Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moving On - Nuku Hiva to Ou Pou

We've just arrived at our second and last island of Les Iles de Marquises, Oua Pou (pronounced Wah Pooh), where we'll be for only the next day or two before moving on to the Tuamotu Archipelago. The approach to Oua Pou seriously puts the 'awe' in awesome, with its towering spires and surprising location for its double runway airport lodged between slopes of exhilarating volcanic cliffs (I wish I could post photos). We're in the Bay of Hakahau, which is home to the third largest town in the Marquesas Islands - and we hear there is an internet cafe with fast internet - HEAVEN. We'll spend the day tomorrow exploring: picking up a baguette or two (we hear they're gone by 7 a.m.), possibly catching a Church service at 8 a.m. (like the good Jewish folk that we are), spending some time at the internet cafe (which may actually take up the remainder of the day since it would be our first true connection since leaving Mexico on April 10), and possibly doing a hike.

We just spent the last two days in Daniel's Bay on Nuku Hiva, also known locally as Hakatea Bay, which was made famous by the TV series Survivor, filmed here in the 2002 season. Again, if I could post photos, you'd see the 350 m (about 1100 feet) Vaipo Waterfall (third highest in the world) that was the opening scene of the show. Notwithstanding we got eaten alive even with highly toxic double strength mosquito repellant (I have 58 bites on my upper back alone), the two hour hike was gorgeous, running along the old royal highway of bygone days, traversing the strong flowing river sometimes up to mid-thigh, and winding through topography that varied from dense jungle to fig tree forests to open fields. At the very end, there is a warning sign not to enter during rainy season (we're at its tail end) due to falling rocks, but then there is a bucket of generously placed hard hats which we willingly donned in order to approach the crux of the chasm of majestic towering walls through a field of yellow flowers and green grasses. It was simply breathtaking. While there was a pool that many have dipped in, we opted not to given its olive green color. We ventured into the spray of the falls, the full view of which we couldn't actually see from so close. Notably I did not get lost on the way back, but we did get to chat with several of the tatoo-laden locals donning pigs teeth as necklaces and goat bones in their ears. We left the trail with their generous offerings of pamplemousse, limes and green papaya.

Nuku Hiva was a dream. It's no wonder that the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson (in 1888 in Hatiheu)and Herman Melville (in 1842) fell in love with it. The latter jumped ship in Taiohae Bay and headed to Taipivai where he wrote about his experiences living with a ferocious and cannibalistic tribe in his 1846 book called "Typee". That's one of the books I'll download at that priceless internet cafe tomorrow.

Our friends aboard Ceilydh received their new rudder yesterday and hope to have it installed by the end of today, in order to be able to join us for our four day crossing to the Tuomotus early next week. It's always nice knowing that friends are out there in the open ocean with you.

Hakahau Bay, Oua Pou, Marquesas Islands
South 9 degrees, 21.995 minutes
West 140 degrees, 02.847 minutes

robert Louis Stevenson, Herman Melville
Gauguin and Jacques Brel
At 5/22/2011 04:17 (utc) our position was 09°21.50'S 140°02.83'W


  1. what a treat I had this morning catching up on your last couple of entries.You guys are amazing!!

  2. What a magnificent place, such natural beauty and tranquility! We googled into some of the photos from there. It must be hard leaving each place - but then there is the next one. Enjoy!

  3. welcome at first
    i am peter barakat from egypt
    can you tell me how can i fly to nuku hiva from egypt
    (i want to live there forever)