As we move between islands we usually trail a line in the hopes of catching a fish. We were lucky on this short journey. As we entered the harbor we landed a mahi-mahi -- enough for dinner that evening.
This island is the largest of the islands that make up the Marquesas and we were looking forward to enjoying some relaxing time and get a few jobs done. We had our mail forwarded here. The last mail we had was in early March in Panama and it was now June. As you can well imagine there was much mail and the costs of having it shipped to the Marquesas was quite expensive.
One of our chores was to investigate the problems we were having with the anchor windlass (for the non sailors this device allows us to use a motor to raise the anchor and chain from the water). On investigation Rick found a major metal failure on the device and when ashore in search of options. What he found was the work could only be done in Tahiti as the local welder was not on island due to illness. Rick then designed and diagramed a fix for the windlass. This was faxed to Tahiti along with payment and a few days later the part arrived in Nuku Hiva. Though there was some misinterpretation in their reading of the drawing, Rick was able to get it working and before we left Nuku Hiva we did have a working windlass.
Now during the time of our broken windlass was our famous tsunami warning. For those who did not get or original email this was when we received notice from the local harbor patrol that due to an earthquake in Peru they expected a tsunami (large wave) possibly in the harbor and we had to evacuate to deep water. We were not given much time and had to leave our anchors in the water with markers on them as we could not pull up the chain in a timely fashion before dark. We then headed out to see with 50 or so other boats and spent from 6:00 pm to 3:00 am dodging rain, high winds and boats until we were allowed back in the harbor. We were lucky to have some good cruising friends help us out. Scott from Quixote came on board Tranquillity and helped get our anchor reattached to the boat and then he and Rick headed to another boat to assist a single handed sailor set it anchor. We all fell exhaustedly to sleep and awoke to a bright sunny day as if nothing had happened.
As we now realized we were not going to make it to Tahiti for fete, we decided we would stay in Nuka Hiva for their celebration.
The locals were putting up a building that would house the crafts and food concessions as well as the dancing during the festivities - which continued for a month or more. We were there for the initial parade and some of the contests - including a beer drinking contest which Rick entered.
While we were in Nuku Hiva a large sailboat (Nous) arrived and announced to the fleet there was going to be a pig roast. As it turned out the crew on this boat (106 feet long) was in Nuku Hiva awaiting arrival of the owners and would miss out on the dance competition both in Nuku Hiva and Tahiti so decided to have a pig roast and hire the locals to dance. In the process, they invited all the cruisers in the harbor to attend. It was a wonderful and memorable evening. We enjoyed good company, good food and as you can see Rick really enjoyed the dancing.
We decide it is time to head to the next group of islands, the Tuamotus. After that we head to the Society Islands (Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea). So many islands and so little time. Stay tuned for the Tuamotus.