Oh so magical
19 April 2016 | Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
April 13, 2016. We made landfall in Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands. 3,500 miles traveled from Mexico in 26 days, 1 hour, 21 minutes.
The last few days of our passage felt like 10 days! And, the squall gods decided to give us one final gift the last night of our passage. So, the second we spotted land the tears flowed from my eyes uncontrollably. Our passage was an endurance test – and so much more.
The sun was rising as we approached land and began to wake up the magnificent bright green island. As we pulled into the anchorage a Manta Ray with a 10’ wingspan swam right along side the boat to remind us we were someplace magical. We were greeted by our friends John & Diane on Konami, and Tim from Sababa stopped by to congratulate us. We compared passage notes and confirmed that misery does love company ☺ – we were somewhat relieved to hear that others described this as a very challenging passage.
Not surprisingly, our first couple of days was spent recuperating. As we anchored, one of the boats in the anchorage brought over a bucket filled with two ice-cold beers, a pamplemousse (giant grapefruit), an avocado, and green beans. Our friends John & Diane added more veggies. You might recall the only veggie we’d had for the past week was cabbage, so our curry veggie dinner was a treat!
As if our 26-day passage was not adventure enough, after a brief recuperation period, we rented a 4-wheel drive truck with John & Diane and explored this magnificent island. My only request for the day was that I not be scared – request NOT granted! There is a reason everyone owns a 4-wheel drive! We made our way across the island to a wonderful beach. There we met two people on a tractor. We asked where we could pick fruit – and next thing I know, we’re at their home. We left with papaya, pamplemousse, limes, a huge stock of bananas, and honey – from the hives in their yard.
We have spent our week here exploring the village, listening to local music, and hanging with fellow cruisers. It’s about a 2-mile walk to town. Often we are given a ride by locals who are beautiful, and gracious. Just today, Tonya, pulled off the side of the road to show us wild pumpkin growing and told us how to cook the flowers from the vines.
Tomorrow we will pull up anchor and head a short 2.5 miles to the island of Tahuata. We hear that the anchorages on this island are the most beautiful in all of the Marquesas Islands. We haven’t been able to swim at this anchorage – it’s not clear because a river runs into it, and more importantly, because there are sharks! Just yesterday, a fellow cruiser was in his dingy moving the paddles around and a shark came up and bit the paddle! Yikes. Now I’m really nervous getting out of the dinghy into the boat…do not fall in!
Internet is almost non-existent here, so we’ll do our best to upload photos along the way. Check out the new images in our gallery. They capture what words fail to do.
Susan & Rob