20 May Taiohae (Nuku Hiva)
We arrived in Baie de Taiohae on Tuesday afternoon after sailing from Anaho bay. We had a slow start as we took time to make water (partially fill up our water tanks) for an hour or so. We also had a short morning dingy ride to take a close look at the reefs and coral before loading up the dingy. It generally takes us an hour or two to get the boat ready to sail. Engine check, deck check, stow for sea… We have a check list that helps us prepare Maia for departure that we keep updating since sailing in Canada!
The town of Taiohae surrounds the bay and heads up into the beautiful hillside. It is a lovely big bay with plenty of room for anchoring. (So different from Tahauka harbor and Atuona on Hiva Oa.) It is open to the swell and can be rocky and rolly (are you seeing a theme here?).
An open air fruit and vegetable market is next to the harbor as well as a few restaurants, Kevin’s place (a yacht services business), a local craft market and visitors bureau.
The bay has a waterfront promenade with grass and trees. A close walk from the harbor is a bank, post office, a couple restaurants, 3 food stores. Up into town is a hardware store and larger food market. There is also a hospital, the only one in the Marquesas. There are several hotels and bed and breakfasts in town.
We decided to arrive on Tuesday as we were told Wednesday and Saturday was the big veggie market. As things get going early here we headed in around 7:00 on Wednesday morning. We were thrilled with the produce selection! Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, bok choy, green cabbage, green beans… bananas, watermelon, mangoes. We stocked up and then had breakfast at the nearby restaurant, tried to use internet (slooow). Hannah stayed with the produce while Dick and I took a walk and explored the markets and picked up a few more goodies. We had heard you could order eggs and tried to get on the list. Unfortunately, they appeared to be sold out, however our quest for eggs was satisfied by our friends Rick and Cindy on sv Cool Change. They had figured out how to get on a ‘egg list’!
We also enjoyed an evening out with Cool Change, having dinner at Moana Nui and went on a fabulous day tour of the East side of the island (the more luxurious part). Richard from Temarama Tour was our excellent tour guide and filled us in on island history, flora, fauna….. The scenery was stunning, the roads steep, windy and in good shape. It was great to see places that we did not get to on Maia. One of the highlights was the Ancient Ceremonial sites, Tohua Hikokua and Kamuihei Ceremonial Center. Richard explained some of the fascinating history as we walked though the sites. There were also several Petroglyphs we got to see.
The best internet was at Kevin’s place when there was just two of us connected to the web. Once others logged on things sloooowed down. It was nice to finally be able to access the internet and make a post to facebook. Still not able to post pictures. The good news is that we were able to connect to a couple sites that we had not gotten into before. In about two weeks we will be in Papeete, Tahiti and should have better access there. Of course we expect to be super busy with boat projects and getting things ready for a visit from sister’s Wig, Mary Maude and brother-in-law John. When does the vacation begin?