We stopped at two bays on the North side of Hiva Oa. We spent just one night at the beautiful Hanatekuua. This is a place to return to for certain if we are ever back in these islands. A pod? flock? of manta rays were feeding in the bay and we jumped in the kayak with the one snorkel mask we could grab quickly and took turns paddling into position and plunking our head underwater to watch the rays underwater. Beautiful. One had a wing span half as big as our kayak and their gaping, scoop-like white mouths glowed blue-white underwater.
We had a pressing appointment with some spare part for our furler arriving in Nuku Hiva and so we left the next morning for a day hook at Puamau – an archeological site I was hot to visit. Let’s just say that landing our kayak was one of the more dangerous things we’ve done in the last few months and that includes an ocean passage. We ended up avoiding the concrete landing with its 6’ surge and surfed the kayak through breaking waves onto the sand beach. Then, after we hiked to the site we portaged the kayak a half mile to the concrete landing because we knew we couldn’t get out through the waves – particularly because Carol had a fresh tattoo and was not allowed to swim. We dropped the kayak into the water, Carol jumped in during a high point in the surge and then I held the kayak with a rope for a few more cycles before I was able to jump in on a high point. Carol then paddled like mad while I held on and we escaped the concrete.
Well, it was worth it. Here is what we saw at Puamau: