- 16.5 meters
Crosby, Stills and Nash recorded a song back in 1982 that, strangely enough, is part of the reason we’re here in the Marquesas Islands today. The haunting lyrics of the song “Southern Cross” talked about sailing an 80 feet boat on a nice reach to the Marquesas. I identified with the desire to be far out in the Pacific heading to tropical island destinations and, after our wonderful passage (further documented by a fantastic video) along "The Coconut Milk Run" from the islands of Galapagos we made landfall on the island of Nuku Hiva in Baie Taiohae. I had made arrangements with a company in Papeete, Tahiti to take care of our clearance, etc. while in French Polynesia and they connected me with Yacht Services Nuku Hiva operated by Kevin Ellis. Everything from helping with WiFi access, restaurant suggestions, tour ideas, bimini repairs as well as clearing us into the country was handling expertly and quickly by Kevin.
The island of Nuku Hiva is spectacular and the bay we anchored in, Taiohae, is the remnant of a collapsed volcano with high sides covered in coconut palms, mimosa trees and all sorts of other exotic foliage. Excellent protection from swells unless they are coming in from the south-to-southwest. There is a good dock to tie your tender up to and fairly good provisioning in town. There's a number of snack-restaurants on the dock and one has free (slow) WiFi. Naturally, it's where everyone meets each day. Several other choices for dinner are available and there is also a bank with a good ATM machine (Pacific Francs). The fuel dock can accommodate just about any size yacht (12 meter deep) and the duty-free fuel price will put a smile on your face too!
A lot of the guidebooks state you must anchor of the west side of the bay away from the main dock as the supply ship come in on a regular basis and you need to make room for them. However, a new dock (also where you fuel now) has been built about mid-way down the east side of the bay and now, it's preferred to anchor on the east side closest to the tender dock and restaurants. Renting a 4x4 for the day is highly recommended as the roads are in generally good shape and there are many overlooks where you can get a breath-taking view of your yacht in the bay down below.
After 13 days at sea, resting here for almost a week was an great way to relax and start to enjoy the remote islands of the Marquesas. When you visit, be sure to tell Kevin 'Hi' from Feelin' Good.
If you enjoyed this article please feel free to share it!