Fatu Hiva: Gem of the Marquesas

After an easy night motoring upwind 155 NM, we dropped anchor around 0900 in Baie Hanavavae, nestled among towering peaks covered with lush vegetation.

This is the southernmost island of the Marquesas chain. Population last reported was 612. It has a small village near the yacht harbor, as well as a sheltered inner harbor for local fishing boats and dinghies from visiting yachts.

“EXcape” in Hanavavae Bay

Our first day was spent mostly hanging out on “EXcape” and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Carl, Arnstein and I took a walk into town, bartered for some pamplemousses (local grapefruit) in exchange for spare line we had to trade, and cooked dinner on board.

View from the anchorage

The next day, Travis and I hiked to the top of a mountain overlooking the harbor. While the trail was paved road 95% of the way, it was a 45 degree grade in parts, the steepest paved road I’ve ever seen. It took us 90 minutes slogging laboriously to the top in the noonday sun, but we were rewarded by getting photo ops on the Caterpillar bulldozer gracing the meadow on the summit, as well as spectacular views of the harbor and surrounding jungle.

Our mountain to climb
It doesn’t look steep, but it was
Travis trudging uphill (note guardrails to keep cars from careening off the cliff)
View from top over Baie Hanavavae
Hot, tired, happy
Why this is here, nobody knows
Panoramic view from top

That evening, we departed for Fakarava in the Tuomotus, 255 NM distant.


9 thoughts on “Fatu Hiva: Gem of the Marquesas

  1. This looks like paradise ❤️❤️❤️❤️
    Congrats on making that arduous climb !!! Wow !!!
    Love traveling with you ❤️


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