We decided to rent bicycles during our stay in Hao since we were pretty far from the main village. We found one place who wanted to rent us electric bikes for 3000xpf a day ($30) per bike. WTF! No way, then they came down to 2000xpf per day and we still said no. So the local proprietor of the pension (hotel) we were at using their internet said she could find a couple of bikes. Ok. About 90 minutes later she came back and said ok I have two bikes for $800 ($8) per day.
They have two wheels so they must be bikes
You know what they say “beggars can’t be choosers.” My bike was missing a pedal, had no handle grips (so my hands turn orange from the rusty handle bars), no brakes and a bald back tire. Matt’s bike had a wobbly, flat back tire, no brakes and a chain that was too big and kept falling off. Both bikes were so old and rusty that there were no repairs to fix our issues – but they got us from point A to B.
Hoodoo, Matt, and I decided to ride our bikes to the North end of the island past the airport to the pass. We were not sure if there is a path that goes the entire way, but we are going to give it the ole college try.
Hoodoo has folding bikes that are pretty rusty but they get them to where they need to go. So, we hope on our bikes and head out.
We were totally surprised to find a nice paved path the entire way to the pass. It was a 7.2mile bike ride, one way and we were rewarded with a beautiful cool breeze by the pass.
A new boat came in and tied to the basin behind Hoodoo. They came from Panama and should not have arrived in Hao as their first stop as FP is technically still closed. Anyway, they begged and asked for forgiveness. They were each fined and are quarantined to their boat for 14 days.
Making the Lemons out of Lemonade
So, we decided to have a BBQ on the dock, in front of their boat to welcome them to FP. It was super wonderful as they are from Spain and played amazing Spanish music.
A few hours into our evening a couple of local folks came by to join us. Then it was a “band off” where the locals would play a song then the Spaniards would play a song. Super unique and amazing experience.
The next day, one of the Spaniards gave a yoga class from his boat. It was a sorry a$$ attempt with a bunch of misfits, but we stretched our bodies and gave sun salutations.
Nake – The Heart and Soul of Hao
Legend has it that you have not visited Hao until you have visited Nake. We could not miss out on the opportunity to see if this was true. Sea Jay, Hoodoo and Sugar Shack all left the confines of the old military basin. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a strong 20kts of wind coming from the East.
We hoisted the main sail and unfurled the jib. It was a blistery sail with us pushing 7-8kts most of the 26nm to the Nake which is the southernmost point of the atoll.
A little over 4 hours later we dropped the hook in 5 meters facing a pretty beach lined with palm trees.
There was not much to do or see ashore and there was a very unpleasant odor so we headed back to the boat. We headed to a new anchorage called Orare which was a little sand bar that stuck out from the motu into the lagoon. Much prettier spot with better water.
We went for a walk around the motu. Matt wandered off by himself so I ended up exploring with Yanell and Missy. On our way back we found signs of Matt.
We found a little area where some locals piled rocks together to make a BBQ pit, table and sitting area. Really pretty spot.
Main Village of Otepa
We anchored outside the quay just off the main village of Otepa. This would allow us much better access to the “village, magasins, and internet.”
This is one of my favorite shots. We were onshore at the quay looking out at Sugar Shack at anchor during sunset.
We only stayed one night as we wanted to meet the supply ship which was scheduled to come the next day in town. The hook was dropped near the village so I could do some internet and try to get our blog up and running again. It has been dark for months because I did not have internet to upload photos and posts. Le Mairie (the Mayor’s Office) offers free internet on the weekends and from 4-9p on the weekdays. I camped out and made some friends.
Beautiful sunrise over Otepa in Hao.
The Taporo ended up not having any fresh produce, no flour and no beer. So we basically waited for over a week for nothing which was disappointing. We decided to move to the pass anchor spot to be prepared to depart at the first opportunity.
It took us several attempts to find a safe anchorage by the pass. There are lots of reefs, bommies and unsuitable spots. We finally found a spot to drop the hook. We were looking for a good weather window to head NW to Tahanea. Unfortunately, these winds were not in our future.
There are several small motus near the pass. The bottom photo shows the red and green markers of the pass.
A strong maramu was predicted and we wanted to leave before it came. We made what some might call a “rash” decision to leave. Up at dawn we headed out the pass during slack tide. Not sure you would call this slack tide as there are standing waves bouncing Sugar Shack all over the place. It was not as scary as others, but certainly not as pleasant as most.
We were given a beautiful sunrise
Wouldn’t you know it – the 2nd supply ship, with the fresh produce was waiting outside the pass as we left. Some people look for gold at the end of the rainbow, but in these remote islands, we look for the supply ship.
This post was written in June 2020. Our blog posts are usually 8 to 10 weeks behind are true adventures. See previous post on Hao.