Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hiva Oa Island - Baie Pua Mau

[Kyle]Leaving Hana Menu, we tacked our way east along the north coast of Hiva Oa, alternating between open sea with the island in the distance and close up under the cliffs. There were plenty of waterfalls and remote little valleys – scenes we are just pinching ourselves that we get to experience.

Anchoring amidst the steep spires of the volcanic crater at Pua Mau was a little more challenging. Once we were settled in and confident we were secure, a local boat came by that did not seem keen on having us there (warning of dangers with large waves). From the guy’s tone when he yelled, “Go Home!”, I thought it might be more about him not wanting any yachts in the bay. I didn’t doubt this place could be rather scary, particularly in north winds, but the forecast was from the southeast, from which direction the bay would offer protection. The only spot in the harbor of reasonable depth was only a few boat lengths before the gentle swell ahead changed into crashing breakers behind. I was pretty confident that the weather conditions were reducing and we’d be fine for the time we planned to stay. It is always difficult to ignore local advice on such matters but I was pretty sure all would be fine. Still, I was bothered enough by the whole encounter to stay up late at the helm with all of the instruments on until I was absolutely confident it wasn’t going to get bad and that we were going to stay put away from the breakers.

For our full day there – after swimming ashore through the surf (no obvious ‘nice’ landing spots for the dinghy) and climbing the hill a short way to see the Iipona Archaeological site of the Tikis.

The site was well visited, but empty of any other visitors while we were there. There is a useful sign board explaining the site, which contains the largest Tiki outside of Easter Island. (Tiki is thought to be the name of one of the early carvers, whose mane was applied to all of the statues in tribute). Afterwards, we ambled back down the hill to the village through the pretty countryside. We even found a chicken in a banana tree! We paid the fee for Iipona after we returned to the village and found the snack store which visitors in vehicles needed to pass to get to the site. At a separate store we picked up some sweet banana pastries that fueled our walk (and swim) back to the boat.

1 comment:

kate rodenhouse said...

"Go home!" seems an odd way to warn someone of possible dangerous conditions. Hmmm. Oh well, glad your attentiveness to the weather predictions and Begonia's location paid off. What a fabulous beach... I imagine the water feels amazing, what is the temperature?