Back on the Mainland

It’s funny, Nuku Hiva is not even twice the size of Ua Pou, but it must be the time we spent here that makes it feel like we’re back on terra firme after having ventured to some remote island just behind the horizon. The sail back was slow. The feeble trade winds decided to blow out of North-northeast. The sea was choppy, I guess from yesterday’s passing of a few mighty squalls that brought temporary relief to Ua Pou’s almost year old drought. We had just come back from yet another excursion towards the East Coast of the island, managed to row Alunita back to her mother ship, when it came pouring down. We haven’t seen such rain since back in the doldrums, it’s been dry mostly for the last couple months. Even though we stuck our noses out of Hakahau’s protected harbor at seven thirty in the morning, we did not enter Controller’s Bay back on Nuku Hiva until shortly before sunset.

Our first offshore fishing experiment went into high gear when the rod bent and the spool emptied with a whistle to the end of the line. My fault for not attaching the line with multiple turns to give it some traction, now I was struggling to wind some of that line onto the drum of the crank to start hauling in the catch. Way back past our wake a classic shot of sport fishing burns itself into my brain. An over twenty pounder jumps out of the waves, fighting for his life, for an instant suspended in midair as inviting the snapshot, before splashing back into the wet. I had just managed to finally get the spool going when I felt the rod snap back. The weight was gone from the line and I knew instantly what that meant. The big fish got his life back, albeit with a hook in his mouth. I wound up the line up to where it had parted. A lure, a hook, a swivel and a weight had departed with the fish that was not meant to be ours. There’s still a lot to learn on the survival front!

Now we’re sitting in the quiet anchorage at the mouth of the Taipivai valley. We’re filling every available container we have with the good quality fresh water available here. Aluna sit’s heavy in the water by now. We’ll have to watch in the future what we bring on board and start to get rid of some of our “stuff”.


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