5/2/2022 – 5/13/2022: Nuku Hiva

Carlos was a tremendous asset on what was our first long passage and a pleasure to be with. On our arrival in Taiohae Bay we cleaned the boat and went up the mast to recover the spinnaker halyard stranded when the Code 0 swivel block broke. We enjoyed some good meals and rented a car to explore the island a bit. Carlos was of course missing his family and eager to go home. We drove over the island to the airport on the north west side and bade him a sad farewell.

With Taiohae Bay facing south there is usually a good swell entering the bay that makes going up the mast a little more exciting than usual. Here’s our neighbor Doug up the mast on Paseo with Nan in control of his life on the winch below.

Nuku Hiva was lush and beautiful from any angle. Once we had checked in and got our French Polynesia Long Stay Visas moving forward. We re-stocked with the beautiful fresh fruits.

Nuku Hiva is where many cruisers get their first, obligataory tatoo, but somehow, though we talked alot about it, Katie and I kept the canvas clean. I did, however sign up for Ukelele lessons. There were always people on the dock and in town playing and singing.

Taiohae Bay is where Herman Melville jumped ship in the 1840’s and found the inspiration for Typee, his first book. Katie and I listened to the entire audio book together on the way over and were eager to see the wild, beautiful places and potentially cannibalistic people that lived here.

Up and out of the caldera that is Taiohae Bay and over the pass to the east (a path Herman Melville’s characters struggled on, trying to escape the disciplining ship captain) there is another bay called Taipi (or Typee) as written by Melville. Up valley from the bay are ancient Marae, or stacked stone religious structures. Katie and I coordinated with a few other cruisers on an organized tour that was excellent.

Along with the ancient ruins, we also got instruction on the plants, flowers and fruits.

Getting ready to leave, we topped off the diesel by taking the tender to the fuel dock and filling up the jerry cans. Turns out that while we were in Nuku Hiva there was a championship soccer playoff game between Tahiti and the Marquesas. The winner, in this case the Marquesas, went to Paris!

The game brought out the whole town. I love this second action video because of the casual dog in the penalty box!

Sometime in our second week in Nuku Hiva I was checking the engine fluids and that included our saildrive, which is like a transmission between the engine and the propeller. In it I found the oil “milky” indicating that water had somehow made it’s way in, probably through the drive shaft seals. Using it was not impossible but doing so would cause potentially larger problems if not failure! To fix it required hauling Samsara out of the water and the closest marina capable of that was Papeete, almost 900 nautical miles away! We decided to head for Fatu Hiva then non-stop to Papeete. Fatu Hiva was supposed to be amazing and we did not want to miss it.

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