Friday, October 20, 2017

Nuku Hiva

We awakened to the thumping on our hull fairly early, it seemed.  Dashing around to find some shorts and ascending the companionway steps into the cockpit, a dinghy with crew of Myaluga had arrived with a welcome pouch of continental breakfast...bread, eggs, coffee, etc.  We thanked them profusely, had breakfast, then just looked around.  It's May 18th, we are in the Marquesas, French Polynesia, anchored in 60 feet of water in Taiohea Bay, Nuku Hiva....

Bailing out dinghy the first time...a sign of things to come.

First time off the boat in 50 days

Taking survey of the mess we made along the way

Arrival at the quay and office of Yacht Services
During our stay in Nuku Hiva, we spent a great deal of time with the owner/operators of Yacht Services, Kevin and Annabella.  We worked very hard together to get our engine working again.  But alas, after 2-1/2 months, no fix was to be had.  
One view from Yacht Services looking over the quay

The "meeting place" at the quay (Grand Quai)

Restaurant as we were leaving quay to head for "town"

So you don't get lost

On the main road looking right towards administration building

The Poste (post office)

Fruit market next to restaurant at the Quai
As we were warned prior to our departure from Mexico, it was expensive here!  Even with a fairly good exchange rate, it drained our piggy bank quite quickly.  But since there was no place else to go, we just absorbed it with smile :)  We were able to visit five different markets (Magasin) and found we had to visit almost all of them to get everything on our shopping lists, since they individually did not carry everything.  It was interesting to note that most of the foodstuffs were canned or frozen, with the exception of the baguettes, which were fresh daily and could be had if you got there early enough.  The fresh fruit market was also a fun experience and the fruits (and sometimes vegetables) were very reasonably priced.  Beer (and any other alcoholic beverage) was out of sight, compared with what we're used to.  An 11 oz. can of beer was $2.50 US.  Everything we bought was brought in by the by-weekly ferry/supply ship.  
Small market we nicknamed "the blue store"

Looking out at the anchorage from the blue store

The main road looking from front doors of the bank

Part of the harbor scenery from the boat

The local beer we brought back to the boat.
This bottle had a $.60 return fee attached
to it, so it behove us to bring it back to store.

The Quai as seen from the blue store

Walking up the hill from the blue store towards
 the hardware store

Met a new friend along the way to hardware store

Part of the fowl population...chickens everywhere!

The hardware store.  Surprisingly well stocked.

The regular supply ferry on the left and cruise ship on
the right in the harbor, viewed from Shakedown.

Another view of the Quai 

A view of Shakedown way out there at anchor

"The Map" created by Yacht Servies

Nancy liked picking these up all the time

Walking along the water front


Another view of monument

Heading up to a church (here looking back to harbor)

Believe this to be the largest church on the island

Ornate front doors, which we found slide on rollers and
were unlocked

The grounds around the church

Stonework was intricate and trademark of area

Inside the church 

View of "town" from hill behind the Quai

Up on the hill under statue of a
Tiki and her protector

Had to get the Captain into the act

The anchorage from 'tiki hill"

The tiki from the front....what you would see entering
the harbor

More 4-legged friends

The town pharmacy

What became a pretty steady staple for us during our
time in Nuku Hiva

Out-riggers participating in a race as they paddled by

Our tour guide and her van as six of us prepared to spend
the day seeing the sights on the other side of the island.

A good view of the bay and anchorage
Although there was a lot of work and running around to do, we did take a day to go on a guided tour of some other parts of the island.  We hooked up with crews of Bright Moments and Elevation  and shared in the cost of the tour.

Nancy, Jill & Paul (s/v Elevation), our guide,
and Jim (elbow) & Linda (s/v Bright Moments)

One of the north island inlets and anchorage

A valley view on north side

Another north island inlet.  The village there is where
we were going to for lunch

A spider flower (or some such latin verbiage)

Heading towards our luncheon

After lunch stroll along the waterfront

Still strolling

Strolled to this "quai" before turning around and getting
back into the van

Saw a few of these "ancient" villages, and suffered
the mosquitoes living in the soggy ground

A take-out-only pizza joint
There really weren't a lot of restaurants, so we mostly had our meals onboard, thus saving us probably considerable sums of money.  Did we mention everything is expensive?  Taking walks, when the opportunity and weather presented themselves, was a nice way to see the surrounding town.

Town cemetary

Shakedown as seen from the beach on other side of Bay
from Quai 

Finding more shells

Having climbed a large number of steps, we arrived
at the Pearl Lodge Hotel which consisted entirely
 of these "huts"

Office, restaurant, bar, and pool area

View from the hotel pool

More bailing!
The island had a month-long festival in July.  Restaurants moved from their normal place of business to the "fair grounds" and set up shop next to the town's auditorium, which is only about 300 yards or so from the quay.

Bella Pizza set up shop here.  We ate here a couple
of times.  Pizza was different, but tasty nonetheless and 

cost between $18-24 U.S., one size.

Many of the temporary plywood walls were hand
painted and very decorative

A group of "yachties" gathering for dinner and a show
during the month-long local festival.

Pre dinner livations and chatting

The paintings were awesome

Our host, Kevin, owner of Yacht Services (in red hat0

Friends Jim & Linda on their "Bright Moments" with their
dinghy "Tender Moments" preparing to leave Nuku Hiva

Nancy with Annabella, co-owner of Yacht Services,
and Kevin's wife

Hand painted chart of Marquesas

Inside Yacht Services.  Book lending library and
local clothing for sale.  Service desk at left

Annabella and Nancy 

Kevin fixing our shredded jib sail in his sail loft above
Yacht Services office

Nancy helping out with the jib job

Just getting ready for lunch at the fairgrounds

A strange place for a horse, but this is Nuku Hiva

This is what it looks like when you try to haul in your
anchor chain after it's been sitting in the water for two
and a half months

Difficult to pull over chain roller without first knocking
barnacles off with end of large screwdriver

Time to go....finally got chain cleaned enough to get
it up on deck.  Needed to clean it more before dropping
it into the chain locker
We were thinking of sailing straight to Tahiti to see if we could get engine repair help there, but we were down to our last two weeks on our 90-day visas, we were sure that the capital of French Polynesia would be more expensive than Nuku Hiva, and they didn't know if they had room for us at the boat yard, we decided to check out of the country and head directly for American Samoa, a 2,000 nautical mile sail away.  We were told there should be diesel mechanics there, since it was home tuna tuna fish cannery and they had a fleet of fishing boats.  And we could order parts, as it had a U.S. Post Office.  So, on Aug 5th, off we went.... 
Sunrise over Nuku Hiva the morning after we departed.