully another blog in a few days will report in full.
 
Best Wishes
 
George, Michael and Simon
 
 
 
 
 
 

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