We arrived, after 25 days at sea, in Hiva Oa, French Polynesia. It was certainly a welcome sight and one neither of us will ever forget. We fell in love with the Marquesas, their fascinating history and charming people. Of course the scenery was unforgettable as well. Some beaches had beautiful and crystal clear water while others were covered in hot, black sand. There were engaging, lush tropical forests that led up steep mountains providing us with the most amazing views and there was even an area known as the Grand Canyon of the Marquesas that was covered with trees you’d expect to see in Northwestern USA, not on a tropical island. Yes, the Marquesas are a magical and wondrous place to visit. We feel blessed we had an opportunity to visit.
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Atuona & Puama’u
Thw little village of Atuona was a wonderful place to reconnect with some of our friends who had come from Mexico on the Pacific Puddle Jump. Everyone spent time telling stories of their travels and catching their breath before heading out to explore the rest of the Marquesas.
One day we rented a car with some friends and drove a most treacherous road to the northeastern part of the island at Pauma’u. The road was narrow, windy and at many parts hanging off of a cliff over the ocean. It was a pretty interesting time and the marae in Pauma’u. There they have the second largest tiki in all of Polynesia. The largest is on Easter Island.
Dan & Jilly got the obligatory tattoo to celebrate the crossing. It’s something neither of us thought we’d ever do but we’re thrilled with the results.
The Village of Hanaipa and the Hanaipa Yacht Club
We just had to stop at this place. We’d read about it in all the cruiser guides. It’s a very small village on the northern coast of Hiva Oa. Why stop? Well there’s a man named William who is the founder of the Hanaipa Yacht Club. HYC is really just a name he calls his home. He has a sign out there and all. William was born here and at 70 years old knows everything about the village and island. He loves to meet people from other parts of the world so he invites yachties to stop in and visit. We absolutely LOVED meeting William. He showed us book after book where cruisers had signed in and left their comments and cards. We even saw some people in there that Dan knew from Mexico who had come through years earlier. William share bread and juice with us and even sent us back to Dazzler with a huge stalk of bananas and some other fruits. We adored William and were delighted that we stopped in. Unfortunately we only stayed in the village for a few hours as we left later that evening to head to the Tuamotus.