Locked down in the Pacific

Thetys’s crew is locked down on Eiao, the most northerly of the Marquesas islands.

Who: Toinette & Johan
Where: Eiao, The Marquesas Islands
Multihull: Nautitech 542
Youtube: Thetys autour du monde Nautitech 542

We discovered a tormented landscape. The island is battered by an incessant swell. We anchored in the middle of the bay of Vaituha in 50 feet (15 m) of water. It is bordered by a small black sand beach, where the waves break. Approaching it we spotted a pack of sharks on the hunt, which did not really motivate us to swim! Manta rays were circling around our catamaran, some of them around 20 feet (6 m) wide. We counted up to 20 of them at the same time. The next day, there was still a swell so we inflated our kayak, which would make the landings easier. A large wooden hut was built on the rocks at the edge of the water, with a shower, toilet and even a kitchen. There were taps but no water. A few days later we followed the pipes to the source and checked each connection until we found the problem: a connector had been disconnected. From now on, there would be running water in the hut! It was a one-hour ascent up to the plateau. There were some parts where we had to scale the mountainside, so good hiking boots were necessary. We really enjoyed exploring the island during these seven weeks; on one side, we had a Martian landscape with red earth and big stones, and on the other side, we had small oases filled with cinnamon apples and abundant vegetation. We managed to catch a few pigs and goats, but it required considerable effort and miles of walking! We spent hours admiring a colony of frigate birds in full courtship. During the courtship parade, the male’s throat turns bright red and swells to attract the female. When fishing with the dinghy, the line of our fishing rod would whizz out in less than 10 minutes, with 20-pound yellowfin tunas and sometimes wahoo on the end. We had to be very fast reeling in our catch, otherwise the sharks would have eaten it in a few seconds! We also dreamed of finding one of the two treasures that we had heard was hidden on Eiao. One is very old, and the other one is said to have been put there by a German submarine during the Second World War…

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