139* 01.9' West
Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
18 days and 19 hours after departing from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico, we began our anchoring process on the other end of our voyage. The inner bay her is very small and there were already about 20 boats anhored. So after trying one spot that was just too tight AND in the path of the supply ship turn around space, we decided that the outer harbor wouldn't be so bad after all.
I was on watch as the sun came up and so the duty of calling, "Land Ho!" fell to me. I thought it might be kinda fun for one of the kids to do it, so as the sun came up, I woke Austin (Bryce had stood watch til late with his dad) and asked him if he wanted the honor. To which he replied sleepily, "Maybe another time!" However, about 5 minutes later he appeared in the companionway and we spent the next hour watching the sun rise and trying to discern the outline of the island (we could see it on radar, so we knew right where to look).
Once our anchor was down, we splashed the dinghy (after a frustrating, but ultimately sucessful search for our mosquito screen) and headed to the inner anchorage to see our friend Eric on SECRET AGENT MAN so that he could tell us the lay of the land. We talked to OSO BLANCO as we entered the harbor and will meet up with them next week.
The anchorage is a little ways from town and so we just went ashore right here for now. We will check in with the gendarme first thing in the morning and do some exploring in Atuona. Ashore at the anchorage, there is a gas station, that sells baguettes for about 50 cents a loaf, showers and fresh water, an outrigger canoe club and very small boat basin with room for about 10 fishing boats tucked behind the breakwater.
It is much more developed here than expected. The road is paved in cement and there are streetlights. The homes that we can see from the anchorage look nice, more like wooden framed contstuction than the cement boxes we have grown so used to seeing in Mexico.
So begins the next chapter of our adventure . . . . . . .