Hiva Oa is a hell of a place, a towering volcanic islands that shoots out of the pacific, making an ideal end to a Pacific Crossing, Fatu Hiva is even more spectacular.
Despite its remoteness, it is well equipped. Providing you're not in need of repairs or spares.
Hiva Oa on a clear day
The primary port, and a port of entry is Atuona, anchorage is in the bay next door. Hiva Oa is a tall volcanic island, the side are steep and the bottom of the ocean drops off immediately. There is a flashing white light on the hill between the harbour and Atuona village. There's a green light on the breakwater. Both were functioning in 2008.
Anchoring, is possible beyond the breakwater, but the bay is somewhat rolly. It is also possible to moor stern too to the southern end of the docks. The rock walls around the petrol station make a lovely spot.
Dinghy's can be landed around the harbour, but a stern anchor needs to be used to keep the dinghy from rubbing on the concrete.
NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION
French Polynesia is expensive. Especially for alcohol. Spirits are £50 a bottle. However, food is plentiful in 2 large supermarkets in Atuona. Both have large freezers of meat. The food is not cheap, but bearable. Being French it is of high quality and fresh bread is delivered multiple times a day. The Petrol Station on the dock also sells supplies, but its its bread that makes it convenient. Small beers are £2 a bottle. There is a bar in Atuona, but since its £4-6 a drink no ones been to it!
It is impossible to get gas bottles filled in Atuona, if you are out you must purchase a local bottle and if necessary regulator. I believe this is true of all of the Marquesas.
There is a tap at the Fuel Station, if you moor stern too you can take a long hose on board and fill your tanks. However opinion varies as to whether its safe to drink this water. If its been raining heavily apparently its not. If its dry it is. We've a filter on our tap, and we've been drinking it with no ill effects. Its not like you have a lot of choice unless you have a water maker. I've been told to bottle some of it with a little sugar, if after 24 hours its still clear its drinkable. If its cloudy don't drink it. I don't recommend you stake your life on that test however.
The station on the dock sells Fuel, petrol and diesel. However they were restricting supplies to 40l a day to yachts while I was there. I blame the ARC. 40l will get you to Huka Hiva, where there are no restrictions. You can either use Gerry cans and a dinghy. or anchor and haul your stern in to the station, which has a long diesel hose by the steps behind the office. Diesel is 125cfr a litre, (about 150cfp to the pound, 72cfp to the dollar.)
You must visit the Gendamaire, as a temporary check in till Tahiti. If you are an EU Citizen you DO NOT have to pay the bond. Other wise you will have to pay the bond, I believe $1000 which is retuned when you leave French Polynesia. The Gendarmes are friendly helpful and bond aside its simple - compared to the south Americans!
The Gendameries are only open from 7-11 for Yacht checkins Monday to Friday, but the next day doesn't seem to be a problem.