Sunday 2nd July 2023
The full moon is amazingly bright and high up just now - shining like a beacon into the cockpit of Nereida and the lovely Southern Cross is also high up and clear to see, in an unusually clear sky.
I've been reminded daily for nearly 3 weeks now that this is the rainy season. I sailed the short distance here from the main harbour of Taiohae Bay two weeks ago, hoping for a lot less swell so that I could glue back on the D-rings that had come off the dinghy when I'd tried to hoist it overnight soon after it had finally been inflated and used.
I was finally able to do that just yesterday, during a break in the continual heavy rain and frequent very strong gusts - up to 30 knots. So much for my visions of sunny days full of swimming and snorkelling over coral!
Taiohae has the main harbour of the island of Nuku Hiva with its dramatic, high, steep-sided, volcanic mountains, and is the capital of the Marquesas. It has a few shops and restaurants a good walk from the dinghy dock which is difficult to tie to due to the big surge and large tides in the bay.
If you get to the nearby shops before 8:30am, you can get a lovely fresh baguette - just like being in France (which this is officially part of) - this is part of the EU...!
I walked up to the high viewpoint over the entrance to Taiohae Bay, overlooking both the bay and the sea. Most of the walk was in the cooler shade of trees and, apart from the very last section along an alarmingly steep-sided rocky ridge, it was not too demanding.
Another pleasant long walk was inland to find the hardware store and was interesting for its many flowers and fruits - and chickens running and calling everywhere!
Hakatea Bay (aka Daniel's Bay by cruisers) is small and enclosed by extremely high, rugged mountains with its own herd of wild goats. The steep, almost vertical, mountainside seems to catch any easterly strong wind gusts and reflect them into the bay from the west.
The boats anchored here are forever swinging under the gusts and are often pointing in totally different directions. Howevera, the reflected swell from the protected dog-legged entrance gives far less motion than the often violent rocking endured in the swell getting into south-facing Taiohae Bay.
I've spent a lot of time on reading and writing as well as on boat jobs and was delighted when I got my watermaker working a few days ago.
I'm hoping the strong winds will ease to allow an easy passage around to lovely Anaho Bay - I'd like to sail back there to enjoy more of it before heading S to Ua Pou and then SSW to the Tuamotus by mid-July.
My current position and track are shown via the link on my Home page.
If you'd like to see the videos I've posted while here, as well as before my landfall, go to: