Small Island, Crusty Bottom
Sunrise. That’s what Tahuata means in Marquesan. A fitting name for this charming, tiny, and remote twenty-four square mile island.
In the bay where we’re anchored, there’s no road, no village, no cell phone towers or internet distractions. Just us sailors and a few coconut lined beaches. It’s one of those places you drop the hook and really sink into.
After a few days of being drunk on coconut water, salt and sun, we decided to venture around to civilization. The main village of Vaitahu is only a three-mile dinghy ride down the coast.
Join us as we explore one of the most remote islands in the Marquesas and take advantage of the clear, calm anchorage to tackle the last of our post passage clean up. It’s a quintessential look at a sailor’s life.
What a darling sleepy paradise! It’s the kind of place where a writer might go to finish a novel, the stressed-out retreat to feed their soul, or a group of sailors congregate to recharge after a long passage.
If I ever have a midlife crisis and need to hit the reset button, I think I might come back to this quiet place. It may be a tiny island, but it feels huge. So much room to breathe, think and stretch the imagination.
The Village of Vaitahu
The charming little village is only accessible by sea and there are no banks or ATMs. There is a small store with the basics, a post office and a small infirmary. Plus, there’s a water taxi that runs between Hiva Oa and Vaitahu if you needed an island with a little more or wanted to catch a puddle jumper to another island.
A couple bars of cell phone reception can be found in town and we were told there is intermittently working, very slow satellite internet at the two-family run pensions (your two options for accommodations should you want to stay).
The day we visited most everything was closed, including the church (which is a main attraction, built by the Vatican no less). But, it wasn’t a Sunday and I have a feeling that might be the case unless there is a cruise ship in for the day. We knew we wouldn’t be returning so we didn’t ask when the town hall would be open. (The town hall is where one would go to visit the little museum, book a sightseeing guide, horseback riding or fishing adventure.) We were happy taking it slow and soaking it all in.
Why Such A Crusty Bottom?
Well, some waters are just super healthy and can breed a whole seafood buffet, even while sailing. We had cleaned the bottom literally as we were leaving Ecuador. So all that growth happened while on passage (at a moving average of 6 knots mind you!) and the ten days we spent anchored at Hiva Oa.
But…it’s also because we’re due for new bottom paint. Ours is at the end of its life. We tried to haul out for new bottom paint in Ecuador but there are only a few haul-out facilities in the country. Sadly, none of the lifts were wide enough for our catamaran. So, we will have to haul-out here in French Polynesia. Luckily, there are a few different options throughout the islands…but we have to get the cats approved to come ashore first!
Crusty Bottom Cleaning Tools
- Neoprene hood, because tiny crabs love ears but ears don’t love tiny crabs: https://amzn.to/2CYYKt3
- Gloves, good for removing soft growth: https://amzn.to/2R7zdku
- Scrubber pads, for when the gloves aren’t enough: https://amzn.to/2S0ZL8d
- Plastic Scraper, good for the light growth and small barnacles: https://amzn.to/2S8WJyS
- Metal Scraper. For the hard, working on becoming permanent residents, barnacles: https://amzn.to/2R5xXOB
OTHER GEAR USED IN THIS VIDEO
- In The Galley: Grill, induction cooktop and more all under the Kitchen Faves tab here: gonewiththewynns.com/store
- Camera Gear: All Our Camera/Computer Gear is Listed Here: gonewiththewynns.com/camera-gear-review-2017
AWESOME tunes for vids: http://bit.ly/artlist-gwtw
Artists Used In This Video: Giants & Pilgrims, Michael Shynes, Assaf Ayalon
- Dates: June 1 – 3, 2018
- Nautical Miles Sailed: 0
- Island: Tahuata, Marquesas, French Polynesia
- Anchorage: Baie Hanamoenoa
Thanks for joining us!!!
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Until next time…