Our stay in Hanamoenoa Bay on the small island of Tahuata was tranquil. There was no settlement, just a beautiful beach, coconut palms and lemon trees. We had a great overnight sail there punctuated by a dolphin visit and something sinisterly large on the fishing line which, having made the winch scream with the speed of the racing line and created an impressive bow wave behind us, thankfully, got away. In the bay we spent a couple of days snorkeling, reading and doing a few 'low-level' jobs. We were 'friendless' in the anchorage when we arrived, with 5 unknown boats there, and it was a good opportunity to meet some new people after the easy security of 'the Net' group. Sadly but inevitably the group has now dispersed but will reconvene at intervals along this 'Coconut Milk Run' route.
Another disaster befell us the afternoon of our arrival. As I said, the anchorage is roly and suffers from cross swells which can make landing a dinghy difficult (you know what's coming, don't you?). Well, we rowed Jordan to shore but were pitch-poled at the last minute in the shallows. It all happened very quickly and was quite dramatic. I was thrown out of Jordan and dragged under the surf, while Nick was completely engulfed by her as she pitched over. I stood up, to see the upturned Jordan and not a sign of Nick. I had images of him unconscious and water filling his lungs which was enough to give me cockroach super-strength and I lifted up the dinghy (no mean feat - she's a big girl!) to find 'no-mercy' Nick unharmed and ready to spring to action. All was salvaged including 4 flip-flops, 2 pairs of sunnies, 2 oars and the plastic dinghy seat which had given me a glancing blow on the cheek as it flew off into the surf. Jordan, however, is now on probation. Brenda is ready and waiting in the forepeak if we have any more nonsense! Thankfully, Nigel was not involved as we had decided to row in. Phew!
Oh well, we have had some fun too; hiking in the hills, relearning how to spend money in shops and bars and, of course, since there seem to be no laundry facilities for yachts in the islands, doing plenty of washing. We knew the pressure cooker was a wise addition to the galley, but it also gets your whites whiter (well, sort of). Our walk was breathtaking and we were accompanied by Patrice who was refreshingly modest about his knowledge and experience of being a guide and encouraged us with our attempts at French, the common language. We came down from the mountains with aching legs, an enhanced French vocabulary and backpacks full of fruit, fruit, fruit.