Marvelous Mantas!! A group of local manta rays were feeding just outside of Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesis. What an awesome experience to have these large, graceful, plankton feeders come gliding right by.
Its safe to snorkle right near their feeding path. These 15′ wide giants would feed ladder style, one on top of the other, to catch the most plankton. Then, they would somersault or do an about-face and return on the same path.
Don’t almost seem to smile and laugh? When they got near us they would just glide right under. So spectacular!!
You can sail from Hiva Oa to the southern most Marquesan island, Fatu Hivu (the beatiful Bay of Virgins). It was named something else, you can guess.
Fatu Hiva! Prettiest place on Earth.
The flora here in Fatu Hiva is breathtaking. Take a look! Since the Marquesa Archepelegos are the most distant from any continent on the globe, the endemic fauna are quite limited. Only 41 or so species of birds here, most are tropicbirds, small bluish doves and some kingfisher.
There is a wide variety of insects, large yellow wasps, but we haven’t been bothered by any in the least bit. The greatest number of species are the butterflies and moths, some only found around these Islands. The rest of the land mammels seen were introduced by the Europeans in the 1800’s. We have seen these domestic wild animals: pig, goat, horse, cow and chickens. Strange that there are no snakes at all really no other endemic mammals.
How do you describe a place you never imagine existed?
This anchorage is
Yosemite + Gillian’s Island + The Garden of Eden
The mountains sore 3000 feet surrounding this bay and are covered with coconut trees and tropical plants. Most of these plants you’ve only seen in your moms potted terrarium. When you go to shore you are welcomed by the locals that only want to cook for you and provide you with the most lush fruit you’ve ever seen. The few paved roads are over grown with flowers, breadfruit, limes, oranges and Pamplemouse.
The weather is as perfect as a late summer day, where you need to keep the sun off but the sunset is quite welcomed with a fresh breeze that keeps the boat cool and fresh.
In the bay we work on the boat and wait for the Mantas to swim by or pick at the Ukulele. We are greeted often with visiting boats from France, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland or other areas that challenge our language skills. There are very few Americans here and somehow that just feels perfect.
I’m not sure what we are going to see next but all I know is that in all the years of travel and sailing I’ve never been to a more beautiful place…..and what’s better is this is the road less traveled. You just can’t get here any other way.
Oh yeah, Kathy and I celebrated our 12 Anniversary the other day in a bay almost as perfect. We were happily all alone on a beach with a hut, coconut trees and a fire with Hot dogs!!! The most perfect Anniversary we could ever hope for.
What’s next? Who cares…….
….we’re stickin’ around here for a few. (But the Tuomotus are calling)
BTW, trading amongst the locals is alive and well. Maybe even a little black market. PM me if you heading this way next year and you want to know what these folks need or want. 😕