Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
April 07, 2014
Setting Foot on Nuku Hiva
Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands
Course & Speed
Anchored in Nuku Hiva
Sunny with cumulus clouds over the island
Ahoy! (Hi Mom, don’t worry I’m still alive)
Waking up after a satisfying two-hour night’s sleep was met with delight after realizing we had arrived at Nuku Hiva. Stepping out onto deck during sunrise to see the towering cliffs of the island disappearing into the clouds was an amazing way to start the day. Today would be an exciting day for the entire crew because we would be stepping foot on Nuku Hiva for the first time. Our highly anticipated plan for today would be a hike through Hakaui Valley in order to reach a waterfall named the Cascade Ahuii. Just laying anchor in the small, secluded bay was overwhelming in that it felt like sailing into a movie screen. Our peaceful bay was engulfed with the jagged mountains of the volcanic islands. The bases of the mountains were dense with green plant life which was especially dazzling after several days of nothing but blue skies and even bluer seas.
The part of the island where we anchored was inhabited by very few people who were all one family. As our small boat dropped us off on land, we were greeted warmly by a few people with surfboards in hand and accompanied by several equally friendly dogs. Upon commencing our first journey into Nuku Hiva, everyone was immediately stunned by the beauty of the island. The hike began through the family’s different farmlands. Every plant and tree seemed to be sprouting either fruit or vibrantly colored flowers. From bananas to grapefruits and pink flowers to yellow flowers, the variety and scenery of the agriculture was impressive and unlike anything we had seen before. We were also interested to find many more pet dogs, some goats and pigs, and several horses.
In continuing on the trail, we made our way into the jungle portion of our adventure. This part of the hike consisted of vast webs of vines, trickling creeks, and pieces of ancient stone trails. Occasionally we would come across a clearing in the trees which opened up to a picturesque lookout onto the many rocky cliffs scattered all over the island. We knew we were close once we found ourselves entering Hakaui Valley. It was within the valley that we could truly appreciate the grand size of the mountains on either size of us. The valley led us right to the Cascade Ahuii. The sight of the pool at the bottom of the fall was enough motivation for everyone to simultaneously drop all gear and jump in. Our group unanimously decided that treading water under the cool falls descending from one of the many mountain peaks in the sky was one of the best experiences of our lives.
After a revitalized and reflective walk back toward our boat, we were able to say final goodbyes to the local family. They provided an added bonus to our unforgettable day by kindly giving us a variety of fresh fruits from their land. The admirable generosity of our new friends was a great finale to the day. We boarded our small boat, bananas, grapefruits, limes, and coconuts in hand, and returned to the Seamans. I cannot think of a greater first encounter with this new and exotic island, but the crew cannot wait to go ashore again over the next couple of days.
P.S. And a shout out from Emilie, to Gary and Julie who had their wedding shower today! I hope everyone had a great time and you didn’t get too many cat trees! Love and miss you! - Em