Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fatu Hiva Island - HanaVave Bay

[Maryanne]Passage:We rounded the east point of Hiva Oa in big seas and head winds, then headed SSW on a fast sail to the beautiful island of Fatu Hiva. The anchorage was crowded and the only place we could find to anchor was in water 28M deep. We ordinarily aim for 4-8, with a stretch to 10 if necessary. 28 meant we had to put out everything we had and we would need a lot of swinging room. It was going to be a long row ashore for tomorrow - but we had waterfalls and stunning scenery all around us. There were even dolphins in anchorage on our arrival.

First full day:

We spent the day exploring the tiny village and surroundings of Hana Vave on the island of Fatu Hiva in the far south of the Marquesas.

Beautiful anchorage with a friendly Welcome

The bay itself is stunningly beautiful with some amazing rock formations (currently also with cranes and diggers working on some updates to the tiny harbor) We walked ashore to a local waterfall and pool, but it was very muddy and the hike and the pool were both crowded with other cruisers. It felt a little like we were in a queue for a Disney ride. We then started walking on the single lane road off towards the town of Omoa - (only towards mind you - not anywhere near it - just enough to get way above the town of Hana Vave and really enjoy the views – not a single person, goat or car passed us in either direction). It has been overcast and rainy the last few days (luckily no rain today). We also managed to get some extra drinking water after shuttling back and forth with the dingy.

At the start of the walk today - we stopped at the local store (where you must first take off your shoes) - it is a tiny store - about 8 foot square - and the clerk there had an amazing plant head dress on (she was very happy when I asked to take a picture).

As we were returning with the dingy to the boat – the local school children all started returning aboard small open boats from a nearby village (clearly travelling by boat is much quicker than by road)… The “moms” were all waiting at the dock to greet their returning children and walk them home for the day.

Day of rest turns to rescue

So, we took an extra day in Hanavave to 'relax' and catch up with chores, but it just didn't happen. One of the other boats in the anchorage came detached from its anchor while the owners were all ashore and oblivious. One of the connector links in their anchor chain had rusted through, leaving their boat completely adrift. Kyle, along with a couple of other boats that had owners in the anchorage, went and spent several hours getting it away from imminent rocks, finding a spare anchor and transferring that to their boat and then re-anchoring it somewhere safe waiting for the owners to return. The 3 boats concerned in helping then took turns to watch over it and wait on the owners return. Kyle had just been relieved of his turn once the owners arrived back. After that, one of the boats with SCUBA divers and gear were able to make the deep dive to reunite them with their anchor and chain.

This is something we *hope* any boat would do when they see another in such trouble and neither of us thought twice about doing whatever we could. But get this: the owner did not AT ALL get on the radio, nor dinghy over to our boat to even say THANK YOU... Basically, their boat would have been toast and their dreams dashed (and we know how that feels). They also had kids travelling with them, so what a nightmare if their boat had been lost to the rocks in such a remote place, which it would have been if wasn't due to the kindness of people like Kyle and the others that dropped everything to rush in and help and we didn't even get a thank you... Kyle is at one with it, but I'm pretty upset on his behalf. It is possible that Kyle's name didn't reach them in the subsequent confusion of restoring them to full working order, but it still stings.

1 comment:

kate rodenhouse said...

Everything is so beautiful! So lush and vibrant - and WET. When I look at your pictures, I can almost feel the moisture. I hope the temperatures are cooler than when you first arrived - but even so, wow! Just breathtaking. I love the store clerk's headdress! Again, though (I think I commented back to your email about the rescue efforts), it's a shame the boat owners did not thank you. I think the easiest thing would have been to get on the radio as you suggested and simply put out a call of thanks to everyone nearby for their quick response. You are exactly right about their fate should no one else have been there or turned a blind eye (which I wouldn't think ANY boater would do). Too bad -- they better hope they learn from this experience and improve their anchoring efforts!