The anchorge at Atuona on Hiva Oa is picturesque but uncomfortable. You can see in the background of the title image the small Maintenance Marquises Boatyard where we hauled out and will leave Windward in December when we attend Caryn’s wedding.
Here is the picturesque part:
And here is the uncomfortable bit:
Because of the tight space, the shifting winds and the surging swell, you had to anchor close to other vessels and with a stern anchor out. Boats were dragging at all times of day and night. We were woken one morning by the frantic shouts of a single handing and venerable Dutch sailor who was trying to re-anchor and in the process had entangles his rudder on our stern anchor line. I had to dive down in the murky water, avoiding his turning prop and free the line for him.
Checkin with the French Polynesian authorities was painless and pleasant – one form, a smiling welcome and you got to post the form to Tahiti by yourself over the road at the Post Office.
We had several pleasant walks.
Another stroll took us up the hill behind town to the cemetry to see the graves of Gaugain and Brel; the rest of the cemetery was more interesting (short lifespans these folks) and had great views.
We re-provisioned heartily to replenish the stores depleted by over a month at sea but had our socks knocked off by the prices – much dearer than Europe.
Hiva Oa provided our introduction to the French Polynesian canoeing. It is THE sport here and the craft are very elegant. As we write, they are preparing for a major inter-island race.
The haul out at the yard was smooth and we managed to haul, clean the bottom, refresh the ant-fouling and install stainless steel reinforcing and repair the broken welds on the cockpit structure plus splash back in in 4 days.
Andreas and Helena of Wapiti kindly assisted us with the haulout process. UK Health and Safety would have freaked to see us required to stay on board throughout the haulout and move to the working stand. The yard is toi be recommended for price, service, resourcefulness and friendliness.
A last walk took us back to town and a visit to the local culture and crafts centre where lots of goods were on dispolay (no photos allowed, beautiful and far too expensive for us) and some external displays of Tikis and carvings.
Thereafter it was spalsh into the water and back to Tuahatu (where we bumped into the Diesel family on Argo) for a couple of days chill before the overnight sail to Nuku Hiva.