Category: PPJ 2018

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

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Daniel’s Bay, Nuka Hiva

Blog ViewWe arrived here in Daniel’s Bay on the island of Nuka Hiva. Yep, my honey has his own special place down here. It is just four miles from Taiohae Bay where we’ve been for the past week. It’s a nice little bay with rocky cliffs on one side and a semi-white sand beach on the other. So far there are just five boats here. It’s a nice change from where we were surrounded by fifty or sixty other boats in Taiohae Bay. We know all the others here with the exception of one French boat.

They tell us there are sharks here in this bay so no swimming. Ernie on SV Patience was fishing from his dink last night and said he saw four or five sharks chasing the fish he caught. And, he saw a Tiger shark. They are pretty territorial and can be aggressive. It’s okay, I don’t need to swim here. Plus we’ve had quite bit of rain this week which means all the run off from the mountains is making the water a bit murky. I’ll wait until we get to the Tuomotus where the water is crystal clear. If I’m going to be eaten I’d at least like to see it coming.

Apparently a few years ago they filmed an episode of Survivor here. Never watched it so I couldn’t tell ya anything about it. The waterfall here is said to be the 3rd tallest in the world however I can’t confirm that. I doubt we will hike all the way to it as you have to wade, waist deep through a murky pond filled with fresh water eels. They say they don’t bite but will rub against you and may nip at your legs. No thank you! I’ll pass on the eel experience.

I’ve read that you can hike about halfway there and see 60-70% of the falls so we may do that. I really want to see the ancient ruins along the way so we’ll see. SV Nightide and SV Patience are leaving tomorrow for the 4-5 Day trip to the Tuomotus. All of us are getting together for sundowners and nibbles on Nightide this afternoon. Like I’ve said before we really don’t feel like strangers in a strange land here as it seems we have friends around every corner.

Ed & Linda on SV One Fine Day are coming in as well. We’re becoming pretty good friends. I wish we could head to the Tuomotus with them this week but we have to wait for the generator so we’re stuck here for about two weeks. Of course there’s worse places to be stuck I guess.

This afternoon Dan is napping and I’m in the hammock looking for sharks. Hope I get to see a few….from the safety of the boat of course.

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Blog CoconutToday is a new day and we are loving Daniel’s Bay. Yesterday we decided to go on a hike with Ed & Linda to the waterfall for the day. When we were getting ready to leave we saw a black tip shark come out of the water and grab a fish just about twenty feet from the boat. That was amazing as his whole body came out of the water while he chomped down on his prey!

We headed to the beach on the dink and realized we needed to add air to the dinghy wheels so had to head back to the boat. On the way we saw a five foot hammerhead shark swim right along side of the dinghy. OH WOW! THAT WAS AWESOME! My camera was in the waterproof case in Dan’s backpack so I didn’t get a pic but I’m hoping he’ll come back. We saw him again after we reached the boat. We also saw about a half dozen or so black tip sharks. None were very big but it was still awesome to see. Definitely no swimming here! LOL

We made it back to shore and then had to walk a trail that snakes along the bay here to get to the village. The village is absolutely stunning. We’re still amazed as we travel through these places at how manicured the grounds are around these villages. As we arrived in the village we saw a few people harvesting coconuts. They harvest them and then dry them for copra which is used to make coconut oil and other coconut products. It’s their big export here. The guy sitting on the ground was named Teiki. He was a pretty scary looking dude. You can tell he’s lived here his whole life. I’m guessing he’s probably about thirty or so. He is covered in Marquesan tattoos. Even half of his face is tatted up. And his hair is shaved back about halfway on his head. He has some big ol’ muscles too. His two front teeth are ground down to look like fangs and he’s got a strange look in his eyes. Of all the islanders we’ve seen, he looks most like he could be a cannibal. He was super nice but still a little scary. His wife, Kua, was very sweet. She asked if we wanted any fruit and then started taking orders from us. We ordered some mangos, pamplemouse, limes, oranges and we even asked for a coconut. I’m going to make macaroons for us. Yummy! Kau also told us to stop back by their house after our hike and she’d have some ice cold, fresh juices and ice cream for us.

We had to go out toward the beach to pay their uncle, Paul, to allow us to go to the falls. His home isn’t much but the view is amazing! They charge $10 USD per person to hike the trail. The money they collect helps their small community of Hakaui and it was completely worth it. Walking through the village and then the jungle was lovely. We even Blog Waterhad to cross the river a few times. The water was about knee deep but it felt amazing! It was really cold and we were really hot. Along the way we ran across ancient ruins, tikis and other unique things. We never made it to the falls as us old folks just started losing steam. Linda has issues with RA so we decided once we reached the large opening where we could see part of the falls we would go back. Even at that we hiked almost two hours into the jungle.

Blog Waterfall2

~Blog EdBack in the village we stopped at Teiki’s home where his wife, Kau, made us fresh juice. Ed, Linda & I had pamplemouse and Dan had this yummy mango drink that was thick and ice cold. It was like they froze the mango then blended it. Dan & I each had a little ice cream as well. He had coconut and I had banana mango. She makes it fresh. Their home is very traditional Marquesan. The only closed in room is the kitchen and it doesn’t have a door. It just opens to the outside. They have a huge stand alone freezer so they obvioulsy get power. Didn’t see solar panels so I’m thinking it’s hydroelectric power like the other islands. There is a roof that covers the entire place and they sleep in tiny tents on the stone floor outside. They have a large picnic table under roof and they will make dinners for you there for a price. It’s sort of like we did in Fatu Hiva. They had a grill made of half a metal drum and on it they had a pig head boiling in a pot! YUCKY! It is amazing how little these people have yet they are all so happy and smiling. The photo of Ed sitting down is “inside” of their home. I use the word inside but as you can see…inside for them is still outside. Teiki came back to the house while we were there. He and Kau speak pretty good English. He started rearranging his spear guns and I felt a little uneasy. He had four of them and there were four of us…Were they feeding us food to make us more tasty??? Of course I’m joking and they were nothing short of gracious hosts. He even made certain to tell us not to eat the fish in the next anchorage as it has ciguatera. That’s something reef fish get and is common down here. You never eat reef fish in Polynesia without talking to the locals first. Pelagic fish like tuna, wahoo and mahi are always safe and that’s what we like anyway.

Blog D & JOf course we paid for the drinks, fruit and ice cream. We toted a whole slew bang of fruits back to the boat. The mangos here are different than in Florida. They are really sweet and a slightly different texture. I’ve never been a mango fan but these are starting to grow on me. Don’t tell Dan because I told him I would never like them.

Blog with ED & LinLast night we went to Ed & Linda’s boat for sundowners and she ended up making dinner for us as well. We had a really nice time. We do so enjoy hanging out with them. They are really good people and lots of fun!

Today we’ve been working on projects. Dan opened the coconut and got all the meat out and shredded it. I’ve dried it and tomorrow will be making macaroons. Tonight Ed & Linda are coming over here for dinner. Looking forward to another nice evening with them.

We’ll be leaving tomorrow to head north around the island. There’s another bay that is supposed to be the most awesome bay in all of the Marquesas. Well, you know, can’t pass that up.

Until Next Time,

Jilly