Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tahauata Island – Hapatoni Bay

Hapatoni Bay is just a few miles south of Vaitahau so we motored the short distance and surveyed the anchoring options. The bay to the north of the Town looked pretty crowded with boats, some 12 cruisers and given that the anchorage depths dropped off pretty quickly to 140 plus feet I decided to have a look for another place nearer to town. The charts showed a sandy patch in about 40 feet so we lowered and set the anchor all on our lonesome which was nice for a change. The spot was a bit more rolly than where all the other bats were but we just did not feel like being anchored among all the others given everybody was in close proximity.
The very traditional Marquesan village of Hapatoni has its own well maintained small boat harbor, a pleasant surprise, where the dinghy could be tied up to and is very close to the main street. The village itself has one main dirt street with well-maintained houses on one side and the ocean on the other side. The short walk through town is about ½ mile and I doubt that much has changed here for a hundred years or more apart from street lighting. The locals are very friendly and I asked a man who was sitting carving under a palm fringed roof where we might be able to purchase some of his work. He told us to visit another building where 5 local bought out a selection of locally made items including bone carvings, word carvings and local instruments. We had head that this was the place to buy Marquesan carvings so we purchased a traditional ceremonial horn that was made by Ernest, the man I had spoken to earlier.

We wondered through the village again looking at the church, school and pigs before we headed back to the boat for a swim and an evening meal.    

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