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Fatu Hiva – Day 2 ashore

Another busy day here in Fatu Hiva. In the morning we headed ashore principally to visit the falls nearby. We picked up Ruth and her daughter from Kamaya as we wanted to see some more Tapas together and arrange dinner for the evening.

The Tapas we saw this time were the most inferior and pricey of the bunch we’ve seen so we passed on them. We let Ruth know where we’d seen the better ones so she could look them up. We then found the lady who Ruth had seen previously and discussed dinner. We had 9 people from Passages, Kamaya, Victoria and us to eat together. The deal was around $11 each which was about half the price others were charging. It seems a lot of folks offer cruisers dinner in their homes but usually it’s around $20 to $25 each.

We parted company with Ruth and headed off to the falls. It was about an hours hike along the same paved road followed by a dirt track then a path over rocks and under fallen down trees. The falls were quite pleasant and we had them and the pool below to ourselves. They were a couple of hundred feet high at least but not a lot of water falling over. The pool was nice and cool to swim in. I tried to find a ledge to stand on under the falls but put my foot on something slimy that wriggled so I abandoned that idea.

After lying around and relaxing for a while we headed back passing the folks from Victoria and Passages along the way. Passing our chosen Tapa maker we popped in and picked up for a reasonably decent price. There are a lot of people it seems working on rose wood carvings and making Tapa in this village. There are also quite a few large private satellite dishes and 4×4 trucks around which suggests they may be making a lot of cash from their wares. We suspect many get sent on to the cruise ship stops where they get a good price for their work.

Back on the boat we had lunch of pancakes which was enjoyable. After a brief nap I set about a few boat chores. We now have tracking info for the new water maker pump which I forwarded to our agent. I took a look at removing the old pump but it involves more disassembly than I thought. It will be best to do the whole pump switch over at once minimizing the amount of work to be done and reduce the risk of losing or damaging loose items. I also looked at the outhaul which broke during passage. I noticed that around the gooseneck where the line runs into the boom there is no pulley. I don’t know if there ever was one but as it stands I can’t the line back in else it will chaff on the metal soon enough. So I deferred that task until I could do a proper job on it.

John had done some snorkeling off the side of the boat and spotted an octopus. I joined him and saw it too. It was pretty large. On the way out I saw a white tipped reef shark swimming below me. We also saw a huge green moray eel.

During the day more boats left the anchorage than arrived. At one point we were down to 12 boats. It feels a lot less crowded now.

In the evening we went ashore for dinner. We met the folks from other boats including two more who tagged along. We were picked up in a truck and taken to one of the houses in the village where we had a local dinner prepared including sword fish, chicken and lots of starchy vegetables. It was all fried or cooked in coconut milk. We can see why many of the locals have enhanced waist lines. The company was good and we had a great time. Walking back to the dock we approached the sound of drums beating. We found many of the locals practicing their tribal dancing in one of the village halls. The drumming and dancing was very energetic. Hopefully we’ll see more of this, complete with the traditional costumes, during the festival in Hiva Oa.

On that subject we’ve learned that we can only clear in Monday to Friday and then only in the mornings. Because we need to email a copy of our clearance papers to our agent in Tahiti to clear the pump before it can be sent here we want to save time and ensure we clear in this week. Helen wanted to sail today but John and I want to snorkel the area some more today and sail overnight to Hiva Oa. We’ve settled on the latter allowing Helen to sleep through and take the last shift. Hiva Oa has internet so hopefully we shall soon be publishing our photos from and since Isabella.

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