The small village of Taiohae, (it’s not really large enough to be called a ‘town’), lies at the head of a small bay, surrounded by towering cliffs near the entrance and lush vegetation further into the bay. The bay lies on the south coast of the island, Nuku Hiva, one of the islands in the Marquesas group.
It has been 8 days since we saw land and, despite the early arrival, there were numerous guests on deck, taking the opportunity for photos. Having completed our pre-arrival checklists, we crept into the bay, Marvin, one of our 2nd Officers keeping the conn.
There is only a small berth here, not large enough for us, however there was a ‘Tender yacht’ lying on it, taking bunkers, (fuel), before going into the bay to anchor. The head of the bay is full of sailing boats at anchor and we choose our anchorage spot carefully; sufficient space to swing on our anchor, without encroaching near the yachts. We let go our port anchor, (all 9.8 metric tonnes of it) and pay out 4 shackles of anchor chain, (360 feet, 110m) on the soft mud bottom.
Tenders are lowered, our tender-platform prepared and Taiohae prepares for the ‘invasion’. It is hot and muggy, 29C, 80F and light clothing is the order of the day. The morning is not without its challenges, we have 4 tenders and 2 of them, obviously disgruntled with the early morning start, decided that they would take a rest and promptly had mechanical problems. Our Technical staff diligently worked on them and later that morning got them running again.
Having been here before and posted photos, my choice of subjects was limited, however I went ashore for while and tried my best.
As we prepared to sail, a larger, racing-canoe came past. In the bay during the afternoon, a number of Manta Rays were feeding; mouths agape and slowly cruising just beneath the surface.
Finally, as we left the bay and headed towards Rangiroa, a lovely Pacific sunset.