The memories of the voyage are fading fast after a couple of days of rest and recuperation. We did a brief (and slightly unsteady) walk ashore on our first afternoon then had a better look at the very neat and tidy Hanavave village on Saturday. An enterprising local couple, Jacques and Desiree, had organised a BBQ on the beach so all the crews of the 10 boats at anchor attended; the Mahi Mahi and chicken were delicious though the goat was a little tough (not surprising considering the mountainous terrain they graze). As we returned to the boats we had the biggest downpour imaginable so we can see why the island is so green.
Yesterday we hiked up into the hills with Heidi and Peter, following the river that runs into the head of our bay up to a very dramatic 200ft waterfall where Graham & Peter swam in the very deep plunge pool. For the first time the clouds cleared away from the mountain tops to give us a dramatic view of the rocky crags soaring above us.
The big swell that was forecast a few days ago arrived here yesterday so the waves started rolling into the anchorage. We're anchored in about 12m depth so rolled a fair bit until we deployed our anti-roll SeaBrake (last used in Spain) on the spinnaker pole but at the head of the bay the bottom shelves rapidly towards a little man-made breakwater sheltering the small dinghy harbour and the waves began to break there. Andrew, the skipper of Sirius which arrived the day before, was pitched out of his dinghy and into the water as he went in to collect his crew. Luckily he managed to get back aboard and restart the outboard before he was swept ashore. We're glad to say that the swell has diminished this morning so we'll head ashore again later now that it's safe to do so.
Boats that we've been chatting to on the the radio net are arriving – the NZ yacht Tuatara has just anchored – and one or two have left for the other anchorages. We'll check the forecast today and probably move to Hiva Oa tomorrow (about 45 miles) – there is a bit more in the way of civilisation and we should be able to get some diesel and maybe even find a laundry there. There should be some internet access too, so we'll hope to be able to post a few more photos.