The boat was repaired, and our new crew was in good spirits. After a month and a half in the southern Marquesas, we were finally heading to the northern group. The island of Ua Pou was our first destination, we set sail just after dark with strong SE tradewinds sending us flying north.
The island of Ua Pou is not particularly well-known, yet its beauty is tremendous. Every Marquesan island has mind-boggling scenery, usually a mix of vertical rock formation amid steep valleys made dramatic by dark clouds and bands of sunshine. Whereas Fatu Hiva is like a monumental dragon with spikes in its back; and Hiva Oa is a venerable sage; Ua Pou is a crown of jewels. Its 8 granite spires rise at the center of the island, cutting into the thick clouds that spill over the ridgeline.
Our first stop in Ua Pou was the village of Hakahetau. It sits on a bay with perfect protection from the tradewinds.
All afternoon, kids are sliding down the boatramp, playing in the water, while goats chomp the vegetation in the rocks above. We watched a community slideshow, after visiting a waterfall deep in one of Hakahetau’s valleys. It was here that we first met Pascal and learned about the school children’s marine reserve, for whom Green Coco supporters raised $2500.
Manta Rays love the bright lights next to their wharf, attracting plankton and yacht visitors alike. Standing at the wharf, we could watch them for hours doing gentle backloops directly below us, feeding on plankton.
Hakahetau is delightful and easygoing. We decided to return here before long.