Arrived Fatu Hiva, Marquesas after 24 days at sea - Thursday 19th April

Around midday (local time) on Thursday 19th April, "Nereida" finally came to rest in spectacular Hanavave Bay on the island of Fatu Hiva, in the Marquesas - the scenery was truly awesome with enormously high sharp mountain peaks (edges of 3 craters) very close and the land dropping almost vertically down to the small village at the head of the bay. The hillside close by has many coconut palms and is very green. Occasionally, I hear goats calling and beautiful birdsong, in between the sound of the surf breaking onto the rocks edging the bay. The rocks are volcanic black and there is a perpetual dark grey cloud sweeping towards the bay from the mountains - with frequent heavy showers as a result!

I had a really good sleep for a few hours and then found a local outrigger canoe nearby with a woman who was offering a local meal that evening to the boats in the bay (there were about 8, mainly European arrived from Panama/Galapagos).  I thought that sounded like an excellent way to celebrate my landfall so accepted - but none of the others were interested so, in the event, it didn't happen, but  it enabled me to be taken ashore without inflating my dinghy!! She (Andrea) then proceeded to take me on a tour of the village, very green & full of  fruit trees with just one shop where I was able to change US dollars into French Polynesian francs - BIG coins and paper money just like the old French before Euros.  80francs to 1 US dollar and everything very expensive as well means that whatever you buy, the amount is very large!

Friday 20th:  Decided to stay and relax in these dramatic surroundings.  But I also had to fix the windlass - it would not drop ground tackle when free-running under gravity due to salt crystals and corrosion.  Making use of water, and the  judicious use of a hammer, I gave it a good clean & service - it's running freely now.

Saturday 21st: Problem with gas solenoid cut-off switch for propane from gas tanks - could not cook!  I went to make a mug of tea to reward myself after cleaning and tidying up after the passage - no gas.  I had to remove the solenoid completely - there was a lot of water inside it so it's hardly surprising it gave up! I've no spare but at least I can cook now.

Did a few other minor jobs - a workday in (very rainy) Paradise!

That evening, a fisherman came by the boat .  I exchanged tuna (I made ceviche) + four enormous grapefruit for a small bottle of whisky!

Sunday 22nd: Had a lovely 45 NM beam reach to Atuona on Hiva Oa (Paul Gaugin's village). Celebratory evening with 'Jade' & 'Wyntersea' - first time we'd met up since Manzanillo in Mexico!

Please bear with me, updates may be sporadic until communication issues resolved!

Written by : Mike

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