A new island

Anchored in Hakahetau Bay, Ua Pou, northern Marquesas

9° 21' 25.8" S, 140° 6' 17.4" W

Well, we did finally bid farewell to the Manta Rays in our favorite bay on Tahuata in the southern Marquesas and weighed anchor there yesterday at 5 pm local time. We had a beautiful night sail under starry skies (reminiscent of the Galapagos-Marquesas passage) and arrived in Hakahetau Bay on the northwest corner of Ua Pou around 08:30 am local time this morning. Caroline, Chrstophe, Tosca and Gabrielle on Topaze already got here a day earlier and until this afternoon we were the two only boats in the anchorage. Quite a contrast to Hana Moe Noa Bay on Tahuata where - after some idyllic days with only 4-6 boats the count suddenly jumped to 17 over the past two days. When looked back after leaving the bay last night, the assembly of anchor lights actually outshone the few lights from the village at Vaitahu a few miles to the south...

Here at Ua Pou Nicky was very happy to be re-united with Tosca and Gabrielle. After coffee aboard Topaze (with the kids playing chache-cache on the boat) we all went and explored a bit of the island ashore. The Aranui III (supply ship for the islands) came in this afternoon and off-loaded its passengers for a shore excursion, so there was a bit more of activity than we would usually have found ashore. Aranui's arrival made for some suspense when we were over at Topaze earlier today. After our experience on Hiva Oa a few weeks ago, where we looked straight into the Aranui's "headlights" at 4:30am when it turned just a few meters ahead of our anchoring spot (luckily we didn't have to move), we were a bit weary what the Aranui's arrival might imply for the boats in the anchorage here in Hakahetau Bay. No problem though - it anchored well off out in the bay and off-loaded cargo and passenger via dinghy.

The past two days on Tahuata were mostly spent on another complete re-build/cleaning of our anchor windlass after a shaft-seal failed and the gearbox oil drained into the windlass motor. We hope the fix will last a bit longer this time (we did this before in January in Shelter Bay/Panama) but also have started to look for a replacement manual windlass... The windlass re-build was also the reason we left Tahuata a day later than orginally planned. Lucky for us, this gave us another opportunity to snorkel among the six resident Manta Rays there, and also to see Heike, Kai, Hannes and Niklas on Victoria again (they arrived a few hours before we left but might catch up with us here in Ua Pou).

We plan to stay here for two nights before heading NE towards Nuku Hiva for a few days. All is well aboard, stay tuned....

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