We have arrived safely in Baie des Vierges (Bay of Virgins) on
the island of Fatu Hiva, the most southern island of the
Marquesas. After arriving, Laura recited the blessing for dry
land that her sister Diane sent her (“Baruch Atah Adonai
Eloheinu Melech HaOlam Rokah HaAretz Al HaMayim.” Blessed are
you Lord our G-d King of the Universe who spreads the dry land
out over the water.
The island came into view through the clouds of a squall just
after dawn. It was so incredible that we deviated course to
sail down much of the east side of the island and then around
the southern end before heading north to the anchorage. The
trip from the Galapagos took exactly 19 days (and 30 minutes,
but who is counting?). The last day we sailed in the company
(that is, within VHF radio hailing distance) of “Afriki”, who is
single-handed by Ian, a Canadian (born in Fort Gary outside
Winnepeg) who we met in Academy Bay in the Galapagos. As we
came into the bay, Uva, our German friend from the Galapagos,
zipped out in his dinghy to give us some information on
anchoring. The bay is very deep, has poor holding, and there
are big gusts of wind coming down from the steep mountain sides.
We chose to try for the centerline of the bay, as Uva had
suggested, but the furthest in we could come was 38 meters of
water. We dropped the anchor just as an intense rain squall
began, soaking both of us. The anchor would not hold even
though we put down every link of chain that we have (80 meters).
Uva has 120 meters of anchor rode so this is doable for his
boat. We hauled all of our chain and the anchor back aboard and
circled around looking for another possibility when we saw
Jean-Francoise and Karin of “Intiaq” motioning us over. They
were close to the steep cliff on the south side of the bay.
They said that we should anchor between them and the cliff and
that is was safe to do so as a boat that had left just an hour
before had been there for three days. It was a mere 25 meters
in this place and this time the anchor held. We celebrated with
cold diet cokes, cans of tuna, and crackers, followed by a 90
minute nap. This afternoon we spent some time on Sabbatical III
with Ian and later with Uva and Beatrice, Uva’s wife. We put
away our downwind poles and other gear and tried to make some
order down below. We have not left the boat yet — something to
look forward to tomorrow.
Baie des Vierges in incredibly beautiful. It is a deep
indent on a small island that is just huge cliffs rising up from
the sea. At one end of the bay are a set of rocky pillars that
led the orginal visitors to name the bay “Baie des Verges” (Bay
of the Phalli) because of the shape of these pillars.
Missionaries that followed disapproved and added an “i” to the
name which made it Bay of the Virgins.
We have a lot more to add about our passage and this
beautiful place but that will have to await a full nights sleep,
a luxury that we have not had in three weeks. A photo is
attached that hopefully gives some idea of the look of this bay.
Our location is South 10 degrees 28 minutes, West 138 degrees
40 minutes, and is no longer constantly changing.