Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 24 & 25 - Land fall

2989 miles

Hiva Oa at Dawn
Land at last
Anchorage at Atuona
Made it to Hiva Oa Yeah!!!!!! Didn't kiss the ground, but the thought crossed my mind. The island came into view on my watch - around 0030 - was very weird after 2900 miles of nothing but ocean. Of course, the last 25 miles were hard. Dennis' watch started at 0100, but I got him up early (it really was a little freaky - hard to explain). Actually everyone got up to see "land ho". The moon was almost full, so it was bright even with the clouds. The wind never died down like it had the 2 previous nights, so we made better time than anticipated. Dennis woke me to do a downwind turn at about 0430, Mark was up, so I went back to bed. It was rocking and rolling - guess we had winds up to 30 knots. We held off the Island till just after the sun came up (0530ish ship's time). It was pretty surreal coming in - Josh says it is like Jurassic Park, and I have to agree. It is a volcanic island, so no sandy beaches, just jumps straight out of the water. The contrast of the greenery on the steep hills with the dark rock is amazing, then you have the island peaks shrouded in clouds - and lots of waterfalls. We could smell the island as we approached as well - florally with an underlying humid smell. We had the anchors down by 0630 - fore and aft as this is a very small anchorage. The guides say how rolly it is, and it is, but after the last week we have had sailing, it is positively flat. I made a big breakfast, then we all had a rest. (Note - eggs have done very well on this trip. Lost 5 the last night with all the rolling we did, and the yolks break easily so no sunny side up eggs, but really I have been happy with how it has worked out.)
Since it was Sunday we could not check in, but our agent told us it was okay to go ashore. So, we got the dinghy all set up and paddled in and walked around the dock area. Up the road a little way was a house with a goat pen. I guess we have been away from civilization too long, cuz we spent about 30 minutes watching those darn goats. Picked up some avocados that had fallen off a tree - should be yummy in a couple more days when the ripen. Not really much to see in the dock area, and Atuona the village is a 1.5 mile walk - up hill. I was ready to call it quits before we even got to the hill. Oh, and by the way Brad - if this is the best shower in the Marquessas, I will stick with the one on the boat!!! The "shower" is a concrete building - probably 6 feet tall, no roof, with a pipe that turns on. Private sort of, but cold only. A reminder to me of how good we have it on the boat.
Waiting in line for the Best Shower in the Marquessa's

Monday -
Lots of rain over night. Filled the buckets on deck and probably 8 inches in the dinghy. So, I did laundry. Too bad it has rained off and on all day - Marquessan rinse cycle - at least it is free.
The agent here on Hiva Oa - Sandra, answered our hail on channel 11 around 0800. We arranged to have her pick us up at the dock at 0900, so was a mad rush to get us all ready. Checking in was pretty easy - she came with us and helped with the paperwork. It was pretty straightforward. After that was all squared away, we decided that even though it was raining, we would stay in town. Went to the ATM for money, then stood in line inside the bank to get smaller bills. The money here is very pretty, and BIG. Also in large numbers. 30000 FP francs is about 340 dollars. Things are crazy expensive here. We were prepared, but still. 2 cheeseburgers, 2 beers and a soda cost 44 dollars - whew!!! You don't even want to know what I spent at the grocery store. Oh well, hopefully we will start catching some fish. Yes, we were totally skunked on the way here. Hard to believe not on Tuna or Mahi Mahi wanted to be our dinner in 3000 miles!!!
The Rain continues - it has been raining, not just raining, but torrential downpours - all day. We are leaving for Fatu Hiva tomorrow morning - about 35 miles. It is supposed to be a must see in the Marquesas, and Josh hopes to catch up with some kids. We will return to Hiva Oa in a week or so.
They do have internet here, so we will probably buy some time when we come back.


  1. Congrats! I remember what that felt like! I could actually smell the green, although Steve said I was nuts! Is that concrete fresh shower still there on land?

  2. Yeah! Congrats guys. We are very excited for you.