Our last 4 days in Taioa Bay
18 June 2012 | Nuka Hiva, Marquesas
Our last 4 Days in Taioa Bay (Daniels Bay).
The morning started with us wanting to get the halyard out of the rigging. To do this we first must drop the jib off the roller reefer to access the jib halyard. When we started to open the jib to do this, the wind immediately picked up and started slapping the jib around the deck uncontrollably, so we rolled it back up and called it a day. Since it was still early, we decided to go for a walk through the jungle to a well-known 2000 foot tall waterfall, called Vaipo waterfall.
As we were rowing to the beach in the dingy, we passed one of the other boats in the bay, and they invited us to a potluck around a beach campfire that night. Since it had been about a week since we have been social, we accepted. After the row in to the beach, in our bay, we tied the dingy to a tree and walked about half a mile to the other bay, which has the start of the trail to the waterfall and the water faucet to fill our water bottles. A side note..the beach in our bay is white sand, the other bay is black.
While filling our water, an Islander approached and asked if we were American (guess it shows?). Turns out that's the only English she knew. But we lumbered through by pointing and gesturing and finally had a two sentence conversation over the span of half an hour (we really need to work on our French). After which, she invited us to have dinner at their house for a home cooked Polynesian meal when we finished our hike. SCORE! Her and her husband gave us a ride to their home, which was on the path to the hike. Prior to letting us go on the hike; she forced us to drink lemonade and gave us fresh bananas and some deep fried bananas for the hike.
The hike was pretty and featured a dense tropical landscape with the occasional broad vista of the volcanic spires that dominate the island. The waterfall can only be seen from about 40 minutes prior to arrival at the base, due to its height and the way in which it falls. Upon arrival at the base of the falls, we were only able to see the bottom 40'. The pool was very cool and refreshing with a grotto below a rock that you must first swim under. The most unique thing about this area for us was the 1-4inch lobsters. If we remained still, they would swim onto our feet and legs (any submerged bare skin) and start eating the dead skin. While fun to watch and experience, Tom had problems staying still because they tickled and occasionally grabbed a yet to die piece of skin from a very sensitive part of the foot or ankle. But it was very neat and we got a good movie to show the family.
Upon returning to Monet and Martinese's home, we were greeted with flowers and a table full of food. She had made a bowl of poison cru (pronounced pwa-san), which is raw fish in coconut milk and spices and was awesome despite how it sounds. Then there was a bowl of fresh mancot in a sweet syrup, which was also very good. Some boiled breadfruit, this we didn't think much of, it was bland and a little chewy. And she also had lemonade and a plate full of deep fried bananas which Tom eats like potato chips. While having our after dinner coffee, they invited us back for breakfast in two days. We gladly accepted then tried to go but she wouldn't let us leave without taking two nice pieces of her Tupperware full of deep fried bananas (she noticed Toms love for these), and a bowl of mancot in syrup and two mangos. It was very much like your mom/grandma pushing thanksgiving leftovers at you. Just as we were leaving, Monet asked what types and how much of any fruit Monica would like for the boat so she can get it for us. Just way too kind.
After rowing back to the boat, we had to change clothes and head off to the beach for the campfire potluck where we met with most of the occupants of the 8 vessels in the bay. While at the fire, we had several people tell us they would help with our halyard if we needed it, but we politely declined, being certain we would have it done in the next day or so. (more on this later)
The next morning we awoke and brought down the jib halyard to prep for mama to go up the mast. We discovered that our jib halyard was almost completely chaffed through...not good. Out comes the sewing kit and repairs followed. By the time that was done we were tired so we spent the rest of the day continuing our fast paced life of sitting on our butts and reading. We did get up for a while to row over the coral reef for a bit and watch the sea life, then back to the mother ship. That evening, we were treated to a group of giant manta rays swimming around Tanga for hours until sometime after sunset; it was really beautiful to see these creatures swim so elegantly.
On the third day, we were up early to go back to Monet and Martinese's home. The same great food was given to us, with the exception of the breadfruit. After our after-meal coffee, Monet gave Monica as much fruit as we could carry (mangos, bananas, limes, pompanos). Then she invited us back but we really need to get moving so we had to decline. We filled our water jugs and headed back to the boat to finish the main halyard project.
Once we got into the bay we found that the winds and swell picked up so Monica politely (it really wasn't polite, but this is a family website so I can't repeat the dialogue used to refuse) declined to ascend the 50'. Around sundown, two of the American couples from the other night, at the campfire, rowed up and stated "You have an American flag off your stern, but still have that halyard hanging in your rigging, it's just embarrassing. Can we help you take care of this now?!?" This was the chance Monica's been waiting for; she couldn't say yes and thank you quick enough! So Tom hoisted up Alex who is very experienced at mast work and not bothered at all by heights or a rolly anchorage, and with Robins help, the three of us got the halyard untangled and down in 5 minutes. That night was closed with another campfire on the beach.
On day 4, our last day, we moved Tanga closer to the side of the bay that has the water faucet. It made our last 3 rowing trips much closer and easier in order for us to completely fill our water tank. Now with 120 gallons of water in the tank and an additional 30 gallons in jugs, we can live off the grid for another month or two without the need for another fill up.
On Sunday, after our morning coffee, we picked up the anchor and motored the 5 miles back over to Taiohae Bay. We are back in civilization with paved roads, stores and internet. We will be here for a few days, getting our 2nd propane tank filled, doing laundry and purchasing some supplies. We will also be checking the weather grib files to see when we will be leaving for the Tuamotu's.