A Place of Our Own
05 November 2019 | Baie Marquisienne, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
After several days hiking and surf swimming in the Anaho Bay area we decided to check out the snorkeling on the drier west coast so we sailed round until we found a small nick at the southern end of the west coast that had a sandy bottom to anchor and sufficient protection from the ever-present swell. We are at the head of a steep valley with no roads or trails visible so we have seen no-one apart from a distant fishing boat on the horizon. It is certainly peaceful, just us, the birds and the fish, and fish there are a plenty.
The snorkeling is challenging but very rewarding. The cliffs drop straight into the water which is full of large boulders. There is too much surge to secure the dinghy so we have to swim over from the boat. Once at the rocky edge we need to get used to being swept from side to side but there are plenty of fellow travelers. The place is loaded with fish, many of which we have not seen before in such large numbers. The school pictured are Fusiliers but there are numerous schools of fish such as grunts, tangs and surgeon fish that we have previously only seen in ones and twos and there are many small and interesting individuals such as the spotted box fish. The visibility is not up to Tuamotus standards but it is better than anything we have seen in the Marquesas to date. Underwater photography is particularly challenging in the surge but I'm getting a few passable shots that I will upload once we get back to 'civilization' later in the week.
It looks more interesting Down deep here than we have seen previously and we have two full dive tanks so we are planning our first scuba dive in a while for tomorrow morning. Apart from getting in the water there is not much to do here. The beach is steep pebbles and the scrub behind it looks impenetrable. In the past we would launch the dinghy and head to the beach as soon as the anchor was secure. Now, after a few longer passages, we seem to be content on the boat or in the water and we may well leave here without touching land.
Life onboard has settled into a routine of swimming, snorkeling, reading, processing photos and relaxing. The basic chores go on, washing a few clothes, meal prep, cleaning the boat, making water but major boat projects are on hold until we can get some supplies.
We will probably head round the corner to Daniel's Bay after the dive tomorrow. There is likely to be a few other boats there and there is a farm where we can stock up on fresh vegetables.