If someone in high places could have a quiet word with the NZ authorities, that’d be much appreciated. It’s mid August and there’s no word as yet on transient yachties, such as ourselves, being allowed into NZ to avoid cyclone season in the western Pacific.
By all accounts, negotiations are taking place but there are spanners. Covid is back in NZ. The government is on the verge of being dissolved for an election. Governments world over move at very slow speeds. There is a suspension of temporary visa applications as the backlog is over 5000 applications. Hence you’ll understand my spanners comment.
Whether the borders will open (we’d be asking for exemption on humanitarian grounds….cyclone season) or not is still a complete unknown. Exemptions are being made we understand for economic reasons. If you guarantee to spend $50,000 kiwi dollars (invoices needed up front) you can come in. Money talks!
This rather large unknown has led us to hang back a bit and not head further west yet, although the next island chain, the Tuamotos, is not so far away, a 4 day ish sail depending on where we aim for.
In the meantime, we’ve had lots of fun hanging out, walking trails and generally enjoying the unique landscape the marquesas has to offer. The people are lovely. Universally everyone is friendly and says hello. Properties and land are cared for. Litter on the whole does not exist.
We hiked a circular trail up to a granite volcanic plug called Poumaka on the island of Ua Pou. It was quite something. Especially the ridge line through the trees and bush on the way down. Our rucksack was heavier at the end than the start due to the fruit we collected along the way and the chocolate we’d bought too. There’s a slightly bonkers elderly German called Manfred who earns his keep as a chocolatier, growing cacao amongst other things on his property. His passion fruit and dark ganache chocolate bombs were just insanely lovely.
Today we’re anchored at Baie d’Anaho back on Nuku Hiva. No comms here so it’ll be a few days before I post this. We had a dolphin jumping 8’ out of the sea on the sail here. Plus a couple of sharks fins….we’re guessing hammerheads. Anaho delivers a classic Pacific island vista. Sandy beach fringed by palm trees. High green hills behind.
We’re off for a walk today then the plan is for a bonfire on the beach this evening (bug spray will be needed as the no-no’s, known as no see ‘ums, or midges as they’re called in other parts of the world will be out). There’s a New Zealand couple from North Island anchored next to us.
Could they be our hot line to government?