Haahopu Bay … Our Own Private Paradise

I woke up here in Daniel’s Bay this morning to hear my love, Captain Save-A-Hoe tell me that he was off to save the kayak the locals use to get from their boat to shore. They keep it moored to a buoy and it had gotten loose and was headed out to sea. Of course Dan saw it and just had to go rescue it. The locals didn’t know it was gone and probably never will know it had to be rescued but that’s my guy…always out saving the world.

We left Daniel’s Bay a little later to head north around the island of Nuka Hiva. Getting out of the pass at the bay was fun. Large incoming swells in a narrow pass. I had closed all the port lights but the one in the galley. We don’t close that all the time. Well, that turned out to be a mistake. A huge swell slammed into the port side and crashed over the dodger into the cockpit. I went below as soon as I remembered it was open and we had water all over the galley. No, not like we would sink or anything but enough to ruin my morning as I had to clean it all up while we were bouncing around trying to get out of the pass. New rule…all port lights are closed underway. If it turns out to be calm then we’ll open a few up but until we know…they will be closed!!!

Haahopu CollageThe ride after we got out of the pass and turned north along the west side of the island was choppy but not awful. We were headed into the swell which is always uncomfortable but nothing we can’t handle. Our hope was that when we turned east on the north end it would calm down. WRONG! The wind started coming from the NNW instead of the SSW and the swell was on our nose again! After about an hour of motoring into it and getting beat up we turned around and came back to this beautiful little bay we had passed. It’s call Haahopu. (Pronounced Ah ah ō poo. Most of these places have names that are all vowels with a consonant or two thrown in for fun. It’s hilarious to hear Dan try to pronounce these words.)

Anyway, this place is beautiful. We’re on the arid side of the island so there’s not a lot of greenery. It sort of reminds me of México with the brown growth and clear water. There’s a small, tan sandy beach in front of us and to the west side there is a small concrete quay. The water is so clear we can see the bottom at 25’ and we are the only boat here. THIS IS PARADISE! Don’t get me wrong, we love hanging out with our friends but there’s something so peaceful about being the only boat in an anchorage.

We saw the airport when we tried to bash around the island today so we can only assume the quay is where the supply ship drops off their supplies. It’s not big enough for a ship to get in here but we have seen the barges that bring supplies to the more remote villages so we are guessing that’s how supplies are brought into the quay.

As we sit here enjoying our private anchorage Dan is below whipping up a batch of mango margaritas using the fresh mangos we purchased in Daniel’s Bay. The sun is getting long in the tooth and we are enjoying watching a family of three who is camping on the beach. The mom and child are playing in the water while the father appears to be enjoying a nap in a chair under a shade tree.

As it starts to get dark more cars and people descend upon the quay. We’re not sure where they came from or why they are here but there sure are a lot of them. They are all lined up down the dirt road that leads in from the interior of the island.

One young man jumps in the front loader and moves it around to the edge of the water. He lifts the bucket up high and shuts down the machine. There’s a girl sitting on the rocks nearby and we notice him talking to her. Before we know it this guy has climbed up the front loader and into the bucket. He stands there talking to the girl and the next thing we know he leaps into the water. I guess that’s one way of making a high dive platform. Of course I’m holding my breath because I know how shallow it can be near these shores but within a few seconds up pops his head and we can hear his laughter all the way out here at the boat. So I’m guessing this isn’t the first time he’s done this. The girl is giggling as he climbs the rocks and sits next to her. Oh to be young again!

Just before the sun goes down we look out to see a large ship near the entrance of the bay. From the sounds we determine that it is dropping anchor. I, Mrs. Kravitz, turn on the AIS to see who this ship is and what they are doing. It’s the Taporo IV. It’s 292’ long and has a large crane on board. We’re not sure what its cargo is but it’s clear now that this is the reason for all the commotion at the quay.

Soon it’s dark and the Taporo’s decks are lit up brightly by their floodlights. We sit in the cockpit and watch as the large crane lifts container after container over the side onto an awaiting barge. As we see the barge start to head toward shore Dan makes a call on the radio to the captain of the Taporo. He lets him know we will turn on all of our navigation and deck lights to make it easier for the barge to see us as they enter the anchorage. The captain thanks him for his assistance.

We watch as the barge delivers load after load to the quay. It turns out they use the forks on the bucket of the front loader to pick up and move these containers that are just slightly larger than a Port-O-Let. They are roughly three meters high and two meters square. There is a lot of movement on the quay as men mill about directing the driver of the front loader as to where to put the goods. Once all of the new supplies are delivered they begin loading the empty containers that came from the previous delivery.

All in all I guess it took approximately two hours for them to complete the delivery. As the barge heads back out to the ship for the final time the captain on board lights up the deck and waves to us as if to thank us for lighting the way. The captain on board the ship flicks his lights on and off a couple of times as well. Within minutes of the last load being dropped the quay empties out and we are back to being the only ones here. Well, except for the camping family.

So, here we sit in our private anchorage and we were treated to a wonderful show as we enjoyed cocktails in the cockpit but now it’s over. I guess it’s time for Dan to get the grill going for the Arracharra tacos we are having tonight. It’s still one of our favorite Mexican meals and he makes the best!

We still want to try to get to Anaho Bay tomorrow which is further north and we plan to leave very early in the morning to get there. We saw it when we rented the car for our island adventure and it’s supposed to be spectacular. The seas, however, will determine our path. If it doesn’t look good we may hang here another day or so then go back to Taiohae Bay to wait for the generator. It should arrive a week from Monday. At least there we can go ashore to enjoy the stores, restaurants etc… But, for now we are enjoying our private bay.

Until Next Time,

Jilly & Dan

Author: Dan & Jilly

1 thought on “Haahopu Bay … Our Own Private Paradise

  1. Hi Jill it’s Scotty. I thought you guys had already gotten a generator from someone stateside? Did it go bad also or did I mis-read something?
    Where your at sounds wonderful. We’re jealous. Please keep sending these. I really enjoy reading them. As always, be safe.

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