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Nuku Hiva, Marquesas - water, sandflies and communications

By Sue Richards last modified Apr 02, 2012 11:08 AM

Published: 2012-04-02 11:08:57
Countries: French Polynesia

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas - March 2012 – A couple of observations.
Yacht "Walrus"


The water at the dock at Taiohae is not potable, and the laundry lot I had done was not brilliant – possibly due to the colour of the water out of the taps. Nearby in Baie de Controleur, (which is less rolly), you can get drinking water at the shed at Taipevai, (or just beyond the shed at Hooumi). There are 3 shops at Taipevai. Walk up the road until you find a RH turn, down across the river. Two shops to the left, and a newer one to the right, which is better stocked and the owner speaks some English. She will order bread for you and also do your laundry – she did a very good job for us.

Store items priced in red are govt. subsidized and a set price everywhere on Nuku Hiva.


If you aren’t carrying DEET insect repellant, buy Aerogard at Taiohae before going elsewhere. The sandflies (No-No’s) are vicious. Best tip: don’t scratch. They can turn nasty and you will scratch for days. Lemon juice gives some relief.


We had some trouble receiving a small parcel via US Postal Service, addressed to the PO in Taiohae. It got to Papeete in 8 days, (express post) then got stuck. To keep the story short, get the sender to scan the invoices of the goods and the postal invoice and email to you. Then you must make sure you have the invoices for the goods and the postal invoice on the outside of the package. Also in large letters somewhere other than the small address label you should write the name of the yacht and “YACHT IN TRANSIT”. If all else fails go to the PO with your tracking number, a scanned copy of both your boat registration and the customs form copy which they give you on check in, PLUS scanned copies of the invoice – the head of the PO can then e-mail the customs/PO Papeete attaching your scanned copies and with luck you should receive your packet without having to pay import duty.


I know of three internet spots at Taiohai, Nuku Hiva. Yacht Services at the dock, a place just up from the anchorage and the PO. You can purchase internet time on line at Taiohai from your boat. However, everyone at the anchorage was complaining about it dropping in and out. Best tip is to buy a little time and try it.

There are several providers.

I hooked on to two: Hotspot, which gave good connection at the anchorage (but I have a strong antenna) and Manaspot which has several antenna round the shoreline. Again I had good luck with this, best time is early morning, and before the boat starts moving about and everyone else is loggind on. Manaspot has the advantage in that you can go to the PO at Taiohae and use their computers, and log in with your own login and password. You can buy cards there, and they do not charge for the computer time. There is no chance of SKYPE on their computers. So you have to take your own machine if you want to use SKYPE or other chat system. Check PO latest hours, and ship arrivals as the hours can change, and the passengers all want to get on the internet!