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.

FATU HIVA, Pacific Paradise

Most perfect place, we will be back- Fatu Hiva (Bay or Vírgins aka Bay of Penises)

Photo blast in Fatu Hiva. We must be moving too fast or having too much fun to do much talking about it all, we are just doing it all…LOL
The hikes are so rewarding and there are no poisonous or dangerous plants, reptiles or animals to worry about. The altitude we were climbing in made this hike a very “tropical” misty experience.

We spent many days with a new friend Christian, he is a local carver and chef. We fell in love with this tiki and bought it, we’ll not with money but as a trade for an underwater flashlight. He said he needs it to find the lobsters. The next day Kathy hiked up to the farthest home, where Vanessa painted a Tapa, the local artisan makes the tapas all year long, then brings them to Tahiti and other events to sell at the fairs.

The bakery was closed, so Agnes swooped in and took us home. She gave us her baguettes, cold drink, fruit and special cancer cure jam, made from who knows what! She told us her life story (all in French) and was a great pantomime. She gave us a special tour of her garden, showed the vertical way she plants orchids, and explained her citrus grafting technique (in French). So special!!

Goodbye for now magical Fatu Hiva, see you in 6 or 7 months, as that is our plan for the Summer (US Winter). We have a 3 day sail to a SE Tuomotu Island Amanu. All the islands we will be “INSIDE” inner lagoons. Over the next 2 months we will explore the strange Motus or tuomotu: any island or islet in Polynesia, more specifically meaning atoll surrounded by coral reef. Fun new adventure!

Marquesis with Manta Rays, flowers, villagers and more!

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.

Chris, the chef here, invited us to a yummy dinner.

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. 😕