Fatu Hiva

Mike Share & Sammy Byron
Tue 11 May 2010 19:38
We are loving our time here in Fatu Hiva, you could just loose days staring up at the amazing rock formations and landscape, it has to be one of the most spectacular anchorages in the world. A perfect place to make landfall after 19 days at sea. As we entered the bay at first light we were surrounded by a pod of dolphins who seemed intent on guiding us in. A pretty special moment.
The last 3 days of our passage was pretty hectic, winds were blowing 25 knots plus and quite big seas making sleeping, eating in fact doing anything rather difficult and very hard work. We had a few moments of 'sea madness' when the eggs decided to slide off the galley surface and break all over the floor and when Mike lost his dinner ( which slid off his plate all over the cockpit floor). I think we are both looking forward to cooking in a house again with a stove that doesn't rock and you don't have to intricately work out how to cook a dinner without spilling it, dropping it etc etc. We are so pleased with Quartermoon and our autopilot ( Which Mike kissed each day to make sure it was getting enough TLC to steer us 3000 miles!)  QM sailed so well and really looked after us. Nothing went wrong or broke and we definitely put her through some quite tough conditions.What a star.
We are anchored off the village of Hanavae which is very small and quiet. The local Marquesians are incredibly hospitable and friendly. There is a local police station which is combined with the school (good reason to behave in class!), a church, a football pitch and that is about it. There are no shops, restaurants or internet cafes or anything like that which is pure bliss!
We ate at a local's house last night which was great fun, just Mike and I and the local family. They speak French so Mike managed to communicate pretty well with them and I struggled to pull out all the stops with my pathetic French that I learnt from school through that dreaded book 'Tricolore' . We ate goat coconut curry ( our host killed it himself in the mountains the day before) and breadfruit ( Strange tasting thing - looks like the size of a very large grapefruit which they roast for 2 hrs and is rather tasteless but its kinda like potato).  On leaving they handed us a bag full of bananas and papaya from their garden so we now have no risk of contracting scurvy!
We hiked to the 200 m waterfall in the jungle ( V sore legs the next day) and took the dinghy for an explore with some Dutch friends along the coast to the only other village on the island called Omea. A bit more developed than Hanavae as it has 2 shops and a small shack restaurant. We managed to buy fresh baguettes, a godsend after my disaster bread making efforts!  
We plan to leave tomorrow for the island of Hiva Oa where we need to check in with the Gendarmerie. We will then continue for the next 10 days exploring the rest of the islands in the group. Its such a shame we have to leave this bay as you could easily stay here for a very long time but the clock is ticking and we must keep going...