After 17 days at sea, we arrived in Hiva Oa on Thursday, 20th of March. What a nice feeling it was to finally see land! After some hrs of motor sailing during the night due to almost no wind, the island of Hiva Oa emerged in the distance, bathing in the sun in all kinds of green colours. It was a breathtaking sight after all these days & nights with no land ahead. We crossed the finish line outside the bay of Atuona, where several of the ARC boats already lay at anchor. The feeling of standing on shore was just incredible! We received a nice welcome by the World ARC Group, and were offered fruit from stands outside the office. The supply ship was here, so fresh food is again available 🙂
Today is Monday, the last day here in Hiva Oa. These last days have gone fast. The first night, we went up to the beautiful Hanakee Pearl Lodge, situated on a hill with magnificent view over the Baie de Taaoa. We got to see the sunset before we had a nice dinner & celebrated our big achievement. Since that night, we have cleaned the hull & the boat, fixed the sails, repaired stuff, checked everything including engine & rig and made new provisioning.
2 days ago we went on a full day tour around the island. The most exiting was visiting the old Tikas still standing, made 350 years BC. People came there to worship & pray for fertility, medicine, good health & a prosperous life. After lunch, we drove back on the most bumping roads I have ever driven on. Today we visited the Paul Gauguin Museum. He lived here on this island from 1901 till he died in 1903. He is buried here, and we went to the local cemetery to visit his grave. and we also found the famous French singer Jacques Brel´s grave, who also lived & died here. The small village of Atuona is a tiny village with a few shops, church, one café, the museum & some handicraft shops. Here they speak French, so being on a German yacht, coming from the Spanish speaking Galapagos, gives us a good opportunity to practice all languages 🙂
Yesterday our Norwegian friends Gro & Erling from Saphir arrived safely, and we had dinner with them at Alex´s place, the most popular gathering place for the Word ARC contestants.
Tonight we will have dinner at the Lodge again to say good-by to Jan & Maria, who are leaving us tomorrow. We will miss them dearly. It´s been a pleasure sailing with them. A new German crew member will arrive tomorrow. We wish him welcome to the Polaris family 🙂
Next stop is in Fatu Hiva, the island where Thor Heyerdahl lived with his first wife Liv. We´re talking Norwegian history here!
It´s good to be here in The French Polynesia, and we look forward to new adventures before reaching Tahiti in the beginning of next month. So long!