Monday, June 2, 2008

Baie Hanamoenoa onTahuata (should be called Manta Ray Bay because there are hundreds here)

June 2, 2008 Monday
Baie Hanamoenoa, Tahuata, Marquesas
09.54.50S; 139.06.31W    Distance sailed 47.5 NM

Yesterday we sailed from Fatu Hiva to the island of Tahuata.  Yet again, it was a rough trip.  At least this time the 20-25 knot wind was from behind rather than on our nose.  It rained off and on all day and the seas were fairly large, but it was not uncomfortable sailing since it was a broad reach.  The wind was coming too much from the south and we were unable to hold course to clear the southern tip of the island and had to gybe once.   Then it was straight north up the western side of the island of Tahuata.  Once in the lee of the island there was no wind at all so we turned on the engine and motored to the anchorage.  We trailed one fishing line for most of the day and caught only one thing ----- a red-footed booby!!  Other people catch fish and we catch a darn bird!  Luckily this bird had not bitten the lure, but his wing had the fishing line wrapped around the tip and he could not get free.  Bill reeled it in and managed to get the line unwrapped from the wing without getting pecked or scratched. 

First we stopped at Baie Hanatefau and anchored long enough to eat a late lunch.  This is a very deep anchorage until you are practically on shore, and the bottom is nothing but big rocks so it is impossible to get an anchor to set properly.  Our friends on S/V FREE SPIRIT had arrived in this anchorage an hour earlier.  They decided to leave and go to another bay farther north on Tahuata and we decided to follow them.  None of us would have slept well because we would have worried all night about the anchors.  S/V ESTRELLITA also arrived from Fatu Hiva and also decided to move to the northern anchorage.  So all 3 of us motored to Baie Hanamoenoa, which has a nice sand bottom and is quite calm.  No problem anchoring in this bay.  We arrived just before sunset.

BTW, I know these names are probably difficult for many of you.  Basically, in Polynesia you pronounce every single vowel in a word or name.  An “a” has the soft sound like aahhh.  An “e” has a long “a” sound like in Spanish.  An “i” sounds like a long “e”.  An “o” is usually a long “o”.  Now you can practice Hanamoenoa.  It might be easier to start with Tahuata.

Tomorrow we will return to Hiva Oa to pick up our Duty Free Fuel Permit.  This will allow us to purchase diesel for approximately $5 USD per gallon vs. the normal local price of about $8 USD per gallon.  And you people back in the states think you are paying a lot for gas or diesel! 

Not sure if we will visit any more of the Marquesan islands.  We have learned that the sail loft in Nuku Hiva will not be able to repair the UV panel on our genoa because the sailmaker is in Papeete and not expected to return soon.  So there is no point in us going 150 miles north to Nuku Hiva as there doesn’t appear to be anything there of particular interest to us,  We might head out for the Tuamotus soon after buying more diesel.  That is roughly 600 miles and we are ready to get started soon.  We are now about half-way to New Zealand and would like to get some more miles behind us. 

These logs are being updated to the website by our son Trey.  We send text emails via SSB radio and he updates the website for us.  That is why there are no photos yet.  Also, FWIW, earlier I had said that internet access costs $26 per hour.  That figure came from another cruiser who was here last month.  Well, he was way wrong!  Internet access really costs only $6 USD per hour.  You have to purchase a 10-hour card for roughly $60 USD; scratch off to get a code; and then go into the post office with your laptop to get internet access.  Others tell us that the service is excruciatingly slow.  It is about 2 ½ mile walk to town at Hiva Oa, mostly uphill and I do not want to walk 5 miles through hills just to spend hours on the internet.  Not likely that we will hang around Hiva Oa when we go to buy diesel tomorrow so photos will have to wait until we reach Tahiti. 

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