Saturday, April 30, 2011

Taioa Bay (Daniel's Bay)

We left the main bay in Nuku Hiva and moved about 5 miles west to Daniel's Bay. Our guidebook says this valley (and we've heard the bay) is where the TV Show Survivor was filmed. We have conflicting info from another cruiser, so we don't know for sure, but both of us seem to remember it being in "Daniel's Bay." It is truly beautiful here. The greenery on the side of the mountains makes the most unusual contrast against the rock. And the mountains just go up and up and up into the clouds.

Yesterday we saw giant mantas swimming on the surface scooping up plankton. The water is a bit murky so we're still feeling "sharky" and not chancing swimming here. We did let Jake "body surf" at the beach but the water wasn't more than 2 feet deep. We ended our day yesterday with a fantastic wahoo dinner (thanks to our friends Dennis and Mary Lee on Lardo for the fish) and a nice bottle of wine (or two) to celebrate our anniversary.

There is a 2 hour hike (one way) back to the Ahuii Waterfall, the third tallest waterfall in the world. We were going to give it a shot, but after talking with another cruiser who had just completed the hike, decided it was a bit too much to ask of Jake. So we found our own hike. We took the dinghy to shore and with a lunch packed and plenty of water (and jelly bellies), we set out on a cow trail we found the day before. We were hoping to find a small waterfall of our own or a fresh water pool of some sort but didn't. But it was a beautiful hike through the woods and Jake really enjoyed it without one word of whining. He did great and it ended up being a full 2 hour hike for us.

We're about to go on a longer passage (4-5 days) so of course Savannah has to have a few problems first. Andy went under Jake's bunk to pull out some rum and found a gallon or so of salt water in the bildge. He was under there about 6 weeks ago (storing the rum) when he found the diesel leak so we're guessing it's a small pinhole leak in the hull. It was impossible to find exactly where it was so he rubbed some 5200 apoxy sealant all around the cracks and we're hoping for the best.

We've been following the blogs of some of the boats that left La Cruz after us and found out our friends on Ceilydh lost a rudder about 2 days out. They altered course from landing in Hiva Oa to land in Nuku Hiva due to the ease of getting in the large bay as well as better facilities for finding someone to fabricate a new rudder. The radio was chirping late last night and I jumped up thinking maybe there was someone needing help here in the bay and I heard them talking to others about coming in the bay at dark. So it looks like they made it in safe and sound. We're sorry we won't be seeing them before we leave but hope they getting everything worked out so we can catch up in the Tuamotos or Society Islands down the road.

I'm going to check weather and email and then we'll be ready to get underway in the morning for the Tuamotos. We've been doing our research and have decided on a route that starts about halfway up the atolls and continues going up with the wind to the north. Our first stop will be Makemo. Our expectations are pretty high in the swimming, snorkeling, diving range so stay tuned to see how we fare.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

I found this picture from our honeymoon...not quite as many
wrinkles and a few pounds lighter, but I think we're doing ok!
 Ten years ago today, Andy and I stood on the bow of a 85 foot, 3 masted schooner in Norfolk, VA and promised to love each other for better or worse.  I was going to write something about how it's been all the betterand how I can't imagine ever living a different life and how I have the best man in the world and no one should be so lucky (and all of that is true).  But that would make you sick.  So, I have something more interesting today. 

We woke up about 5:00 this morning to the sound of what we thought was all of our chain being let out and dropped over the side.  We both jumped up and headed outside for the naked olympics.  Andy gave the orders, I followed.  I turned off the breaker to our windlass (which we should have been doing all along) and got a flashlight.  As we looked at the chain we were confused.  The chain wasn't gone, the windlass had pulled it back in until the bridle jammed in the bow roller.  Very strange, but very good.  That means we still had our chain and we weren't drifting off somewhere (and Andy didn't have to go diving in these shark infested waters to search for it).  All we can think of is that we left the remote cable out in the rain (another thing we shouldn't have done) and it shorted out.  We let the chain back out using the switch at the helm and all was good.  When we pull anchor this morning to head out, we'll try it with the remote and see what happens.  We consider this our anniversary gift...God reminding us to quit being lazy with our anchor equipment before something really bad happens.

So, off we head to Daniel's Bay where they filmed the first(?) Survivor Episode.  Andy thinks this is fitting for our anniversary, but I want to know who the survivor is? 

I found our wedding cd on board and thought it would be funny to post a few old pictures but when I went to open it, it was empty.  I hope that doesn't mean we lost all of our pictures...oh well, not to be worried about today!  Happy Anniversary Andy!  Here's to 10 more!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The good things...

My last post was kind of down, so I thought I would share some of the things we have really enjoyed.

Pamplemousse - ok, so I've mentioned these already...they're giant grapefruit but are a hundred times sweeter. We cut them open in the traditional style and eat them with a spoon, but our favorite way to eat them has been to juice them. Jake loves it and Andy and I have found it makes a fantastic mohito if you substitute the juice for the normal lime juice.
Bananas - nothing new, right? Wrong...these are the sweetest bananas I've ever eaten. Unfortunately, they all ripe at the same time so you end up getting all banana'd out. Here are a few things we decided to do with them... bananas foster - you all know what this is, fantastic! banana pancakes - ymmmm. banana brown betty - my first banana pie. Jake and I loved this. Andy is waiting to see what it tastes like cold as he wasn't too keen on a warm banana pie.
Breadfruit - mixed reviews here. what was good, was very good. What was bad, was very bad. Before it gets ripe, you can slice it up and make french fries or chips, just like with potatoes. You can steam it too. These are delicious. We found one of ours a little too ripe so I decided to try to make a recipe I had seen for a mashed potatoe type dish. YOu roast the breadfruit and then scoop out the insides and prepare it like mashed potatoes. This was not a hit. I think it had more to do with texture than taste. It has a real slimey texture and it's almost too sweet.
Mangoes - nothing new done with these, they're just the best mangoes I've ever had.
Fresh baguettes every day - these are about the only thing here that's cheap.  We've taken to eating a lot of bread and cheese lately.  Plus, when it's just about to go bad, it makes great french toast and bread pudding!

You can find just about anything you want here, just for a price. One thing I do find strange is that the chicken comes from the states. Weird, huh? There are chickens running around everywhere here. I can't imagine why they have to import them.

We said we wanted green.  We got it!  The scenery is absolutely beautiful here as you can tell from the pictures.  Our waterfall excursion was one of my favorites.

We've seen fish that we've never seen before.  I can only imagine how this will continue.  We've also seen dolphins and giant mantas and tons of turtles.  On land we've seen goats, pigs, horses and a few birds we've never seen before.

I'm digging the laid back style of most of the cruisers here.  I guess they figure if you made it here, you don't need a lot of advice.  Plus, they come from all different places so there's a wide variety of conversation and personalities.  We've only had that one run in with the anchoring situation and that was nothing.

Well, with any luck, we're on our way soon which means no more internet for a while...back to posts without pictures.  Stay with us...this passage is only a week long and I think our first stop has some sort of connection.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Raining, it's pouring....

We're still here in Nuku Hiva. We're planning on getting fuel this afternoon, hitting the market tomorrow morning, then heading to Daniel's bay about 5 miles away. We stocked up yesterday on groceries and spent almost $300 on probably $80 worth of food. But in the whole scheme of things, we're still way under budget for April so I'm trying not to look at the individual spends (like $40 for a 12 pack of beer).

It's hard to describe our mood here without sounding unappreciative or negative. We like it here (meaning, We wouldn't go back to Mexico or change our path), but we're ready to move on. The anchorage here is rolly and it rains all the time.  The water is murkey and too rough to swim in, much less dive in.  I'm having trouble getting laundry done because every time you hang it up to dry, it rains. It never dries so it smells sour and you have to start all over again. They do have a laundry service here but it hasn't been open for days (holiday) and today everyone dropped off their clothes so it would take at least two, maybe three days...and we want to leave tomorrow (and it costs about $10 a load and you can guess I have more than one or two loads - more like 5 or 6). So I'm going to try again today...  If I'm being totally honest, I could probably admit to being a little homesick too... I miss my family and I haven't seen some of my closest friends in VA in 2 years... I'll get over it, I always do... but it's not all the rain's fault.
We clearly could have taken advantage of more things here, like tours, but due to our interests (or lack of interest) and our budget, we've decided to spend the time and money in the Tuamotos and/or Society islands (or on a new computer since ours is slowly dying).

With that said, we didn't sit on the boat the ENTIRE time we were here. We had many cocktail hours (I still think the cruisers here are great) and spent some time exploring the town by are some pictures from our walk about(s).

I've always love cemetaries...this one seems to be a bit abandoned.

The Catholic Church's more like a compound, but it's really beautiful.

The inside of the church.  Try as I did, I couldn't get a picture without
that woman's backside in it.  She had a lot of flowers to water.

The carvings in the church were unbelievable and I think they were done by locals.  This was half of the front door.
(A guy was mopping in the opening of the other half...didn't make for a good picture)

Jake and I enjoyed watching these women fish.  Every time a wave would come,
they would run back and try not to get knocked down.  I think they were catching
bait fish.

One of the many stone carvings over looking the water.  I think these are
technically Tikis??

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Catching up on more pics...

I'm going to give this another go...maybe there aren't so many people on the interent now and things will move along a little quicker.

These pictures are from the small village of Hanamenu Bay where we traded our fish for fresh fruit.

Jake, acting silly with the local kids after they shared their pamplemousse with him.

Jake, getting a nice COLD fresh drink of water.

I only put this on here because mom keeps complaining there are no pictures
of me.  Now do you see why?  There are only 2 photogenic people in
this family...

This is only half of the bananas that they gave us.
Here are the pictures from our last stop on Ua Pou, from our hike to the waterfall and dinner with our Belgium friends.

Local guys paddling around the bay....they were super fast and as good
as any crew team I've ever seen.

Another small church.  The picture I took of the catholic church didn't turn out.
It was raining and had spots all over this is what you get.

That's Chef Peter beside Andy and Stephen and Karen from The White Wizzard.
We're heading over to another boat tonight for cocktails and then will probably take it easy tomorrow.  Monday, we'll head into town and buy some groceries and diesel before going  to Daniel's Bay (the place where Survivor series will filmed years ago) on Tuesday.  After that, bye to the Marquesas and off to the Tuamotos!

Market Day, Rain Day and post more pictures day!

Yesterday we heard about a market here on Saturdays that has all the veggies and fruits you need.  The hitch is that it starts at 4:30 in the morning and ends at 8:00 a.m..  So, I decided to do the deed and get up this morning (in the rain) and dinghy (in the dark) to the market.  It wasn't huge but it did have fresh veggies that we hadn't seen since Hiva Oa - cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, tomato, chives and green beans.  They also had fresh donuts so of course I bought some of those! 

After I got back to the boat and put away the stuff, I jumped back in bed.  Andy and I woke up about an hour later only to look out our window and see a boat about 50 ft away.  Now I wouldn't normally post this part as I don't really believe in making fun of others or fussing about them for dragging anchors since it could easily happen to anyone and you know the saying about those in glass houses, right?.  But this case is a little out of the ordinary so at the risk of breaking my own windows I'm going to do it anyway. 

Andy got on the radio and called the guy a few times with no answer.  Then he went in the cockpit and noticed him out there in his own cockpit.  We thought the guy had just come in this morning seeing as his boat wasn't there when I came back from the market.  So Andy told him how much chain we had out (about 6:1 scope).  The guy proceded to tell Andy that we had too much scope out and we would be sorry when we wrapped around coral heads.  Well, the winds are honking here and there's a pretty good swell so we're pretty confident in the amount of chain we had out.  To make a long story short...the other boat was dragging (with his 3:1 scope)...he had been here since Wednesday.  The amazing part to us is that he was TOTALLY unaware of it.  He continued to argue for a few minutes about how we didn't need all that chain out.  Andy finally told him we would move since he was here first and he said no, he was already wet, and went ahead and moved.  I am still a bit unnerved by the fact that HE HAD NO IDEA that he had moved.  If your house suddenly ended up between two totally different houses and you could serve coffee to your neighbors from your window, would you notice?  To all those who are wondering how we know it wasn't us that moved - we did check the GPS before talking to him.  Andy was really tempted to tell him to put out more chain.

So, all is good now and we're sitting in our jammies eating donuts watching Star Wars (yes, he's still obsessed).  It looks like it will be a movie day as it hasn't stopped raining since about 2:00 in the morning.  Good for our watertanks, bad for exploring.  It also means that I have plenty of time to post pictures, so here they go....  Enjoy your weekend!

These are pictures from the island of Tahuata - specifically, the village of Hapatoni (where Jake lost his plane).
There's a little church in every village.  Very different from the
 extravagant cathedrals in Mexico.

One of the many ways we keep Jake in line :)
The local power plant.

Local man creating one of the intricate carvings they're known for.

It's taken me two hours to do this much (I know I said I had plenty of time, but really) so I'm going to go ahead and post before something funky happens and I lose it all and throw the computer out the window...  Stay tuned for more...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pictures! finally...

After a very uncomfortable five hours, we made it into Nuku Hiva yesterday afternoon.  That means we have internet...... We've got the HP up and running and protected now with the various security programs so I'm going to attempt to post some pictures. There are tons of them so I'm going to spread it out over a few posts and give you guys a break from our day by day account of our trip.

First up...Potluck on the beach in Tahuata.  Forgive me if I don't give all the boat names and people names...we met so many people, I'm still learning.

Next up... underwater photos from our dive last week...


Enjoy for now...we're headed off to town to see what we can see.  I'll post more pictures tonight or tomorrow.  I hope everyone is enjoying their end of the week (yes, I do know what day it is)!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hakahetau , Ua Pou - Marquesas

We just left the nicest little village yet. It was a beautiful bay on the island of Ua Pou. We've heard about the Marquesan hospitality and we've finally gotten to experience it ourselves. We got up early the other day to make the 60 mile trek between the islands. We spent our first night in a really pretty anchorage but lots of bugs and no way to go ashore (Vaiehu Bay). We pulled up anchor yesterday and made the hour long trip to Hakahetau Bay. Before we went ashore, we dinghied over to the other boat in the anchorage, White Wizzard, who we've seen several times but never met. They told us about a restaurant and a trail up to a waterfall. Seeing as I've been cooking three meals for a month now and waterfalls are really the only thing on my list to do here, I was excited to hear about both. After we made the fairly easy landing at the concrete quay and walked into town, it started to rain. That's the one thing I'm pretty surprised about (although I don't know why)...all the rain. It's great for our water tanks, but we're beginning to get waterlogged. We were looking for a store and found it by guessing that the house with the propane tanks in the garage might have other goods for sale too. Once again I was surprised by the prices when our can of coke, bag of skittles, heads of garlic and can of corned beef (totally Andy's idea) cost us $20. But we've been saving lots of money by the lack of stores and restaurants anyway, so who cares, right?

While in the store we saw a big French guy with no shoes buying lots of food. We guessed this must be the chef at the restaurant, so we asked if we could join our friends tonight for dinner. He asked if we wanted meat or fish and then gave directions to his house/the restaurant.

Off we went on our search for the waterfall. The first few signs were easy to follow... After about a mile and half, Jake threatened to shut down. Poor guy is never going to trust us again..."we're almost there... really! we're almost there!" Finally we saw a little path off the road and decided to walk down it to dip our feet in the water. Turns out, this was the trail to the waterfall. We were rewarded with a beautiful scene of water cascading down the side of the mountain and a fairly large pool of water at the bottom to swim in. Jake and Andy swam for a while (I didn't bring my bathing suit) and just before the mosquitos carried us off, we headed back (in much better spirits).

It was raining on our way to dinner and we were surprised when the chef pulled up in his truck to give us all a ride. Turns out it was a good thing because I don't think we would have ever found his house. Dinner turned out to be a very pleasant evening getting to know our new Belgium friends and much to my surprise, it only cost us about $78 (and that included a bottle of wine!).

Before we left, we asked the chef, Peter if he could help us find some breadfruit. I've eaten some and am dying to try cooking it myself. He told us to come back at 10:00 this morning. Again we were met with a ride from his wife. After sitting down and having a soda and chit chatting with Andy about the Navy (He was in the French Navy), he presented us with three breadfruits and a bag of limes and mangoes. We paid him for some pamplemousses that he got from another fellow and gave his young child some toys that Jake was finally willing to part with. We had also printed out a picture we took last night and he seemed to really enjoy this as he promptly hung it up on his dining room wall. He gave us a ride back to our dinghy and helped us load it as we promised to visit again some day.

Now we're on our way to Nuku Hiva in some very angry seas. We just have the jib out in about 25 knots of wind and the seas are coming right at us. It's only about 25 miles so we won't have to endure it too long. Once we get there, we'll have internet...which brings me to my latest issue...

Our keyboard on our Mac is toast. The middle row (ASDF, etc) doesn't work. That's the computer we use to access the internet. without the middle row, we can't even type in our passwords to get to anything. We have an HP that we use for navigation and sailmail only. Our security software is not up to date so we never use it when connecting to the internet. I think we're going to have to bite the bullet and update it first thing when we connect. I don't see us getting another computer any time soon. All this to say, it might take longer than planned to get the pictures up... but they're coming, I promise.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hanamenu Bay, Hiva Oa - Marquesas

We had every intentions of waking up and going to the church in town to hear the singing, but then at the last minute, decided to try to make a run for Fatu Hiva, some say the prettiest island in the Marquesas. It's the one that you see on all the pictures and the one I've had in my head since we talked about coming here. A few hours later it was obvious we were just going to be bashing into the waves and we even had gusts of wind up to 38 knots. So we turned around. I was very disappointed. Instead we headed up to one of the anchorages on the north side of Hiva Oa. On our way, we caught a decent size yellow fin tuna to perk up our day.

We pulled into the anchorage where there were two other catamarans. Our guide book had told us there were some abandoned houses on the shore with a little oasis in the back full of fruit trees. The book is about 10 years old so I guess it would be news to the author that new residents have moved in. Some of the other boaters didn't find the folks to be too welcoming but we had the secret...tuna. We made a pretty dicey landing on shore and walked to the house with our tuna in hand. We had another secret too...Jake. Kids always opens doors that adults can't fit through. The other kids offered Jake a piece of their grapefruit (they call them pamplemousse here and they are as big as your head and much sweeter than what we have at home) and the big tall Marquesan that looked in charge started leading us down a path. It took us right by the freshwater pond our guidebook had told us about! And it was just as pretty as they described it too. So Jake swam in the pond with the other kids while I cleaned my feet. The big guy in charge disappeared and then brought back 4 large pamplemousses to Andy. Then he got a machete and chopped off enough bananas to feed a small army. We gathered some mint that was growing by the stream and were on our way. As we reached our boat the guy chased us down with some limes and I found a few fishing hooks in my backpack that I gave to him. He seemed to really enjoy those. We waved "Na na" (good bye in the local language) and he said "Thank you" and off we went.

Later that afternoon another boat pulled in that we had spoken to earlier, a really nice young Danish couple from the Netherlands. They came over to chat for awhile and we ended our night with sushi and rice.

We woke up this morning and I thought we were in the Chattahoochee River. It seems the sand bar that was holding the river water back on shore busted last night while it rained and the whole bay here is brown. We woke up too late to go anywhere (the next island is 60 miles from here) so we decided to go back on shore. The people left yesterday afternoon on a boat so we thought we might be alone. We played in the pond a little more but I was a little weirded out knowing that people lived's kind of like walking into someone's vacation home and using their pool while they're at work during the week...

We're going to leave here tomorrow and head to one of the other islands...not sure which yet. Hopefully it will have internet and I can post our pictures...they're piling up!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hapatoni Bay, Tahuata - Marquesas

We've spent a few more days in this beautiful bay with beach potlucks and bonfires, manta rays and dolphins. We met quite a few boats from all over. The mood here is very different than that of Mexico. Everyone is just happy to be here. No grumpy people talking about anchors or reminding us that catamarans flip over while monohulls are designed to right themselves (maybe it's because this place is full of catamarans?), or assuming we're idiots because we're under 60 (not that all of Mexico was like this, but we sure got our share). No, everyone is friendly, funny and we've even gotten a delicious octopus recipe from our new Danish friends.

Today we decided to pick up anchor and move a little further south to a little village in Hapatoni Bay. We got here about noon and decided to go ahead and go to shore as it's Saturday. If we wait until tomorrow, it will be Sunday and nothing really happens around here on Sunday. It's a beautiful walk through the village with all kinds of flora and fruit trees. There are wood carvers here as well and they are pretty amazing. Most of their work ends up going to Tahiti to sell, but occasionally they sell it here as well. Today, there was only jewelry being sold. We heard there was a big feast going on, but we were a little late to partake. They were cleaning up the food as we came in. It only took about an hour to see the whole place (and that was because we had to back track looking for a toy airplane that Jake lost, never found, a tragedy for sure) but it was a really nice walk. This island is exactly what we had pictured in our head...coconut trees, a little rain, beautiful flowers, locals hanging out on their porches. Beautiful.

The only downside so far is our total lack of even remotely grasping the language, both French and Marquesan... I can see where this might get a bit tough if we have any notions of getting to know anyone. We'll keep trying though and who knows, maybe we'll catch up with one of those nice French boats who speak English...for a few bananas, maybe they'll translate!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hana moe Noa, Tahuata - Marquesas

If you can pronounce that title, good on ya. We're in the land of "I don't know how to say it." We're also back in the land of no internet so you'll have to hang in there for another week or so to get pictures.

We left Atuona in Hiva Oa hoping for a nice secluded beach. We heard the first anchorage around the west side of Tahuata was the third prettiest in the French Polynesian Islands and since it was just an hour or so away, we thought we'd try it out. We were under the illusion that we were unique in being here and we're always surprised when things get crowded. We were shocked to find 6 other boats already in the anchorage. We almost bypassed it because we were really looking forward to finding something to ourselves (as if we haven't had enough alone time), but as I looked through the binoculars, I saw a friendly boat, Phambili. We met this family of 5 from Canada (where else?) in La Cruz during Christmas. They had done the crossing a few weeks ahead of us. They have a young boy, Cameron (11), and two older girls, Naomi(12?), and Anita(15). We cruised by them looking for a parking spot and waved and said some very loud hellos, catching up on each other's passage. Once we had our hook down, we went for a little swim in the BEAUTIFUL water here. You can see the hook and the nice sandy bottom. Tommy, on Phambili came by on his way back from the beach and invited us over for sundowners. Who can say no to that? So we spent last night getting to know them better and with Jake having other kids to play with. They're a bit older, but what you'll hear often in the cruising crowd is that the kids don't really have ages...they're all so happy to see someone else, they get a long great (most of the time). The older kids are always welcoming to the younger ones.

Today, Andy, Tommy and I went diving while Jake stayed with Fiona and the kids on Phambili. It was a beautiful dive with lots of fish none of us had seen before. We didn't see any sharks or manta rays (of which Andy had seen already on a snorkeling excursion), but we did see a big turtle and Andy got some very nice pictures, of which I'll post as soon as possible.

We're finally here...the quintessential French Polynesia. Jake and Andy are out snorkeling as I write and we have a big beach day planned tomorrow. In a few days we may head down to one of the villages and see if we can test out our bartering skills... I'm a little low on fruit :)

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4/11/2011 - Hiva Oa, Marquesas

You would think after 21 days on the boat that we would get off the boat, right?  Not really.  We spent the whole weekend hanging out on the boat.  We were productive, just not very mobile.  It might have something to do with town being a 2 mile walk one way?  Yesterday was Sunday and we had intentions of going into town and listening to the singing at the church, but we stayed in bed instead.  So that’s my excuse for not updating the blog in the last few days…not much to tell.  I figured you were tired of hearing about laundry (which is what I did).

We did manage to get off the boat a few times to look for a place to swim.  Saturday we took the dinghy out to a little island and took a poke at snorkeling.  Jake was the only one that got in the water as it looked pretty dead to Andy and I.  But we did see a big turtle so all wasn’t lost.  After we let Jake swim back at the boat, I was looking through one of our guides and it said  (I’m paraphrasing here), “not a good idea to swim in this bay due to the large shark population.”  Nice.  The water is kind of murky as there is a small river that feeds into it, so that makes sense.

Yesterday we decided to go back to that river since we saw some locals swimming in there.  It was murky too, but Jake had fun playing in the little stream where the river met the beach/ocean and it was a nice place to cool off as it’s quite hot in the middle of the day here.

Somebody has built a nice little shade for themselves on the beach.

There's a little shower at the boat ramp that proved to be Jake's
favorite part of the day.

Today we’re going to go back into town and pick up a few more veggies and fruit and possibly head out to another nearby island tomorrow.  We’re waiting on our duty free fuel certificate to be stamped by our agent so we can get fuel in Nuka Hiva before we leave the Marquesas (we don’t need any just yet).  

Then tomorrow we’re going to try and head out.  This island is really pretty but it’s more of a stopover to check in.  Not a lot to explore.  Well, that’s not true.  There are a lot of archeological sites and Tikis and there is a tour guide that will take you around to most of them, but the tour is $250.  If we were to find some more people to share it with, it might be worthwhile, but that is proving hard to do as we have 3 people and the car only comfortably holds 4, as well as the next tour wouldn’t be until Wednesday and we have limited time in the French Polynesia Islands and think we should spend our time (and $$) elsewhere on things that interest us a little more (like diving, pearl farms, etc).  But for anyone heading this way, the review of the tour was great, so if it’s something you want to do, go for it…just isn’t in the cards for us this time.

You can see how crowded the anchorage is and how close we
are to shore (Savannah on the far right with her bat wings up).
One item of note is this's kind of tight.  There are 14 boats in here and we're stacked on top of each other, most with stern hooks.  There are a few boats that decided not to use stern hooks.  Yesterday we watched two of them collide.  It was quite interesting to watch all the hand gestures going back and forth.  They were french so of course I couldn't eavesdrop on what they were saying, but in the end, one boat pulled in their chain a little bit and put out a stern hook, but the other one decided to leave things be.  We'll see how that works out.

Two French boats discussing options after a small collision at anchor

Time to make the pancakes.  Stick with us, it promises to get more exciting…we’re just getting our land legs back. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Trip statistics and long awaited pictures

Here are the long awaited pictures!!!  Surprisingly, we didn’t take a ton of pictures, so hopefully no one is disappointed.

I also thought I would include a few statistics…they’re all approximate as we are horrible at keeping track of things, but it gives you an idea of how the trip went.
Miles:  2700 Nautical Miles
Time:  21 ½ days
Motor time:  approximately 50 hours
Equator crossing coordinates:

Doldrum days:  2
Fuel used:  35 gallons
# fish caught:  3
# of fish that got away:  3
Days without fresh veggies:  0!!!!!
Full night’s sleep:  2
Fights between crew members:  0!!!!!
Growls between crew members:  3 (mostly spinnaker induced)

The infamous Spinnaker!
Working on "Helper Words" during school.

Jake with his shaving cream Neptune crown, becoming a shellback!

The result of Andy having a little fun with us while crossing the equator.
For those that don't know, Andy has crossed the equator 3 times now, so there
was no ceremony for him.

About to swim across

We sent a message in a bottle from the crew.
Our first yellowtail...

Jake measuring our second yellowtail for his fish log.

He had to use all his muscle to get this up!

One of many sushi nights.

The last and best fish...Skipjack Tuna!!
I tried to fight this boobie bird off with a broom, but he wasn't having it.
He bit my broom and stayed around for more than 24 hours.
Our first sight of land

Hiva Oa

The harbor at Atuona as we pulled in.