Sunday, May 14, 2017

When the novelty of paradise begins to tarnish. Nuku Hiva

May 4th -12, Anaho Bay, Nuku Hiva

Two and a half weeks ago, after 24 days at sea we could have anchored on an overgrown anthill and been happy. After a week in Taiohae we opted to seek refuge from the relentless rain and dirty bay by sailing to the northern side of the island and dropping anchor in Anaho Bay. 

Anaho Bay was the ideal place to drop the hook for a week with buddy boats and begin to relish in the motivation behind crossing an ocean. In the Marquesas however, paradise has a price. Am I about to complain? Maybe. After 24 days at sea, sailing 2800 I feel I deserve to gripe. Or as I see it, tell the truth.

Upon arriving in Anaho we met a man from the "village", Leopauld. We asked him if we could use the newly built community shelter on the beach to grill SV Beach Flea's tuna and have a bonfire. He was more than happy to host our party, enjoy a plate full of fresh fish and tell us about the area. Like most locals who have mastered speaking English, he had worked at a relative's Inn in Tahiti. One perk to Anaho Bay is the fresh spring water that pours out of spickets available to use. With a small break from the constant downpours, we still had fresh showers, water for dishes and laundry available. 

Gorgeous? Yes! Infested with biting insects? Double yes! Within 24 hours most of us were covered in bites and welts. You would have thought an outbreak of measles had hit our group. Conversations began to revolve around who had the biggest welt or who had scratched themselves to the point of a blood draw.  Deet is almost no match for these soul sucking parasites. 

The water in the bay was murky most days making snorkeling a worthless activity. Most of us snorkeled as a way to avoid the blood sucking bugs not caring that we weren't going to see much underwater. The day after the full moon, the bay was littered with whatever giant manta rays like to eat. Spotting a school in excess of 30 rays, the entire fleet was swimming amung them. Some rays had wingspans of well over 8 feet, all basking as the glided past us. 

If you find yourself in Anaho Bay do the hike that leads to what appears to be a cell phone tower (it's not). The views from the saddle will almost make you forget of the bug infested, mud up to your ankles, sweat out of every pore producing hike. 

Anaho Bay

Our banana score during the hike 

From Anaho Bay you can continue the same mud/bug hike that takes you to the saddle and continue down the hill to the other side taking you into Hatiheu Bay, which hosts a sizeable village and more importantly, an archological site. While the entire fleet made the hike up and over the saddle, Phil, Emma and I sailed Terrapin over to the next Bay, a quick 45 minute "sail". There was positively, absolutely, no fricking way I was going to give anymore blood to insects while sloshing through mud. I pulled the princess card, and although a few other cruisers throught I was silly, they were also quick to get a ride back aboard Terrapin rather than hiking back! 

SV Terrapin with a turtle tiki
Something I applaud Phil and myself for, is the ability to convince people they need to dress up for a redneck, white trash, hillbilly party. Our first "almost annual white trash" party began back in 2000. One of our many beach parties in Anaho Bay was "Hillbilly Happy Hour". Being totally honest, Phil and I were really just looking for a platform for Daryl off SV Cape D to display his oversized elk belt buckle and oilskin hat. I mean, who the hell sails sporting a giant elk belt buckle? That dude! The picture doesn't properly display everyone's attire, but everyone wore something fun. That night was about when I began to wonder if Leopauld was regretting letting us borrow his property for our parties.

Despite murky, muddy water, an insane amount of bugs, welts the size of golf balls, we had a great time. Sometimes paradise isn't defined by nature's beauty but by the memories you're creating with other cruisers. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Daniels Bay, Nuku Hiva. aka Paradise

The word on the street is that one has to visit Daniels Bay a short hour away from Taihae. Sailing into the bay it was as if we were entering a movie scene. Our eyes met  emerald green cliffs with waterfalls spilling off all sides. Stunning beauty. 

While my pictures are pretty, they don't do ant justice. It's been raining since we got here and without proper daylight, my pictures aren't up to my liking.  Yes, I'm aware we're in the tropics and it's supposed to rain. Even the locals are over the rain. And to be fair it isn't just rain,  life has been beginning​ to feel as if we're trying to live at the bottom of a waterfall. Sheets of rain. Mud and rock slides.  There's been so much rain the locals are having a hard time growing produce, the veggie market is sparse and if you want anything you better get there by 3:45am. Yes, 3:45 am. 

Seems like every country has their own "time". Mexico has "manana," which doesn't really mean tomorrow. Here exists "island time" and as expected not everyone returns on time after their afternoon​ break. Not exactly sure how island time translates into veggie market starting at 3:30am, but whatever.  So, no, we don't have a  plethora of fresh veggies as we showed up at 5:30 to the veggie market and could only score a couple bananas.  

Speaking of island time, we're adjusting to 12 hours of daylight 5:30am - 5:30pm. Attempting to schedule school has been tough. We now start school at 7:30am instead of 9:00am so that we have enough daylight to enjoy. 

We had heard there were crabs on the beach, lots and lots of crabs. After about an hour we had ourselves 44 claws. Beyond delicious. 


Daniel's Bay is famous by the spectacular valley that leads up to a waterfall, that's one of the reasons why we went. Just last month the owner of the land started to charge $10 USD per person to walk through the valley. Deal killer! We opted to not pay $40 for the family to hike to a waterfall. Being surrounded by endless islands all covered in waterfalls offering free hikes we plan to use our saved money on a nice dinner for Emma's birthday.