Sat 10 May 2008 19:28
Date 10th May
Position 10:28S 138:40W
The Bai de Vierges, more commonly known as Hanavave bay, after the settlement here. The bay was originally the Bai of Verges (penises) but the missionaries were displeased and changed the name to Vierges (virgins).
Arrived here late yesterday after the usual 'why arn't we there yet?' adventures with acceleration zones, and calms around the Island.
Found many old friends her: Gaviota, and Margarita from Isabella, and several other familiar looking yachts including UPS: part of our raft in the Panama Canal. There are relatively few yachts in the Pacific campared to the Caribbean, but also fewer anchorages, maybe we will continue to meet up.
This anchorage leaves me struggling, yet again, for superlatives. Huge cliffs all around us stretch up into the clouds, very verdant, and then there are these remarkable rock formations which so impressed the natives! There are also very strong gusts of wind, poor holding on a rocky bottom, and 9 boats very close together, on the shelf of shallow water which drops dramatically away to 80 meters about 100 metres offshore.
Quote from the Lonely Planet Guide: Fatu Hiva is the Island of Superlatives: the most remote, the furthest South, the wettest, the lushest and the most authentic.
There are indeed no shops here, and the natives will trade fruit in exchange for useful stuff. I havn't been through this process yet, but will stick to tinned fruit I think rather than exchange my spare genoa sheets (Conny, you don't need to know how much yacht ropes cost) for some bananas.
Looking forward to a four hour hike to a big waterfall tomorrow, then we all have to troop off to the next Island and confess that we came to this little paradise without clearing into Polynesia first of all (to avoid a sail in the 'wrong' direction).
Last night slept for a very long time, it wasn't so much the absence of rollling as the almost complete silence: a sailing boat sailing is actually very noisy, even with the mainsail stowed away! Could also have been the effect of my first can of beer!