Food in Taiohae (Nuku Hiva, Marquesas)

June 8 – 12, 2012

Can you believe it?  We sail 3000 miles to a chain of tiny, remote, tropical islands and what do we do?  Eat pizza!

This was in Hiva Oa and what great pizza it was!  Three cheese pizza.  We’ve also been eating a lot of poisson cru – that’s raw fish in French.  It’s served coconut milk sauce with lots of great vegetables.   This is fine dining establishment (tent) where we’ve been getting our raw fish fix in Nuku Hiva…

And this is what it looks like when served with rice.


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Sundowner (Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas)

June 11, 2012

A long-standing tradition with cruisers is the sundowner – having a drink of some kind in the cockpit around sunset. Not only is sunset one of the prettiest times of the day, but it’s also a time when it’s cool enough to sit outside in the tropics without melting.

Cyndi brought a big case of Tecate and I thought she was being excessive with the beer supply. I was wrong, she was right. It turns out a Tecate with lime is a perfect drink for the tropics. You know how some foods or drinks just work or fail to work in some environments? Beer works. Now, as our supply runs low, we’re faced with the $3 per can price in the local stores. Ouch. Oh well, wine works and rum works and we still have lots left.

As we sleep and rise with the sun, we also find ourselves practicing the sun-upper in the cockpit but with coffee. (The coffee supply is also in jeopardy but it seems to be plentiful and not outrageously expensive in the local stores.) During this morning’s sun-upper, I heard what sounded to me like a gunshot. To Cyndi it sounded like a splash. She looked just in time to see a big shark thrash in the water behind us. Seconds later I saw the six-foot tall dorsal fin sticking out of the water and cruising along like a movie shark. (Rich, I think that’s six inches – not feet. Sorry, he has a tendency towards exaggeration. -Cyndi) We watched the shark fin cruise around the bay for a while. This is not a bay for swimming as there’s supposed to be quite a large shark population including hammer heads. We need to put a new zinc on our prop shaft but I think it can wait for clearer water and fewer teeth.   -Rich

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Hiva Oa to Ua Pou to Nuku Hiva (Marquesas)

June 6 – 8, 2012

(Pronounced Wa Poo or Wa Po depending on who you talk to.)

We pulled up the anchor just as the sun was setting a couple of days ago for an overnight sail (motor as it turned out) to Ua Pou. It was so nice that the bow and stern anchors came up easily as there is rumored to be much anchor-fouling stuff on the bay’s bottom and often, and as we found last time we left, other boat’s anchors can end up lying over yours in this crowded bay. There wasn’t much wind but we had hopes that it would pick up later in the night. It didn’t.

We motored for about 14 hours and the wind never did come up, but it was a lovely, warm, fairly smooth night. We took turns sleeping and keeping watch. The highlight for me was a star with undulating colors I’ve never seen before. From what I could tell with Google Sky on my phone, I think it was Procyon. The colors went quickly from purple, to teal, with shades in between and was bright and pure like monochromatic LED lights. Looking at it through the binoculars and wiggling them a bit, it would appear as a streak of changing colored light.

As the sun came up, we were off of Ua Pou and it’s amazing rock pillars. The highest is about 4040 feet. The early missionaries must have had a tough time convincing the natives that these were not phalli (as they seem to have done in Fatu Hiva when they instigated the name change from the Marquesan words for “Bay of Phalli” to “Bay of Virgins”).

Unfortunately, whatever the name, there was no room at the inn. The small anchorage near town was stuffed with boats. Now, wouldn’t you know it, the wind came up just before we entered the bay and was now blowing like crazy with big wind waves. We turned around and headed back out to sea into the wind and waves for the 7 mile trip to the next bay. There, we found room.

It turned out to be a nice anchorage, very beautiful with a great view of the many phalli but we only stayed for a night. The next morning, we headed the 25 miles north to Nuku Hiva. Guess what: no wind again. We motored the whole way.

Now we’re sitting in this wonderful, huge bay next to the what’s supposed to be the largest town in the Marquesas. We must be missing most of it so far – it has to be hidden away somewhere that only the locals are aware of – we’ll keep looking for the rest of it tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some pictures including a couple of pictures of the daily rainbows. -Rich

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