Back at sea

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Sun 20 Jul 2008 17:30
09:30.83S 140:45.60W

Nuku Hiva is a wonderful island. We sailed in on Bastille Day, looking back
on a beautiful sunny daysail, with some islands to be spotted underway. To
our surprise there were quite a few boats in the anchorage, we thought we
were late in the season and that therefore it would be more quiet. Not so.
Apart from our friends on Woodsia and Ramprasad, which gave us a warm
welcome, there were plenty of other yachties, some of which we met later for
dinner ashore. That was alongside the covered festival square, where we
shared on a 16 persons table - all cruisers. During dinner Polynesian dances
were performed, with the impressive local drums. Colourful, but it seemed
that the professional local dancers were off to the big competition in
Tahiti. Never mind, it was a wonderful evening. Merel, along with some other
sailing ladies, got asked on the dance floor by one of the dancers in their
grass skirts. Quite fun that was! And great to talk to all those other

The next day life was back to normal and we managed to rest up a bit more.
Lovely. One more day in Taiohae, provisioning on some fresh goodies and then
on to the North side of the island, where we found a protected spot in the
quiet bay of Anaho - only one other boat and a few houses just off the beach
with friendly inhabitants. The backdrop of the lush mountains with rugged
granite peaks was fantastic. Our Woodsia friends also came in and the next
day we did a hike together, following the path just behind the beach,
walking around the bay, over some dunes, through a foresty path which came
out to a beach on the Eastern end of the island - Haatuatua. This was the
cleanest windward beach we had ever seen. And so unspoiled.

We had also heard raving reports on the bay "next door" so we had to go to
Hatiheu, where there was a settlement at the end of the bay. Not so easy to
land the dinghy off the barnacle covered concrete dock, but Geoff came up
with an ingenious construction to anchor the dinghy off and us still being
able to pull it back in to the shore to get back into it.

Although the supermarket did not really have any suitable items, they did
make a phone call for us to one of the local villagers to pick some fruit
for us. Another villager took us over there. They were just feeding a burlap
sack full of breadfruit to their horse when we arrived. So while the family
set off collection the juicy pompelmousses and mangoes for us, we watched
the horse. The amount of fruit we ended up with was tremendous - 9
pompelmousses and about 40 mangoes - but the price was like we were back in
Panama - very affordable. And for good measure they then even threw in a
hand of bananas (a big hand; about 30!). They did not want us to only walk
away with half of it, so Woodsia was in luck.

We shared a last dinner together (Molly-caught dorado, corn and salad from
Woodsia and of course mango for desert) and said our goodbyes - we will not
see them again until Tahiti. And then this morning we left Hatiheu for our
3 - 4 day trip to the Tuamotus. The winds are variable at the moment but it
is sunny and warm. It feels like a short trip compared to the last one, but
it will still be about 500 miles.

As usual, we will keep you posted!

Geoff & Merel