Lunch and leave
After lunch with Bertrand and Pascale at the local beachside restaurant, where the only item on the menu is tuna in three ways: raw, seared and cooked, we got Jamala ready to sail back to Taiohae bay so that we could take care of essentials, such as fuel, before heading further south.
The sail itself was nothing to write home about. The sea state and wind were the same as last time we made the trip: horrible. But we made it in one piece with only marginal mal de mer.
Diesel, Dock, Danger
We heard many tales of danger when picking up fuel in Taiohae. For sure, it isn’t possible to park your boat sideways against the quay. Doing so wouldn’t end well. So the way to do it is to med moor against the quay. In other words, the recommended approach is to drop anchor some distance away from the dock, reverse towards it and tie a line to it. Even so, we heard rumours that this too is dangerous.
So, instead of driving Jamala to the dock, we loaded 18 diesel cans into the back of Kevin’s truck (Nuku Hiva Yacht Services), and he drove us to the petrol station to get them filled. Bertrand helped us get the cans from the dock to Jamala, and Maria lifted them onboard. Yes, she is now that strong.
With all the fuel cans onboard and Maria pouring them into the tank, I went with Bertrand to find out if it really is that dangerous to get fuel at the dock. After motoring over to the quay, he dropped anchor around three boat lengths from the dock, reversed towards it, and one of the attendants eventually arrived to catch a line. I threw a messenger line for the fuel hose, he passed the fuel line to us, and that was that. Easy. No drama. Unfortunately no photos either.
I did get a photograph of the rope I bought from the chandlers, just in case we need to stern anchor at some point, though:
After re-anchoring, Bertrand helped me take the empty cans back to Nuku Hiva Yacht Services. Hopefully, no more refuelling for the next six months at least.
Later, after getting rid of the diesel pong, we joined Alex and Charlotte with their children Jasmine and Hugo for some very welcome sundowners.
Dancing and Dining
Bertrand and Pascale had hired a car for the next day and asked if we wanted to come with them on a road trip to see the dancers at the ancient marai at Hatiheu. The event was arranged for the passengers onboard the Aranui who arrived that morning.
The drive is not for the faint of engine. Those roads are steep, but the views are magnificent. We met a family of pigs – curious to see what the long version of their species is doing sniffing around their turf.
And we stopped at one of the many viewpoints for rare photographs with both crew members on the same boat in the frame.
We arrived just in time at the marai. The Aranui crowd hadn’t yet arrived, so it was possible to park the car nearby and be in a position to secure a good spot when they did arrive.
After the show was over, we headed to Yvonne’s restaurant for the second part of the Aranui passenger’s treat: a local lunch baked in an umu (in the ground). Although the food we ate seemed suspiciously like that on the menu every day – there was a lot more of it.
Hats off to Yvonne and her team, though. Scaling up to accommodate around 100 people when the usual lunchtime rush consists of about 10 is quite an achievement.