Friday, May 20, 2011

CMR: Hanamoenoa, Tahuata, Marquesas, French Polynesia

CMR: Hanamoenoa, Tahuata, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Baie Hanamoenoa is the most popular anchorage on Tahuata Island. It is a great place to escape the crowded rolly conditions of Atuona without spending a lot of energy that most newly arrived Puddle Jumpers do not have. It is a wide open bay with gorgeous views, excellent snorkeling, giant manta rays, no people, and clean water.

I. Location
A. GPS – 09 54.500S 139 06.275W

B. Political – Tahuata is an island in the Marquesan chain of French Polynesia. Baie Hanamoenoa is an essentially unpopulated bay on the north west side. You must check in to Polynesia before you visit this island.

C. Approach – Baie Hanamoenoa is on the north western side of Tahuata. Because the points on either side of the bay are uncharted, it is recommended that you approach from a half mile off shore. The bay itself is wide open and unobstructed.

D. Distances
Atuona, Hiva Oa – 9.0 NM
Vaitahu, Tahuata – 3.5 NM
Hapatoni, Tahuata – 8.0 NM

II. Boat
A. Anchorage – You can anchor in 20' to 35' feet virtually anywhere in the bay in mixed sand and rock. There are clear patches of sand which, due to the clarity of the water, are readily identified. This anchorage is very popular during the height of the season which may require that you anchor in a rockier portion. There are two additional lobes of bay to the south of the main anchorage if you are looking for additional privacy. However, in both cases, there are homes on shore with fences and no trespass signs.

B. Dinghy – The shoreline is sandy with patches of rock to the far edges. The swell is weather dependent but generally light enough to dinghy in without incident.

III. Goods and Services
NONE

IV. To Do

A. Snorkeling – The southern edge has a nice coral and rock formation with a good amount of fish and wildlife. It is not overwhelming, but the clarity of the water makes it tempting and enjoyable. Also, lucky snorkelers get to swim with the giant manta rays that are prone to visiting the bay to get their hides cleaned by the local symbiotic reef fish.

B. Walking – The beach is white sand and makes an enjoyable walk. Some cruisers report cutting overland to join the road that circumnavigates the island. Need more information.

C. Beach Party – Some enterprising cruisers (or locals?) set up a fire pit and seats at the north end of the beach (2011). Please pack out your trash and any trash you see left by former party goers.

V. Reporting Boats
- s/v Don Quixote, Toast Conger, 2011

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