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We spent 2 weeks in various anchorages along the south side of Nuku Hiva, then crossed 20 miles south to the island of Ua Pou, where we spent another 3 weeks.   Unfortunatly, Nuka Hiva had biting no-no flies at all the beaches which tainted the experience significantly.   We didn't have a problem with no-no's in Ua Pou except at one beach that we hiked to just east of Hakahau.  We'd hoped to make it to Ua Huka, but the wind was always blowing the wrong way or not at all.

Carter with a local stone carving in Taiohe Bay, and Ellie showing off a big pamplemouse (grapefruit)

Daniels Bay

A few days after we arrived at Nuku Hiva, we took a daytrip to the next bay east of Taiohae.   We anchored right in front of the beach in Hakatia Bay where Survivor Marquesas (the first one) was filmed, then dinghied over to the adjacent "Daniels Bay" (Anse Hakaui).  We were shown around by Daniel, who has lived there for 80 years.   We followed an ancient Polynesian road (path) 3-4 miles up into a valley that ends at the bottom of Vaipae,  one of the highest waterfalls in the world.  The cliffs rise straight up 800m (2400ft) on either side of the lush valley, making for some pretty spectacular scenes!  Occasionally along the trail there would be enormous stone foundations of ancient settlements (pae pae's), and carved stone tiki.



Cool Plants grow everywhere 

It's amazing to see plants that are sold as houseplants in the States just growing wild along the sides of roads.  Every family grows the fruit they need in their yards (breadfruit and bananas mostly), therefore no fruit is sold in stores or markets.   Fortunately, the people on Ua Pou were generous and gave us plenty.

Breadfruit                                                                 Bananas on the "stalk"
(cook /tastes like a soccer ball sized potato)

Local friendly pig...                                                 Mangos
OK, not a plant, but it was eating them!

All the yards have pretty flowers                                Noni, which is used for medicinal purposes.

Picture gallery (Ua Pou)

Sunset                                                                             Baie D'Hakahau, Ua Pou Island

3 beach walks worth of shells                                      Piroque races

Spectacular rock formations on Ua Pou                    Carter with his friends (now THAT's a Papaya!)

This cowrie was alive so we let 'im go                        Rock formation at Baie Hakautu

Mending fences on "Dinosaur Ranch"                        The canoe club in D'Hakahau

Pae Pae (ancient stone house foundation)                                Supply ship Aranui IV squeezing into a very small space

Baie D'Hakahetau                                                                        "Flower Stones" from Hohoi

We really enjoyed Ua Pou, and decided that we prefer to spend more time in one place and get to know it, than to move around a lot and see a little bit of many different places.  We've been out for nearly a year and are still learning how to be travelers.

After a week in D'Hakahau we decided to see other parts of Ua Pou.  I was particularly interested in going to Hohoi, where stones can be found on the beach that have crystalline formations shaped like flowers.  We stopped in Hohoi for a few hours and I swam ashore through the surf because it was too rough for a dinghy landing.  I combed the beach for about half an hour, but wasn't really sure what to look for.  I eventually had to admit defeat and return to the boat so we could find a calm place to anchor for the night.  That proved a bit more difficult that we'd anticipated since the swell seemed to wrap all the way around the whole island and come straight into all the bays that looked like they would have offered some protection.  We debated heading for Tahuata Island overnight (about 65 miles), but just couldn't bring ourselves to motor upwind that far.  Just as it was getting dark we pulled into Anse Hakaotu, a very narrow bay with just enough room for one boat, but deep enough to get us out of the swell.  The next day we went exploring along a rock shelf just at water level.  We came upon some of the best tidepools we've ever seen  - like viewing an aquarium filled with tropical fish, some moray eels and all sorts of hermit crabs and snail shells.  Just inland from the head of the bay we found an abandoned shack and a grove of lemon trees.  A bit further into the jungle we found ancient ruins (more Pae-pae's and stone structures).  Quite a fabulous place!  The only downside there were the many mosquitoes in the jungle and the lack of a nice beach - landing the dinghy on a steep beach of rocks the size of soccer balls required careful timing and quick disembarking to keep in from sliding back down when swell recedes.  The poor hard dingy has many new scratches on it's bottom now... 


A few days later we left Hakaotu with the wind on the nose (it had been all the way around the island!).  We got tired of beating into it so turned around and came back to Vaiehu (3/4 miles from Hakaotu) for the night.  One night in Hakahetau, then back to Hakahau completing our "circumnavigation of Ua Pou".   Most of the waters around the island are uncharted, and we didn't have decent wind the whole way around.  Although we saw some spectacular scenery and had some great times, we were glad to be back in a reasonably protected anchorage again.

Wyndeavor and Aurora B joined us in Ua Pou about a week before we left.  Tom on Aurora B is amazing in his ability to walk up to anyone and start a conversation... it helps immensely that he's fluent in French.  We'd all gone in to the "town hall" to inquire about renting a car/truck/Landrover to drive back to Hohoi.  I wanted another chance at finding a "flower stone" there!  When he was done we had arrangements for a guided tour to Hohoi the next morning.  It was fabulous.  Our guide, Heato Teikiehuupoko (pronounced Hey-Ah-Toe - you're on your own for the pronunciation of his last name!), is a  Marquesan in his early 20's who is a descendant of the last king.  His father is the cultural minister for the island, and he was proud to show and tell us history, myths and customs of his ancestors.  We did find flower stones, but that was only a small part of what made the tour wonderful.  We made arrangements to eat a traditional Marquesan dinner the following night at his parents restaraunt.  Kellie volunteered to watch all the kids and the rest of us had poisson cru (raw fish in coconut milk), goat in coconut milk, breadfruit "pasta" and boiled bananas.


I'd been watching the weather forecasts for weeks waiting for decent wind for the 450 mile passage to the Tuamotus.  We listened to several boats on the SSB radio that had to motor most of the way there due to no wind.  Finally the trade winds sorted themselves out and it was time to go. 

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