Almost Ready to Leave the Marquesas
04 June 2015 | Bay of Virgins, Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia
Since our last post from Controller Bay on Nuku Hiva, and since our long stay visas were not going to be ready for at least another week, we set off to Fatu Hiva, where the Bay of Virgins, the grail of the Marquesas, awaited. We spent three or four days there, and it was hard to tear ourselves away. The anchorage was truly breathtaking. The sail down there, 140 miles and 34 hours "to weather" was NOT fun, but the reward was more than worth it. We also met some really great new friends, David & Cindy and Richard & Pippy from two separate boats in that anchorage, Full Circle (USA) and Matelot (NZ), respectively.
When we left for Tahuata, an island next to Hiva Oa and about 40 miles NW, we had a spectacular sail (sleigh-ride) with about 18 - 20 knots of wind off our starboard quarter and flew up on a fantastic broad reach. Here we hooked up with Wavelength, who had just found and fixed a nagging overheating problem with their engine. So, we arrived to an invitation to a party that night on their boat. It turns out they invited the entire anchorage ... what a party on a 44' sailboat!!
After two nights at Tuahata, we needed to get back to Nuku Hiva to hopefully pick up our long stay visas, which were supposed to now be waiting for us. To avoid an overnight sail (only about 85 miles), we skipped up to a nice, but VERY rolly, anchorage on the northwest corner of Hiva Oa, then did a nice day sail (motor sail with light winds) to Ua Pou. What a surprise that island was! We can see it from our anchorage here in Taiohae and have always been curious about its very rugged profile, created by numerous ancient volcanic plugs. The island is only 10 miles long and 7 miles wide, but it soars to over 4000 in elevation for the plugs. We did a tour of a large part of the island with a local woman whom we met at lunch the previous day. She is a retired french teacher, avid gardener and knows just about everyone on the island. We had a wonderful time with her, ending at her home in the hills above the larger village for coffee, cake and just hanging and talking. Wonderful day!
So, here we are, back at Taiohae. We have our visas and can now plan our departure for the Toamotus. We have a few things to do before we head out, coupled with looking for a good weather window for what should be a relatively easy 3 1/2 day southwest passage to Raroia, our first stop.
The picture I am posting here is of our anchorage in the bay of Virgins. Absolutely the most beautiful anchorage we've ever been in. The map location included in this post is also of that anchorage, although we are now about 120 miles NW of that location at Nuku Hiva.