Sunday, June 03, 2012

Exploring a uncharted bay. Meeting the locals. 30lbs of Fruit.

June 2, 2012
Anchorage Position: 08°47.3235 S 140°10.7403 W (8 meters sand)

Baie Hakaehu, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, South Pacific

Looking for a new adventure we sailed from Baie D' Anaho in hopes of discovering a good anchorage along the mostly uncharted North coast of Nuka Hiva. Sailing South Pacific waters always provides adventure and we found plenty by poking into the many bays that have never been hydro-graphically surveyed. It takes good mid-day light, as you don't want a glare off the water, and attentive 'eyeball' navigation to avoid lurking hazards. After checking out a few bays we found a great anchorage at the head of Baie Hakaehu in 8 meters sand with excellent holding.

 Dugout canoe on the beach at Baie Hakaehu with LightSpeed at anchor in the bay beyond.

Heading ashore it was an easy surf landing on a fine sand beach with knee high waves. Pulling the dinghy up the beach was a bit of a struggle in the soft sand. Even if our dinghy wheels weren't broken they wouldn't have worked in this type of, sink when you step, soft sand.

Walking through a grove of lime trees we entered a horse pasture and picked up an ancient stone lined road that led inshore. A Marquesan home sat a few hundred yards from the beach. Then up ahead a car appeared from the jungle and cruising friends from s/v Miss Goodnight piled out. It's a small island, but this was a bit of a surprise. Apparently, they were on a self guided island tour and had made a few turns off the main road and were now a little lost. A short time later the property owner arrived home with a slight look of concern on seeing 6 foreigners standing in his yard. His concern was short lived and he happily offered driving directions.

We said hello (M.) 'Kaoha Nui' and asked permission take a walk (M.) 'hee taha' around the property that was brimming with ancient Marquesan stone house foundations (M.) 'Paepae' and stone walls and walks. The property is really quite spectacular and chock full of fruit trees heavy with Mangos, limes, lemons and several other fruits of unknown name, bread fruit trees abound. A fresh water spring wells out of the ground into an ancient stone lined rectangular pool. The locals were super friendly, inviting us into their home they filled our bags with over 15 lbs of fruit and then encouraged us to pick anything we like on the property. In the end we had 30 pounds (as measured by our fish scale back on the boat) of limes, breadfruit, lemons, mangos, bananas, pompelmouse and some other weird looking tasty fruits.

We asked all the usual questions, like how's the fishing in the bay, is it ok to swim, etc. They advised the fishing was good, but that there are sharks. We discussed the shark attack of the young boy of which they were well aware. Launching the dinghy we had a shark cruise by with his fins out the water in a very 'Jaws' like fashion. Not sure if we're going to be doing much more swimming in the Marqueses.

That's it for now.

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