Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

We had a bit of a salty sail from Hiva Oa to Fatu Hiva, which Captain protested in his new usual way. We’d picked a window based on a wind shift that never materialized, so despite pointing as close to the wind as we could, we had to motor five miles due east once we got into the lee of the island.

The anchorage is absolutely stunning. It’s deep, and reported to get rocky near the front, so we were a little nervous pulling in front of all the other boats. But we did, and found good holding in about 30 feet. And of course we flew the drone, though we noticed a bit of haze on the lens afterward.

After a good night’s sleep, we taped up Jazz’s rolled ankle, dropped the dinghy, and headed into shore. There’s a nice breakwater, and a little tiki statue to greet you. The town itself is small but pretty.

The Thing to Do here is to hike a couple of miles to a waterfall, so we did just that. The hike starts along a road, which continues through more absolutely stunning landscape.

The directions we’d found in the Soggy Paws guide would have had us turning off the road at the wrong spot. But since that was written, someone added a big rock on the side of the road with a painted sign. Some people swim in the pool at the foot of the falls, but we opted to preserve the bug repellent on our skin since we were getting swarmed.

So we sat and enjoyed the lunch we’d packed, then headed back down the mountain. We stopped in the town’s tiny magasin and bought three carrots, which we felt a little guilty about because there were only eight or so left. Then Andrew went around the corner and took twenty minutes to negotiate the purchase of some pomellos; his French is still not up to the task of asking for other fruits, but boy did he try.

Aside from that, there’s not much to do in the town, besides sitting and watching the beautiful everything. In the first picture, we’re watching the scenery and also a TV show. Note the goats up on the phallic rock formations. The story is that this bay was originally named Bay of Penises, but it was changed to Bay of Virgins by some disapproving Catholics. In French, that’s just one letter; draw your own conclusions.

We had planned on diving the cliffside, but our second day was cloudy and cold. So we took a relatively lazy day, worked a little bit wrapping the ladder and drying out Captain’s litter pellets.

And then we took off. If we had more time, we’d have hung out in the anchorage and enjoyed the view for another couple of days. But we only have 90 days in French Polynesia, so we need to keep moving.

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