Tuesday 3rd April: Baie Vaipaee, Ua Huka, Iles Marquises, South Pacific Ocean 8 56.5S 139 34.3W
Today’s Blog by David (Time zone UTC -9.5 (sic))
One surprising outcome from Sunday’s drinks do was to learn how many World ARC people are following others’ blogs. I can’t say we have had the bandwidth to allow us to surf, but I was gratified, to hear discussion about some of the things we have blogged. So, on that basis, and if we are in time, World ARC Folks thinking of visiting Ua Huka might want to take note of this.
The island has always been on our itinerary and we have searched for information from a number of sources. For example, through the Ocean Cruising Club, I have been keeping in touch with a number of non- World ARC boats. One such, (SuperTed) reported to me last week that:
“Currently in Baie de Hane, Ua Huka. Lovely place with very friendly and helpful people, but the anchorage is dreadful. We surfed up onto the beach in our canoes with the best of the surfing dudes from the island (to get ashore), and persevered two very rolly nights hoping to make it until the rowing regatta and beach feast on Saturday, but we can't take it any more, …...” Based upon that advice and the knowledge that the wind and swell are both presently well north of South East, Baie Vaipaee looked to be a better bet.
Of Baie Vaipaee, Charlie’s Charts reports:
”………once inside the sea is calm. ……….. As swinging room is limited it is better to lie to two anchors, bow and stern, to hold the vessel into any swell. In northerly or easterly winds the bay can be acceptable, but if the winds sets south easterly the swell rides right into the bay”
Well – we are there. From the shore it is picturesque: image001; image002 ; image003
Charlies’ also says: “There are two small stores, an attractive church and very friendly people in this village.” Well, the church is as above; we found a very well provisioned store (Self raising flour, baking powder etc.) but our sample of various of the surly male population yesterday evening has not fulfilled the third expectation engendered by SuperTed and Charlie - indeed we have felt most unwelcome.
Coupled with the fact that, whatever this photo might look like, we are tightly pinned down, head to an uncomfortable 0.5 metre swell (I’d hate to be here when the wind is in the south east!), with two anchors 45m chain for’ard and 35m aft in about 8 metres of water this is not a settled, peaceful anchorage. Whatever the photo might show above, from our cockpit it feels like you can write you name on the cliff face - as such I did not pass easy night. We will not stay here another!
If Ua Huka is on your itinerary, plan accordingly.