Daniel’s Bay On Nuka Hiva

Hakatea Bay, also known as Daniel’s Bay is on the southern coast of Nuka Hiva and just an hour or so west of Taiohae Bay. The entrance can be tricky but not as much going in as coming out. Going in you are typically going with the swell. Coming out is a different story. The good news is that the pass is deep and as long as you stay in the middle you’ll be just fine. The bay itself has excellent holding in a muddy bottom and offers great protection from weather. If you’ve been in Taiohae Bay for any amount of time you’ll likely enjoy the flat water here.

This is also widely known as the place where the Survivor TV show was filmed and it’s easy to see the influence they made on the island. There are signs and other items that wreak of “Hollywood” but the village is still very quaint and enjoyable.

We stayed here for several days with our friends Ed & Linda of SV One Fine Day. It’s a wonderful and peaceful place and we were blessed not to have a lot of other cruisers in the anchorage. The most we had were five and there’s plenty of room for many more.

One day we went to shore to the village so we could hike to the famous waterfalls. There’s a a fee and protocol that should be followed if you wish to go there. CLICK HERE to read our article that will give you all of the ins and outs. Be sure to take Kua and Teiki up on their offer of fresh juice, ice cream and fruit. Her homemade ice cream is super refreshing after a long hot hike! As always, there’s a price to pay for it but it’s worth it to get a chance to visit their home and learn about their village and culture. And don’t worry….Teiki is really a very kind man. Don’t judge him by his tattoos and teeth carved to look like fangs. He’s just a very nice, down to earth islander who will happily offer you many tips for traveling around the island.

The hike to the falls is not awfully difficult as long as you are reasonably fit. Jilly, with her asthma in the hot and humid jungle, had little trouble. That said it does have some steep uphill spots with wet, slippery undergrowth. You will have to cross a creek so wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet.

Full disclosure here…we didn’t complete the hike. We stopped at the overlook where we could see the falls and since there hadn’t been much rain it was a bit underwhelming so going the distance didn’t seem necessary. Also, we understand that getting to the base of the falls requires walking waste deep in another creek filled with freshwater eels. Our party just wasn’t into all that so we turned around at the overlook and headed back to Teiki and Kua’s place for some fresh fruit juice and tasty, homemade ice cream.

We do suggest that you refrain from swimming here unless you don’t mind being shark bait. This bay is literally teeming with sharks! We saw more here in a few days than we did the entire way from Mexico to New Zealand. Granted most of them were Black Tips but we did encounter a five foot Hammerhead and our friend had a four to five foot Bull shark attack his fish while he was fishing in his inflatable. The water here was a bit murky due to runoff from the rain on the mountains so we decided we’d just stick to dipping our toes in the water on shore and cooling off with a shower on deck.

Interestingly enough, Teiki told us he doesn’t even worry about the sharks. He and his son go spear fishing in the bay all the time. Somehow the thought of having a dead, bleeding fish on a stringer floating behind me in a bay where I personally saw dozens of sharks just doesn’t appeal to me. Of course I’m not looking back at them with a smile of teeth that are carved to look like fangs either. LOL

We absolutely loved our stay at Daniel’s Bay and highly recommend it to other cruisers. Go ashore and enjoy the wonderful people there, the hikes and all that this wonderful place has to offer.

Click below to see more images of our visit to Daniel’s Bay.