Ua Pou


18 May 2010 | Ua Pou

We woke up to the sights of the jagged peaks of Ua Pou. The spires are the remains of ancient volcanoes and create quite a dramatic scene for a sunrise. We anchored in front of a little village that was nestled in a valley on the northwest side of the island and we were the only boat there. Alex jumped in to check the anchor and felt a few jellyfish, so we decided to go for a hike rather than spearfish. Landing the dinghy was fairly exciting there wasn’t really a beach to land it on, so we had to time the waves crashing into the rocks. We did our best, but still had to bail out at the last minute and nearly had the dinghy washed over us. We eventually got the dinghy landed and we were surprisingly dry. We decided to try to hike up and get a better view of the bay. We ended up not really finding the view, but did stumble upon the ruins of an old village buried in the jungle. On the walk back, we had coffee with some farmers who allowed us all to jump on their horse and ride around. We flagged down the only truck we had seen for the entire day and were able to hitch a ride into town. I was able to act as the translator and stumble through some French. The guy drove us to his house and invited us to sit down for a cold beer actually a Heineken which was nice. The next thing we knew he had corralled us upstairs to his patio where his wife carried tray after tray of food out for us. There were three types of fish, eggs, fruit, juices, rice, and more beers. After a two hour meal, we got a ride down to the boat with a few basketfuls of fruit that he insisted we take. Right before we picked up anchor, his son paddled out in a little canoe with an outrigger and let us jump in and paddle around the bay in the waves. It was much quicker than any canoe I’d ever been in and handled well, so I paddled a bit further out towards open water and nearly caught more wind and waves than I bargained for when a little gust came up started pushing me out to sea. Luckily I was able to get it turned around and huff it back in. We picked up anchor to head for another anchorage and caught consistent 20 knot winds on the nose. We beat into the wind and just got to the next anchorage before the sun went down. The next morning, I woke up around 5:30 and went out to try to catch some fish. After about 20 minutes, I motored over to two fishermen in canoes and eventually found out that the fishing was bad due to the murky water and I was too late for the good fishing. They invited me back to their house for some breakfast and I couldn’t pass since I was planning on fishing for awhile anyway. There were a few young guys at the dock and one was a baker who gave me some sweet bread that he made with coconut milk .just like a donut. One guy pulled out his cell phone and threw on some fairly explicit American hip hop music that made for a funny backdrop to our conversation as I watched the sunrise over the peaks. I ended up talking for too long, so I had to pass on breakfast and go pick up Diego and Alex for the hike to the spires that we had been photographing for the past day and a half. Before I left, one of the fisherman tossed me a fresh tuna he caught and said I could have it since he knew I didn’t get anything that morning and he had enough. I picked up Alex and Diego and we got a look a trail map and selected the trail to the base of the tallest spire, Poumaku, and took off. We followed the trail until it seemed to end at private >

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