Fatu Hiva and then on to Baie Hanamoena, Tahuata
Position 09:54.43S 139:06.36W
Date 1650 (French Polynesian Time UTC -10½) Wednesday 26 March 2014
Distance run - 40nm over the ground, 42.5nm through the water
We spent two great days in Fatu Hiva despite dodging some torrential tropical showers. The island is known amongst other things for some spectacular waterfalls and we took a walk (USA hike) up to one of them which was made more entertaining by the wet path and rocks as we approached the fall and the possibility of debris coming down the chute.
On one of the evenings the local community organised a supper with music and dance. Some 25 of us from the various boats were entertained in the local community hall.
An inspection of the interior of the gearbox revealed that salt water had been sucked back into the box as it cooled and the resultant oil and water mix looked remarkably like a strawberry smoothie. We made contact with our boat builder who on this occasion did not have a replacement in stock. Here the Ocean Cruising Club came to the rescue and Sid Show from Washington put us in touch with a Volvo engineer in Annapolis who undertook to research the problem on receipt of a photograph.
At this stage I really did not wish to risk further damage to the gearbox so departure from Fatu Hiva was achieved using the bow thruster to turn the boat and then sails to gradually make our way out of the considerable wind shadow of the island. Once clear we had a good sail back north to the easy to enter anchorage of Baie Hanamoena on the island of Tahuata; actually only 8 miles south west from our original landfall on Hiva Oa. Sailing off an anchor and subsequently sailing into an anchorage and dropping said anchor definitely revived old skills.