HEAVEN ON EARTH
As we approached Fatu Hiva yesterday afternoon we were surrounded by a pod of happy dolphins and theirs entertainment lasted until we had the island on our beam. It was time to reel the fishing line in. As I stepped to the reel all of a sudden the line started running. What a last minutes excitement. Couple minutes later a skip jack tuna was on the deck.
We instantly felt the hart warming welcoming and an offering from the island.
In the first half of the day our energy was consumed by scrubbing the boat inside and out. The girls did the inside and the boys the outside. We left the Galápagos Island with sparkling boat and now we were doing over time cleanning the stainless from the heavily burned on salt.
Time to time we had some visit from the nearby anchored sailers for a short story exchange and from some locals small homey restaurant owners for dinner invitation. Most of the sailers were pleased with the meal and with the bill as well. It is cost about US$10-$15 per person a buffet like dinner.
Fatu Hiva is the most beautiful, unspoiled sustainable island in the Marquesas with its heavy rainfall and lash vegetation. Population of 600 descends of Polynesian tribes. The central range of the mountains stretches from north to south peaking up to 3150 feet at the south end. The eastern side is steep and pounded by heavy surf. Only the west side of the island is usable for anchorage. We anchored at Hanavave bay. There is an other small bay south of it called Omoa Baie .
Hanavave or “Baie des Vierges” (used to be called) is one of the most breathtaking bay in the world (in my opinion) with its rocky spires near to the head of the bay is the prominent features. The south side and beyond the steep side of mountains covered by towering coconut palm trees and vivid green vegetation, creates a spectacular view for the arrival sailers.
The interior of the island offers great hiking.
We only hiked to the Hanavave waterfall. On our first attempt, we got discouraged by the fact that there were no signs or directions. Fortunately on the way back we met with some young Norwegian sailers who were able to read the universal signs the stone formation (small stone on top of each other). It turned out by following those signs through the lush valley bordered by red hibiscus bushes and filled with banana, mango, passion fruit trees was an easy enjoyable walk. The last part of the hike was more of a vertical hike up to the 200 feet of magnificent waterfall. We were tired and hot from the afternoon sun and heat. The temperature must had been way over 30C and by walking under the canopy of the rain forest every step felt heavier. The refreshing spray of the fall with the deep pond below immediately called for a cooling down swim. Some of the boys were testing their luck by jumping off from 15 meter high cliffs fortunately all survived the afternoon. On the way back we all exchanged stories. It turned out that they had been sailing from Norway on a 32 feet sailboat since graduated from university and heading to Australia. Such a fine young man.
After we returned to our boat late afternoon we didn’t even have time for a refreshment because of the giant manta rays were feeding in our bay. Jessica and I jumped into the water Tony took the dingy and we all followed the manta rays. They were such a playful giants some of them were at least 15 feet wide. It was intimidating at the beginning when they were swimming strait to me with an open mouth and in the last second turned away. What an unforgettable show and I was part of it. My head was spinning when five of them approached me at the same time and dancing all around me on their own way. Tony and Margaret witnessed the show from the deck of the boat.
After day like that, I felt like haven on earth.