As we got closer to Hiva Oa we got nervous. There is no moon. There is a big hunk of earth over there somewhere in the dark. We bear away from the island a bit to be sure to clear. Rains come. Hard. And go just as quickly. Hiva Oa is dark. Where da population at? We learn later the island sports a population of 2000. And it is 22 miles long.
Finally we spot some lights on the south Shore. Right where they should be. We get our first whiff of land in a long time. Earthy. Organic and spicy. Welcoming. We pull in and anchor in a small cove with a dozen other sailboats. Some we know. The valley walls rise up to the north, east and west of the bay. Beautiful foliage supported by rain several times daily. This is a good place to be a plant.
We get on the radio and make plans to take care of customs formalities in an hour. Oh there is a problem. Some documents missing. Recoverable. No one seems too worried and we reschedule our check in. Off to town. Baguettes! We feel happy to be here already.
Not sure what runs this town economically. But not tourism. They probably don’t get enough boat people coming through to make any tourist related endeavours worthwhile. But they are very nice to us. French is a fun language and I have some. Many people speak some English. Some quite well. Beautiful place. Anyway by the time we get officially checked in we will be restless and ready to move on. Nuka Hiva will be our next stop. Unless we change our minds…. 🙂 Then on to Rangiroa to pick up more Crew. Nancy Patterson will join Spill The Wine!
NOTE: Photos by Rebecca Schaaf 🙂