Sunset at Tahuata
Thankfully it stopped raining yesterday so Peter and Graham managed three dinghy trips with jerry cans so both boats are now refuelled; a labour-intensive process but we were glad that it was completed without injury or spillage. Our timing was good as the supply ship arrived just after they collected the last load and the fuel station closes whilst the ship discharges its cargo.
We left Hiva Oa after lunch for a gentle 9 mile sail to the nearby island of Tahuata and the beautiful anchorage in Baie Hanamoenoa where there are about 10 boats anchored. The water is clear so we can see the sandy bottom just 5 metres below us, there is a long sandy beach with palm trees and that's about it – oh, there is no swell, marvellous!
After all the fun & games of the last couple of days we plan to relax a bit, clean the boat (the hull bears the tide marks of all the brown water of the harbour) and explore ashore. There are Manta Rays in the bay, apparently, and Graham saw lots of tropical fish when he snorkelled out to check the anchor yesterday. The visual anchor check is a nice comforting thing to do, especially if we leave the boat unattended and this time Graham found that its tip was hooked on to a flat slab of pale-coloured rock which meant that if the wind direction shifted it might well drag. At 5m depth he was able to free-dive down to it and drag it into a nearby patch of sand; he then watched it bury itself when Dianne applied engine power in reverse gear so we're happy that we have a secure spot now.
After a couple of days with slow and doubtful wifi in the bay (various attempts at Skype calls ended in failure) we are back to using the sat phone for emails and blog updates for the next few days but we'll try to post the odd photo when we can.