Hakatea Bay

This place is so beautiful it is hard to write anything worthwhile about it. I vividly remember coming around Point Chikakof at the Southwest extremity of Nuku Hiva after our strenuous passage from Hawai’i back in July and heading into the stiff breeze yet again. From maybe a mile out we admired the steep cliffs in what appeared like a sizable gash cut into the South side of the island, which back then was covered with lush tones of the most vivid green glowing in the morning sun. Having studied the map previous to our approach I knew of the peaceful bay sitting at their feet even though nothing of it is visible from the sea. But nothing prepares you for the real thing when it comes to the beauty of landscapes.

This time we sailed downwind from Taiohae. We had raised the anchors under sail and ghosted our usual way out of the bay.

The rest was really just a short stint although through some choppy seas. The wavelets were coming at us from all directions reflected off the steep shore that drops vertically into the sea most of the time. The sea in turn kept licking at the rock at its feet behind white foam spray shooting up into the air in mighty puffs. Looking through the scope of geological time you should be able to see the cliffs crumbling like the sides of a sand castle drying out in the midday sun. But this was a short moment in time and we were on the human scale, so the boulders were staying up there, although some precariously suspended.

The entrance to Hakatea Bay is a narrow mouth between the 1000’ high cliffs and a foamy group of rocks at the end of the Acacia covered peninsula that separates it from the wilder Uauka Bay to the East. I had been counseled many times that it is imperative to turn right immediately after those rocks, not to approach the high cliffs as there’s a nasty undertow, which would pull you cruelly towards them if you did. As soon as we do turn that corner we enter a placid lake with hardly any perceivable swell. The wind is fluky just like in Taiohae Bay, the gusts changing directions as soon as you have your sails set to ride them. There’s one other boat in the bay and at a safe distance from it we drop our hook.

The bay ends with a white sand beach with a couple shacks, palm trees and then a slowly rising brush, totally brown at this time due to the drought. Its backdrop is a wall of dark grey cliffs with a green forest at their feet. The valley is almost perfectly symmetrical and shaped like a wide U, which reminds me of geography classes way back in my youth, where we had to learn that U-shaped valleys were carved by glaciers, while the V-shaped ones were carved by creeks and rivers. For a moment I try to picture a glacier coming down the valley pushing a moraine of volcanic boulders in front of it. I guess, just like most of what we learn in schools, that piece of knowledge proved to be absolutely useless!

3 Responses to “Hakatea Bay”

  1. Thomas Says:

    aloha dear friends,
    I just wish to thank you for making these posts…..and the photos as well. It is enjoyable for me to follow your adventures in the world.
    May you always find the fair wind and a following sea.

  2. Jacques Says:

    Your boat is magnificent on this picture.

  3. Corey Park scam Says:

    Corey Park scam

    Hakatea Bay | Aluna’s Travel the World Blog

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