Taiohae, Nuku Hiva
Thursday 13th June 2013
Distance run: 88 nmiles
We left Hanamoenoa Bay on Tahuata on Sunday afternoon for an overnighter to the main island of the Marquesas, Nuku Hiva, some 90nmiles to the north west. It was a lovely sail on one tack in moderate winds and seas under a starlit sky. I came up on deck from my off-watch at 0700 to find the island of Nuku Hiva towering in front of us – quite awesome. We made our way into Taiohae Bay and were pleased to find an enormous anchorage with plenty of swinging room. We dropped the anchor in 12 metres and were soon enjoying breakfast surrounded by green hills. The bay is an empty caldera, and the hills rise up quite steeply on all but the seaward side. It is fairly well protected from wind, though some swell does work its way in, so it remains to be seen whether we shall need a stern anchor to keep us comfortable.
We have been ashore a couple of times to explore the town, which is quite widespread around the harbour and up into the hills. There are a couple of fairly well-stocked supermarkets and a little fresh fruit and veg market. Yesterday we took a long walk to the pharmacy to buy some replacement antibiotics, only to be told we needed a prescription for them here! That will be the first time we have not been able to buy them over the counter since the US. Weary from our walk uphill in the heat, we thumbed a lift back down to the harbour and decided against another walk to the hospital to get a prescription which would then need to be taken back up the hill to the pharmacy. We’ll re-stock elsewhere.
We managed to get the empty gas bottle refilled, although with butane and quite expensive. I’ve put a few stitches in the dinghy cover and the next job for Steve is to replace, yet again, the prop anode.
We think we will stay here a few more days, and then make a decision whether to go to Oa Pou, some 25 nmiles south (and to windward) or to leave from here to the Tuamotus.