NUKU HIVA, Marquesas, South Pacific

Not just your average anchorage; Hakatea Bay (aka and formerly Daniel’s Bay) Nuku Hiva. (The most remote Island in the world).
This is the site of Season 4 of the TV series “Survivor” and also the last known case of Cannibalism in the Marquesas. How recent you might ask? Recent enough that I think the guy is still in jail. lol.

This amazing place was the Royal center of Nuku Hiva for over 1000 years. Up to 20,000 natives lived in this valley until Small Pox and other introduced diseases wiped out thousands, in past centuries. Now and over the past 80 years less than an average of 10 people live in the valley.

Video tour of the Royal Palace

As we hiked up the Royal trail to the waterfall we came across dozens of Pae Pae’s or foundations of ancient buildings. We are amazed that they are basically in the process of returning to earth. Over grown jungle and trees growing through the middle of many of these ruins. Archaeology has shown that in some cases the heads of families members or warriors have been buried under rocks in the Pae Pae’s after the tribe or leaders ate the eyes and brain out of the skulls. (To take their visions and knowledge). We didn’t move any stones!

Boy was that waterfall loud!
A rendition of the village a few hundred years ago.
2 Tiki’s

The local family that is still in the valley cooked us lunch and filled our bags with fruit upon our return.

It’s very difficult to explain the day and what we saw. All I can say is I can’t believe this place isn’t a museum. Oh yeah, the water fall was cool too. The only way to get here is by boat. Ya have to see it to believe it…..

Ua Pou, Marquesas, The Most Isolated Archipelago in the World!

Our 15th island here in FP and it sure didn’t disappoint. Oa Pou, on the most isolated archipeligo on the planet; Marquesas. We sailed back her to spend the off season, the hot summer months, and the well known cyclone seasons. It is so peaceful and friendly here that we stayed 2 weeks. Daily walks through The village of Hakahau and up the hill to Restaurant/Inn Pukuee for a cold beer and great view of the bay was a treat.

We hired the owner Jerome for a well guided Jeep tour of this majestic island. We visited the largest ancient archeological site here, examining the floors, homes, quad area, dancing platforms, and temples. I looked closely for the ancient skulls buried in the rocks, but found none. We learned that hundreds of these Pae Pae grounds are buried up here in the high jungles of the island. The Tavaka Tribe was around 1,500, living on the highest peaks of Marquesas.

But, what Ua Pou’s is most famous for is the very rare “flower stone” in a north bay. Certain minerals formed when the volcano here was alive and molten. The cooling process created what appears to be miniature gold flowers in the stone. (See photo) We watched a local stone carver at his work bench.

Shopping trips come in all varieties when you live on a boat on an island. This one was sure unique. We heard from other cruisers that there may be a little store open in the neighboring village, Haakuti, in Ua Pou. So 6 friends took our dingies and kind of crash landed on the mossy wall.

The surge had highs and lows, making the dingy exit and entrance tricky. Funny that we had to anchor the dingies out a ways and swim to shore. We walked about the village and met some very kind locals. The children here were shy, one boy had a pet rooster on a leash. We explored the church and cemetery, then asked around for some bananas. A sweet mother of 3 gave us some mangos, pomplemouse and oranges as she had way too many. On our way back, we bought a box of limes from this darling family. They even served us delicious limeade and gave us a ride back to the rocks.

Raroria, the last Tuamotu

Fun with Sharks!
Okay, we had a little time waiting on the weather, so let’s play!
We gathered (chummed in) a few sharks in the back bay with some day old fish (no hooks) and did some filming with the GoPro(s). Big learning experience!!!! We thought there were only 10-12” babies in the back bay.

The first fish we put out was tied to a 5 lbs dive weight and worked just fine with the small sharks……well…..let’s just say that weight is gone…😳
The next fish we put out was attached to our bucket full or coral and sand. That didn’t last long either. I finally just put my foot in the bucket to keep the sharks from taking the fish. The next round, we got the stern anchor off Sea Bella and that worked great! These are all Black Tip Sharks btw……some much larger than the 12” we were expecting.

Hungry Baby.

Raroria was the last of the atolls we visited. For many cruisers it’s the first one to sail into from the Marquesis. Our highlights were exploring the Kon Tiki monument with our great cruising friends on Fundango, the huge pearl farm and of course our silly fun with the baby sharks. Our good cruising friends on SV Breakaway found these great Octopi:

Sailing through the Tuamotus was an amazing experience, but it was time to say goodby. Thank you for joining Scott and I online these past 6 months in 8 atolls (and Tahiti for repairs). It’s such fun to share our experiences with friends and family. We went on a sporty 3 day sail back upwind to the Marquesas for cyclone season (and for yummy fruit and fun mountains to explore!)

Watch this fun video on our visit in this atoll: