Legend has it that god made a “big house” represented by the Marquesan islands. The largest of them is Nuku Hiva which is the top of the framework. The tallest peak on the island is well over 4,000’. Nuku Hiva is the 2nd largest island in French Polynesia and the main island in the Marquesas with a total population of 3k people.
Originally, we were planning on making our way straight to Ua Poa after leaving the Tuamotus. However, we were in desperate need of provisions and fuel and needed to arrive in a more populated island. Thus, our arrival to Nuku Hiva. After all, we had a wonderful, but long stay away from civilization. For the past 6 weeks we have been off the grid so to speak. The Fakarava south pass and Tahanea had zero supplies. Makemo had several magasins but they were mostly empty waiting for the supply ship (which only arrives every 3 weeks).
Needing a replenishment of fruits, veggies, bread, eggs, and meats, we arrived at the main island of Nuku Hiva. Sugar Shack was hungry and in need of diesel and gasoline as we had not refueled since Tahiti in early July (4 months prior).
There are 5 magasins here, some better stocked than others. Lots of fresh produce including at the veggie market and magasins. There is also a fish market and fisherman who sell their daily catch each morning (at 0530). Lots of options!
We know several cruisers here! Our friends on Maple showed up 24 hours after we did (remember we left Makemo at the same time, but they have a smaller boat that does not point as well as Sugar Shack). Our friends on Heart and Soul (Dave and Margaret) welcomed us to the baie. We had not seen them since Valdivia, Chile. And our friends on Bella (Matias and Ulreka) whom we have not seen since Curacao over 2 years ago are here. It is amazing to me how small the cruising community is while sailing the vast open waters.
Hike to Baie Colette
We gathered a group of cruisers for a hike to another baie. There were 12 of us, but we only knew 7 of them (Maple, Heart and Soul, and Bella). A gent name Williem from Rambler, a couple from Lila (Graham and Janet) were also with us.
It was a fairly easy hike up a few hills, but it was hot. We passed a lovely cemetery that was well manicured.
Breathtaking views along the way of the Taiohae Baie where we are anchored. We are the boat by itself on the far right.
We arrived to a beautiful black sand beach and cool waters. It was great to cool off in the water. There was a small tiki under a bougainvillea bush too.
Tu Hiva Tiki
Fort Madison was established in 1813. In 1842 it received military headquarters, barracks, a warehouse, a powder magazine to add to the seven cannon guns. The French take over the fort in 1842 but then abandon it in 1859. The Catholic Missionaries take over and turn it into a school and then a hospital.
At the fort, overlooking the baie is the Tiki Tuhiva. It is known to be the highest contemporary sculpture in the Pacific. It has an iron structure which is completely covered with shotcrete coated with “keetu” (a reddish volcanic tuff used by Marquesan stone carvers.
The woman tiki is 12 meters high and the warrior is 8 meters tall. It took six months and six people to erect both statues. The warrior Tuhiva steps forward to master his future with the ancestral strength inherited from “Woman Tiki” the warden of tradition and knowledge.
Another smaller version of the tiki was found on the Fort grounds as well.
Celebrating Year Wedding Anniversary – 14 years
Matt and I enjoyed a day at the Keikahanui Pearl Resort to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. It was a bit of a splurge for us, but we enjoyed every minute. We enjoyed a very tasty lunch and several bottles of rose while lounging at their pool and using their wifi. What a great day!
We had so much fun hanging out at the pool, drinking rose and enjoying the beautiful day.
A funny picture of a young boy carrying his chickens around town.
We have been busy here.
- Refueled boat (both diesel and gasoline)
- Filled both dive tanks
- Topped up propane tanks
- Did several loads of laundry
- Water tanks topped off
- Provisioned the boat
- Fixed our jib sail
Matt took some great shots of the Tu Hiva Tiki with the drone
Aerial photo of the anchorage and the tiki.
Sugar Shack siting by herself being unsociable.