To begin with, here are a couple photos from our days at sea. We didn’t get many nice sunsets, but the few we got were beautiful. We also had a huge rainbow around the boat the days it rained.
We dropped anchor at 6:00 am local time on May 19, just as the sun was coming up (8:30 am PST). The view of Taiohae was just as we had seen in photos. The bay is filled with lots of sailboats, surrounded on three sides by tall mountains. That morning the peaks were enshrouded in clouds. The landscape is lush with greenery, with a few small buildings dotting the area. It is absolutely beautiful here.
It took us a good solid four hours to get the boat and dinghy all situated and ready to go. By 10:30 we loaded up in the dinghy and headed to the dinghy dock. The “dinghy dock” turned out to be a small rusty ladder mounted on the sea wall. We had to push our way through some other dinghies to get at the ladder, and then we tied the dinghy up to the ladder.
Our first stop was to the agent we hired to help us clear in. We cannot begin to tell you how smart it was to hire an agent to deal with customs and immigration. We were cleared through in less than an hour. We can imagine being stuck checking in for hours without a translator and someone who knows the check-in red tape.
From there we went and got food. The food was excellent. Richard and Christi got the most popular dish in French Polynesia, which is raw fish in coconut milk. It was really good. Eric got shrimp, which came in full shells, including eyeballs and tentacles.
We walked up and down the main drag, which parallels the bay. Among other things is a park with a large number of Marquesan carvings. According to Lonely Plant, some of those carvings are as old as 2,000 years. Notice the island of Ua Pou in the background of the bay. Kosmos is actually behind the tree.
It felt good to be walking on terra firma, but it was hot and it had already been a long, busy day for us, so after strolling the main drag, we decided to call it a day. We were all exhausted. We went back to retrieve our dingy and found it floating along another portion of the sea wall. The sea wall is L shaped, and fortunately, the dinghy was up against the perpendicular wall. We were lucky. We came very close to losing our dinghy. Eric walked along the wall, above the dinghy and tried to reach the dinghy from above, but the waterline was too low to reach the dinghy. Christi was taking off her shoes and socks in preparation for a swim when a local teenage boy came to our rescue. He lowered himself into the dinghy and brought it around for us. Another local helped us to get the dinghy through the maze of boats and over to the ladder. The locals have all been very nice so far.
And back to Kosmos we went. We were in bed early and slept extremely well. It was so quiet with no engine running, so peaceful to hear the gentle pounding of the surf on the sea wall instead of the smacking of huge waves on the hull.