The weather hadn’t fully settled yet, but we really wanted to keep going, and left the shelter of Hooumi Bay, in Nuku Hiva on a windy afternoon. This time neither the steep sweel, up to 2.5 meters high, nor the wind on our face would prevent us from reaching our intended destination: the Island of Tahuata.
It was an 80 mile, overnight passage and believe when I say: it was as long as is gets, sailing under short sails, close hauled against all that sea (as fate had it, this was just a sampler, and we would experience far worse conditions on a later passage to the Tuamotus, but that belongs in another story).
We arrived to Tahuata the next morning, making landfall at the bay of Hanamoenoa, and what an interesting place it is.
Upon arrival, it lacks the dramatic geographic features of other bays in the Marquesas. But that is also what makes it special. Surrounded by hills, instead of the quasi-vertical cliffs which are de-rigueur in the Marquesas, the bay has space for a proper sandy beach.
Moreover, the hills don’t generate the same amount of run off that the steep cliffs do and, as a consequence, Hanamoenoa has a white sandy bottom. And the water is as clear as it gets:
We spent just over a week in Hanamoenoa, savoring the local fruits off the land – provided by a local farmer who owns most of the beach’s waterfront:
Playing with our friends from s/v Sangvind, s/v Enough and s/v Nogal:
And enjoying the sunsets:
But with that water, what we did the most was swim and snorkel:
You know the water is seriously clear when you can see your boat underwater from over 100 ft away:
One day, Adriana and I were swimming towards a reef nearby when I glanced something large swimming by our side. Reluctantly I looked at it and was in awe by this large manta ray coming towards us:
It didn’t mind proximity, to the contrary, seemed to try to get closer to us:
It turns out it was feeding, and Adriana and Mine’s swimming must have been stirring up the plankton in the water. Whatever it was, it kept swimming graciously around us for a long time, making this our best-snorkeling-ever-as-of-yet:
And like this, we had one great day after the other, until the time came to move again, on to a new – and our last – experience in the Marquesas.