It all started back at our adopted Southern Marquesan home, Baie Hanamoenoa, Tahuata, where we waited for our friends on Flying Cloud. This is not such a hardship and we’re getting good at swimming with the six foot Manta rays but most of our friends have left and we have the feeling that the “dead pig” has drifted past the boat again. Getting wifi was definitely on our agenda and we want to visit a few places on the way up to Nuku Hiva where rumor has it they’ve heard of such things. But first you have to leave.
It will be hard to tear ourselves away from this place but after our poorly attended six a.m. swim with the rays — apparently it’s too early even for the rays — we weighed anchor and motored out of the bay, crossed the nasty Canal du Bordelais and found our home for the night in Baie Hanamenu on the north shore of Hiva Oa. In twenty knots of wind on the nose we fought our way in through the stunning entrance to the bay and dropped anchor all alone right in the middle. The surge was bad so we thought tomorrow morning might give us a better shot at landing cat-nip on the rocky shore.
Maybe it was the remoteness of the place, heavy surf, or the fact that cap-nip is a little overweight at 375 lbs and fitting fold down wheels to its angular transom is impossible. Regardless, in the morning it still looked dicey so we had a leisurely breakfast on the lido deck and waited for inspiration.
It came in the form of a new plan. We would sail fifty five miles north to Ua-Huka and check out Baie d’Hane. It was a beautiful day but this would be a late start. Sails up, motor off, ah yes. The plan was to sail until it looked like we weren’t going to make it in the daylight and then motor-sail if the predicted winds didn’t fill in. It would be a close thing. In my defense I have to say that it was a gorgeous sail, the winds were late and so was turning on the motor. As we closed with Baie D’Hane dark clouds hid everything in a gathering gloom, except for a cone shaped spire called Motu Hane that guards the entrance. It was not a close thing. I tell you, dear Escapees, that it is agony how long it takes to finally enter a bay after it looks like you’re almost there.
Pitch black with a couple of disturbing lights, most likely cars on shore but the chart shows a lighted buoy just off Motu Hane which rumor has it, was not working lately making it a collision hazard. We drew straws and Eagle-eye Marce lost so she went forward with a flash light to sweep the area just in front of Escape Velocity as we crept into the blackness. Never saw the buoy but the pounding surf all around us was certainly disconcerting. Finally the depth sounder said good enough and we dropped anchor in thirty feet. Switching off the motors we looked at each other and with a heavy sigh of relief said OK, never again. We tried to make sense out of the blackness but like Captain Ron says,”I wonder where we are?” We’re not going to find out until tomorrow so it was the Skipper’s duty to produce dinner. I went with my signature meal, spaghetti and red sauce and before I could put the pot on to boil M. announced, “We are logged onto the Internet!”
Life is good.