Bill and Caroline
Sat 20 Apr 2013 21:24
Our first trip on land and the friendliness of the islanders is shown as we are offered a lift into town via some of the local sights (as long as we can climb in through the back window of the jeep), the plot of land soon to be our new friend's home, the graves of Jacques Brel and Paul Gauguin and spectacular views over the anchorage and bay with the mountains covered in a cap of misty cloud. Check in was simple with the local gendarme who proudly showed us his ice axe given to him while working in the Alps (not much call for it here we suspect). The cost for immigration was around 0.75p, the cost of a stamp to send the paperwork to Tahiti. A tour of the village and a scout around the shops to check out our re-provisioning prospects revealed Bonne Maman jam, real french baguettes and President brie cheese. Our first Polynesian lunch! Access to internet, dongles and wifi appears limited to non-existent at the moment. The post office sells sim cards for phones, but doesn't have any. Try next week was the suggestion…. so no blog photos for a while. Walking back to the anchorage at midday was a little warm but the shortcut down what was a near vertical pathway helped to shorten the journey and a closer view of wild horses on the beach.
A little mishap occurred when the cockpit locker was emptied by someone and was not re-stowed by anyone and some left over diesel from our fuel filtering endeavous was left on the windowsill (Note - information about diesel being stored in a coke bottle was not shared widely with the crew) and as a result was inadvertently placed in the fridge as unusually there was room for the luxury of cold drinks. Unfortunately someone decided to drink the 'coke'. Fortunately little was consumed and just a small amount of burning sensation around the mouth occurred. The moaning and groaning went on for a good deal longer.
Once recovered, we left Hiva Oa and made for Baie Hanamoenoa on Tahuata, apparently one of the most picturesque bays in the Marquesas. Hoisting the mainsail rather abruptly woke Gavin the Gecko, hopefully he's still with us after his precarious scramble to the safety of the boom although another smaller gecko, maybe Gertrude, was seen hiding under the bimini as we approached the island. The rough grass covered lower slopes of the mountains were dotted with goats and the tree line began towards the cloudy tops. The white sandy beach of the anchorage has coconut palms, lime and pamplemousse trees. The limes will come in handy for the skipper's rum and coke if he can face it. The sandy sea bed is visible in 10m of water and huge rays are seen between the boats so we will be observant while swimming and scrubbing the squid slime off the hulls.