Landfall in Paradise

April 13, 2012

When we left Mexico we were headed to Nuku Hiva, one of the northern Marquesan islands, with an easy anchorage in a town that allowed us to clear in to French Polynesia. About a week into our passage we opened the Charlie’s Charts and our Lonely Planet guide books and decided to head for Hiva Oa, the largest southern Marquesan island.  We don’t want to miss the nearby islands of Fatu Hiva and Tahuata. We are anchored now in Baie Tahuku near the town of Atuona.

Land Ho! We saw land around 4pm, boat time (we weren’t ever exactly right on our time zones, and changed the clock back 2.5 hours when we got in). We knew we couldn’t make landfall before dark, so we plotted a course for a night time scenic route through the islands and sailed north of Fatu Hiva and between Tahuata and Motane on our way to Hiva Oa. The sky was clear and the moon was fairly bright so we had pretty clear silhouettes of the islands in view through our last night. As the sun came up we were headed straight for Hiva Oa with a giant rainbow framing Tahuata!

The Tahuku anchorage is crowded and was difficult to find a spot to fit our bow and stern anchors. At first we found an out of the way spot and just bow anchored, second we dropped the hooks in too shallow of a spot, and finally we took the spot of a friend’s boat when they departed. The anchorage is framed by high hills, mountain views, palm trees, and a dark sand beach. It’s absolutely stunning.

We found our way to shore in the afternoon for a shower, which turned out to be a faucet, higher than our heads, with a cement surrounding, lower than our shoulders, with only cold water. Our shower time turned into play time for the kids when we found a seven year old French girl ashore. The kids missed their shower (last one being almost a month ago) and came back dirtier than before. The days on passage went so quickly, and I know that the days ashore might pass even faster!


  1. Comment by Cidnie

    Cidnie April 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I am delighted, excited and thrilled for you all! How are Ruby and Miles taking being on land again?

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford April 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      They are totally blissed out, but honestly I didn’t notice any marked change. There was no exhale, no sense of relief, just a change of scenery and a chance to sprint! Good times all abound!

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