Baie de Vaipaee

Friday 5/10/13 20:30 08 56.418 S 139 34.362 W 56.418S 139 34.362W Baie de Vaipaee Posting by Dennis: We had a wonderful sail here the night before last. We pulled up anchor around 6:30 in the evening and headed out of Baie Hanatekuua and headed northwest to the island of Ua Huka. It was a great sail with the wind on the starboard beam and the windvane steered us pretty well the whole way, that is with a constant eye on it. We had the 60 mile run in less than ten hours, which got us here at four in the morning. We had to then heave to until it got light, around 6:30, and then wandered in to this anchorage. It is a narrow canyon like bay with vertical sides and shallows up to twenty feet about half way back. After dropping the bow anchor we blow up the dingy and put out a steer anchor so we do not swing into the sides of the canyon and also helps keep the bow pointed toward the opening were the waves come rolling in. And they roll in continuously, they then ricochet off the walls of the canyon and roll the boat this way and that in no kind of pattern at all. So moving around the boat is unusually tricky. You tend to bounce off things more than usual. We went for a hike around the little village, people are very friendly and everyone greets you and waves as they go by. Most of the homes here are very nice and most seem to have fairly new pickups. Where they drive to is beyond me. But the place seems pretty affluent. The water in the bay is really disgusting because everything from the village dumps in there, and I mean everything. The water is pretty much trapped in the harbor and without much tide it does not flush out at all. This afternoon we went for a hike up into the valley. It is very lush. Barb insisted on picking some mangos but in doing so she ended up tumbling twenty feet head over heels before she snagged on a tree branch. I being the conservative one did not laugh as she whimpered over a couple of minor scrapes. I just pointed out a couple of other mangos she should get while she was down there anyway. They were very tasty as we ate them on our march to the top of the mountain. On our way back to the boat we found a little restaurant. The menu was taped to the fridge and consisted of four things, Steak and fries, chicken and fries, Chow Mein, and Raw fish marinated in lime juice. After seeing were they get the fish we decided that would not be a good choice. So I had chicken and Barb had Chow Mein. They were both very good. Mine was barbecued over a split 55 drum and Barbs was chicken and fresh vegetables. I asked the lady about some fruit she had there and ended up with four more Pamplemousse. I love them, we have one every morning for breakfast. Just as we were leaving it started to pour. So we ended up running to the boat when we reach the pier there were four guys that were cleaning a pile of goats they had shot. Wild horses and goats are a real problem here and are the main cause of the land being stripped of its vegetation. They say there are over ten thousand on this little island. The people in the islands here are so friendly everyone waves as the drive by and if you walk by their house they always greet you. I was talking to a guy a few days ago and I asked him if he ever that about leaving his little village of less than three hundred people. He looked shocked and dismayed and asked me why would he. I asked him if he went to town and he said once a year and said it cost about 5000 Polynesian francs, about fifty five dollars. He had no car and worked collecting coconuts. He had a wife and three children and was perfectly content with his life. As I left he gave me three Pamplemousse. I felt bad I had nothing to give in return. It was a very humbling experience.

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