Loading Map

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hanavave, Fatu Hiva

On Sunday we traveled 45 miles from Hiva Oa to Fatu Hiva. There have been up to 25 other boats anchored here with us which is a little tight for this deep bay. But yesterday the French Customs boat arrived and boarded every boat to check their papers. Because we had already checked into French Polynesia at Hiva Oa our paperwork is in order. But most of the boats made landfall here first (many from the Galapagos) and Customs has given them 24-48 hours to do their proper check-in elsewhere. So we are expecting to have the anchorage mostly to ourselves by tonight, although there are a few other boats who have also checked in to the country.

Last night around 30 cruisers "went out" to dinner at a local's house. Philip and Danielle of S/V Sweet Surrender arranged to have a meal served for 1,700 CFP per person (the CFP is about 92 to one dollar at the moment, so the dinner was $38 for two). We ate bite-sized pieces of very tender chicken (complete with splintery bones), bite-sized pieces of leathery beef, and melt in your mouth pieces of raw tuna, all of which were prepared in coconut milk. These were served with spaghetti pasta and rice, and on the tables were plates of whole steamed bananas, breadfruit, a shredded white vegetable with dressing to accompany it, and dried bananas sprinkled with coconut for dessert. We appear to be the only U.S. flagged boat in the anchorage so the evening was full of broken English, which we find ourselves speaking as well, as we try to "dumb down" our very complicated language for non-native speakers. John took his ukulele and sat in with our host after dinner for a mini jam session. Along with a six-string tenor uke, Serge brought out his Marquesan ukuleles from Ua Huka. He says he has too many ukes and he wanted to sell the 10-string, beautifully carved one (complete with mermaids), but at 40,000 CFP ($435 USD) his price is too steep for us.

We enjoyed our stay in Atuona (Hiva Oa) where we mostly caught up on the chores of reorganizing the boat for living aboard (as opposed to passage making), cleaning, laundry, refueling, and walking into town every day for cash at the one bank in town and to buy baguettes, New Zealand canned butter, pate, and our favorite Sao water crackers. We met cruisers on a few boats while we were there and took breaks from the chores to do some socializing with them. Since we had toured the island so thoroughly in 2009, we opted to save our sightseeing money for another island. We may make a trip by truck from Hanavave to Omoa. We made the trip by boat last time, but I would really like to see what the views are like from land. Several people have made the four and a half hour walk one-way, but John and I both know our limits and we are not up to that just yet!


{GMST}10|28.908|S|138|40.071|W|Fatu Hiva|Hanavave{GEND}