May 8, 2009 - Hanavave to Omoa, Fatu Hiva
Rebecca & Patrick of Brick House joined us aboard Migration for our outing to Omoa, the next bay over from Hanavave. We abandoned our good anchoring spot to the protection of Eric on Le Ouistiti & motored the 3 miles to Omoa. Boy, what a different anchorage. A big washing machine with waves crashing up against the cliffs sending salt spray everywhere. The old quay is on a point of land exposed to the bashing waves, but fortunately they've just built a new breakwater on the other side with a more protected quay. We didn't have to fight for a spot in this bay -- no other boats.
As we walked into the town, we were pleased to see a few new stone tikis around the grounds of the mairie (the town hall) - the first tikis we've seen.
When we saw a mango tree with lots of ripe mangos, we asked the owners if we could pick up the mangoes on the ground. They think we're crazy for wanting the fallen ones since they generally throw those to the pigs, but they said yes. This was only the beginning of what would be a good fruit-collecting day.
We walked up the only road in town occasionally stopping to chitchat in French with people we passed. There were flowers everywhere: the bright colors of bougainvillea, ginger flowers, hibiscus, & haliconia. It was a nice looking town with more interesting architecture than Hanavave - even some 2-story wooden structures. Some houses even had big shady porches - a rarity from what we’ve seen thus far in French Polynesia. Near the school we saw our first vanilla plantation; I had to ask what it was & the nice woman patiently answered all our questions about growing vanilla. There was pamplemousse everywhere, plus lime trees, breadfruit, even pepper plants. As we climbed past the houses, we began filling our backpacks with the limes rolling around in the street. Can't have too many limes....
We climbed up as far as the hydro-turbine for the village, took a dip in the river till the mozzies found us, then had fun bowling coconuts down the hill. I asked a guy bathing his horse in the river in town (nice healthy horses here) if we could have some pamplemousse from his property, & he gladly found us a bag & filled it. BB thoughtfully cut a pink ginger flower from beside the river for both us girls. Laden with fruit & flowers, we danced our way into the dinghy before getting soaked by the waves crashing over the edge of the quay. Migration was bouncing around like crazy, so we didn’t hang out, but motored right back to Hanavave.
After we returned to our choice anchoring spot in Hanavave, we went to Brick House to watch the sunset over drinks & popcorn, then we all returned to Migration for wahoo & garlic bread, thankful to be anchored in such a comparatively calm bay. Amazing how different two bays can be that are only a few miles apart.
*Street Chatting picture by Patrick Childress (s/v Brick House)