Richard and Rachel Caswell
Wed 29 Apr 2009 20:48
Hiva-Oa ! We've arrived !
Well after 20 days and 2 hours we were anchored inside the bay on Weds morning with 24 other yachts. We're the 94th boat to clear into the Marquesas this year. Had a great passage but this being our longest at sea to date, it was great to get in, as the last few days seem to just drag on, plus we slowed down the last day and night to arrive in the next day rather than negotiate our way in at night. Certainly don't want any mishaps out here - way too expensive to contemplate...Did catch a nice sized Mahi-Mahi on the way in so have fresh fish for the next week or so.
Will stay a few days to take on fuel and eat ice cream, do laundry and then head off to a quieter anchorage. Been good walking onshore each morning, hearing the birds, and man made machinery, and smelling the plantlife, and decomposing fruit. Mangoes are ripening on the giant trees, and each one looks to be at least 2-3 lbs in weight. Very lush with very steep terrain, but the French have good roads and easy facilities. Locals friendly and can speak their own dialect as well as French and English. Lucky them.
Haven't seen the top of the mountain as yet, as it's always shrouded in mist, sometimes working it's way down to the valleys.
Most other yachts have taken longer than us, apart from the catamarans, one just arrived in after 19 days and 4 hours. One poor old boat left Panama in mid-Feb and took 54 days ! Yikes ! Solo sailor who had autohelm failure too, poor chap. Another Van der Stadt designed boat like us, did the same time as us, but most have been 23-26 days in the passage making, so makes us doubly pleased with our old girl - she goes alright !
Have paid for a three month visa stay in the French Islands, so we'll need to work out which ones to go to. Hope so far to hop up to Nuka Hiva, the main village is there, where we can refill the LPG tanks. From there, we'll work our way down to the Tuamotus, avoiding Mururoa, as you need permission to enter that one, and then onto the Society Islands, ending our time in Bora Bora to claim our bond back. Till next time, take care out there - we have no idea what's happening in the big wide world.....just lovely !