Ua Pou (that's "wa-poo")
10 May 2008 | Ua Pou, Marquesas
After a very pleasant night passage we arrived in Hakahau Bay on the island of Ua Pou. Unfortunately we arrived just after the Aranui 3, a 250 foot combination cargo ship/cruise ship. The arrival of this larger ship necessitated a bit of a scramble as there were several boats anchored in the protection of the breakwater that needed to up anchor and get out of the way. So we pulled in and immediately joined a marine version of musical chairs before finally setting the anchor.
Once ashore we were told that because of the presence of the cruise ship passengers, the locals were putting on a Marquesan music and dance demonstration later in the morning. So we headed to the market to track down our new favorite food- fresh baguettes- and then found our way to the "paepae" to watch the terrific dance demonstration. The women and the men danced separately and together. The women danced very gracefully, telling stories with their arms and hands. The men's dancing was much more war-like: lots of shouts, lunges and pounding of flesh. With their muscular bodies and impressive tattoos you get the feeling you wouldn't want to be a missionary arriving on a bad day.
The anchorage there was a bit rolly- there were too many boats in the small bay to allow us to shelter behind the breakwater- so after a couple days we headed around to Hakehetau Bay on the northwest side of the island. We enjoyed going ashore to the village but again a bit of a roll in the anchorage made our nights less than restful so we decided it was time to head north to the island of Nuku Hiva. Before leaving for Nuku Hiva, however, we wanted to take on some water. Although we've been running our water maker it hasn't been enough to keep up with our usage (we need to be a bit more conservative!) and so we were down to about 30 gallons. And we definitely wanted more than that before we set off for the Tuamotus. We heard from another boat that the water in the main bay on Nuku Hiva is contaminated, but there is potable water on the wharf at Hakahau. So we devised a plan to have Tin Soldier, who also needed water, stern-tie to the wharf and we rafted to them. A couple hours later we both had full water tanks and clean decks. Out here there's no better feeling.
But I still have my bites.