I am sharing my morning tea in the cockpit with a sea turtle, who pokes his head up now and again (making sure I haven’t moved?). A few spotted rays cruise by the boat as the sun finally peeks over the top of the mountains.
* quick callout to Mum who has her birthday today! hopefully we’ll find someone with a sat phone who can sell us a few minutes. *
We’ve spent an idyllic week and a half in this protected bay at the Northeast corner of Nuku Hiva. Our friends on Capaz and Oso Blanco were here when we arrived, and additional “kid boats” trickled in during the following days until we had the remarkable total of eight boats with children aboard.
What a great group: let the beach games begin! Bocce (with coconuts, until a proper set was procured), snorkeling on the reef, and some truly epic sand castle construction have been the chief entertainment for all ages in the bay. Occasionally, a squall comes through and sends a small fleet of dinghies hurrying back to close the hatches on board: but oh, the rainbow payoff!
Other days, the ridgelines around the anchorage call out to be climbed, and we share the path with convoys of horses being driven over for supplies.
There have been fishing expeditions, in Oso Blanco’s whaler and on the mother ship Oso; and we tease our providers to bring back a catch so we can have fresh fish. Reef fish here, and in much of the south pacific, carry the neurotoxin ciguatera and so we aren’t fishing in the bay, but only eating pelagic fish. With local knowledge, some reef fish can be safely consumed- but we don’t want to take any chances (our friends on Elixir found out the hard way). No disappointments: we had a sushi feast of mahi and skipjack one night, and a beautiful tuna to power a beach potluck another.
The water clarity has been up and down, but in addition to the awesome mantas are schools of brilliant reef fish, the odd shy octopus, and sea urchins with the longest spines I’ve ever seen. We became pretty adept to identifying fish in Mexico, thanks in great part to Niall, our walking field guide. Here, though, they’re all different and we’re starting over. Our references aren’t great, but they’re good enough. One day blends into the next: hiking, swimming, playing on the beach. We could be exploring more anchorages in the Marquesas, but with such a comfortable, beautiful spot that offers so much… we are content to just be here.