Location: 09°50.075S 138°58.907W
Date: April 22
LAND HO! Day 23 at sea and we’ve made it to Hiva Oa! Some heavy squalls last night and this morning too. Woke to dark cliffs off our starboard, visible only occasionally when the clouds broke. Miranda went topside to get something, came back down to the berth with wide eyes. “There’s more yellow than black on the radar.” Yellow is land, boats, and rain return. Black is open sea. On the radar we’re surrounded by islands. It’s a little intimidating after having, literally, ALL the sea room in the world to navigate for a month, to suddenly be penned in with three rocky shored islands that you can only kind of see.
Once we were four miles from the harbor the squall line passed and we were left with heavy broken skies, an a double rainbow, exactly like our arrival in Galapagos. Pretty spectacular. Great green cliffs pouring with waterfalls rising from the rain clouds. Sharp volcanic peaks perpetually topped with a cap of clouds, clinging to the vegetation.
We rounded the green light at the break wall and found a spot amidst the sheltering boats to anchor. Everyone is anchored bow and stern to admit more boats into the tiny harbor. Daniel, our Swedish friend with a Lagoon 380 who we met in Panama, came zipping over in his inflatable and graciously brought our stern anchor out to drop. We’re anchored next to other friends, Wayne and Dana, on Journey, also from a meeting in Panama.
Made plans with our immigration agent, Sandra, for getting the bureaucratic work done the following day. Then we put the dinghy in the water and went ashore! Land! Sweet land! We walked the couple of miles into the tiny town. Our first stop, the French bakery! We bought a baguette, cucumbers, tomatoes, and the last four pan au chocolat! Perfect! Ate sitting in the shade watching the Marqueseans watch us as they passed.
Filled water tanks, the water a little turbid, but apparently still good to drink. Went for a run up and up and up a winding road into the steep hills. The legs will be sore tomorrow. Went out for pizzas to celebrate and got a ride back to the harbor with a massive, tattooed warrior of a Marquesian named Humu who we spoke to in broken French and English. Back to the boat in the dark for the first uninterrupted night of sleep in three weeks.
Made it, made it, made it.