Now, more than 80 years later, I’m on my way to Fatu Hiva, only this time by windsup, a 14’ stand up paddle board (Starboard Touring 14 x 30) which I can also windsurf. The wind is light and it is a hard upwind reach; if you miss the island, it’s 1000 miles to Easter Island. Although I have water and food for four days, I had better make sure I got to Fatu Hiva. I was hoping to reach it by nightfall but I still couldn’t see the island on the horizon. My compass said I was on course and my GPS was telling me I was half way, which was good but it also told me I would arrive there in the middle of the night. Just when I thought the wind was totally giving up on me, I felt a fresh breeze from a slightly better angle. I had started in the early morning and paddled for six hours just to get around the East Cape of Hiva Oa.
I arrived there the day before via a small propeller plane from Tahiti. Pifa, a super friendly local picked me up and drove me to Puamua on the other side of the island. Here you can find the largest and best preserved tikis in French Polynesia. Tikis, statues carved in wood or stone represent Ti’i, an ancestor half human half god, who according to the legend was The First Man. It seemed only fitting to start my crossing to Fatu Hiva here.