Baie Hane Moe Noa, Tahuata

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 9 Feb 2011 22:01
Position: 09 54.52 S 139 06.27 W
At anchor Baie Hane Moe Noa, Tahuata
Wind: East, F2-3 light air to gentle breeze
Weather: mostly cloudy, passing showers, warm

I enjoyed a very nice sail yesterday, starting with a square run downwind along the northern coast of Hiva Oa then south along its western side. As expected we got caught up in Hiva Oa's wind shadow for a short period but soon broke through into the fresh breeze which funneled through the strait between Hiva Oa and Tahuata. This required reduced sail as we had to come hard on to the wind to make our destination. It was the best part of the day, I enjoyed standing in the cockpit watching Sylph punch into the short seas, flinging spray over her bows and aft onto my face and chest, very refreshing. As we got into the lee of Tahuata the wind eased a bit and the waves subsided making for an easy sail into the bay. We had to tack twice to make the bay and as we got closer I could see two boats at anchor, we sailed around and inside of them close to the shore seeking a clear spot to anchor. Once past we tacked one last time, furled the jib and closed the beach to to a depth of about six meters then bore away paralleling the beach with the light breeze just carrying Sylph along at two to three knots. Once I had found a spot I was satisfied with we rounded up into the wind, dropped the mainsail and as the way came off, at 16.30 let go the anchor. Once all was squared away, sail cover on, lines made up and stowed etc, I finished the day with a refreshing swim. I felt happy.

The bay has at least a couple of the things I was looking for, no swell, reasonably clear water, a sandy beach and some fellow rovers, but unfortunately they are of the unsociable French variety. I watched as dinghies zipped back and forth between them, waved but got no response. I am sure if I spoke a modicum of French (or had a crew which could) then I could break through their social wall but for now do not feel like making the effort. Later I will row over and say bonjour, with luck perhaps put a chink in the stereotype which has been strengthening in my mind over time.

This morning I attempted to touch up a few rust spots, at least Sylph is not rolling and pitching as she had been at the previous anchorages, but the passing showers are making it difficult and I doubt whether these particular patches will last very long before rust seeps through again. It is a bit like the task of Sisyphus but one approaches it with determined defiance, and it isn't as if there is a lot of choice. At least it is something to do while I sneak a look at my neighbors and mutter not so neighborly things to myself.

All well.