Bonobo… From the Marquesas Islands

It’s already 9 years since the crew of Bonobo (which is up for sale) have been sailing the world’s oceans. Having spent several months in the Gambier Islands, and then visiting the Tuamotus, Tahiti and the Society Islands, they are now writing to us from the mythical island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands.

Fatu Hiva is the most southerly of the Marquesas Islands. It is very isolated and only visited by passing yachts and the small cruise ships which sail in these waters. The highlight of Fatu Hiva is the Bay of Virgins, which encircles the small village of Hanavave, one of the most beautiful areas in the Marquesas (and according to some, in the top 5 most scenic places in the world!). The head of this bay which gets plenty of rainfall is quite shallow, but shelves steeply, and is bordered by two walls of lava. The vegetation is incredibly lush. The slopes of these cliff faces are covered in tall grasses which are home to hordes of wild goats. Wherever they have been able to get a foothold, there are coconut palms and other shrubs. These two dark cliff faces, open up a kind of door into another enclosed cirque. The vegetation is just incredible! There are twelve boats bobbing on the swell in an area where you would expect no more than five. The anchorage is bursting at the seams with sailboats. The sea bed is deep and covered with a thin layer of pebbles, leading it to be reputed as unpredictable holding. It is also a zone known for frequent gusts of katabatic wind. The captain decided to anchor some distance behind the others, in 31 meters of water, using 100m of chain in an area that was sandy rather than stony. The sun was shining, the sea was like a mill pond and there was silence. What a treat after our eventful trip! The water was dark blue, and a giant manta ray was jumping around under Bonobo’s bows. The first mate decided to make some crêpes for the first Marquesan breakfast. A boat approached. On board were Jacques and Désirée, inviting us to attend a feast cooked in a “Polynesian Oven”, at lunchtime the next day. “If the weather’s good it’ll be on the beach, if it’s raining it’ll be at the house!” Upon waking up from a pleasant siesta, the skipper decided to go pottering around in the dinghy, to take some photos of the magnificent colors of the sunset which spread across the banks of the bay and onto Bonobo too. The photos are incredible. Thanks Captain!   


Who:                          Nadine & Marc

Boat:                         Banana 43

Where:                        Marquesas, Pacific Ocean.



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