Featured Post

We are getting old!

The Katie Lee is for sale! http://katielee.tcls.com/

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Good bye Raraka


Sunrise in Raraka.

We wrote a letter to the class that gave us the welcome, then I tried to translate it to Tahitian. I believe it was a miserable failure, but the teacher said thank you anyway. Because Trinda lusted after Donnie's tree with shells and pearls and Donnie eyed her necklace, Simon, her husband, made more! Now Trinda and Jeannie get both a tree and a mother of pearl necklace with black pearls. He also made Donnie and I men's necklaces from pearl shell.

Then, when we asked about the process, he cleaned and polished 2 more shells and gave them to us too! It was a simple process of grinding off the rough outer surface of the shell with an electric grinding wheel, then sanding it with a sanding wheel and polishing with rouge on a cloth wheel. Only took him 15 minutes each to do the shells.

We Asked them if they would like to see the boat. Madame, the teacher was reluctant, but came with Simon and their adopted daughter, Eugenia. They enjoyed seeing the boat I think. They stayed about an hour and had to get back. The doctor from Tahiti had just arrived for his once a month visit. She needed to help see him around.

We said our good byes and prepared to leave. It is with sad hearts we leave such a hospitable village!

This morning about 6:30, we started trying to pull up the anchor. It had wrapped around several coral heads. I finally had to use the scuba gear to go down in 40 feet of water and untangle it. We are on our way to Fakarava, where 2 of our friends are.

Oh, and no coconut crab. The brother of the chief was supposed to go get us one, but rumor was he worked hard the day before and probably would not show up with it. Maybe somewhere else ;(

Raraka is small, 12 families for a total of about 70 people. 1.5 hours by speed boat to the airstrip in Kauehi. 14 kids between 4 and 10 in school. They go to "collage" in either Makemo or Tahiti.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Raraka, Tuamotu - Day 6

We had a unique native reception at the teacher's house. Her class sang and danced to several native songs and then sang "Happy Mother's Day" in English to Trinda. The kids then gave each of us lays made of shells and lays of flowers and beautiful polished "helmet snail" shells.

The teacher's husband made a necklace for Trinda mande of Mother of Perl with several black pearls on it. He also made Donnie's wife Jeannie a tree on a shell, with shells and black pearls glued all over it. Over 25 pearls! Then we were discussing that Donnie is taking a plane. Seems a tourist is only allowed 10 pearls on the plane! Trinda may have to keep the tree too.

He said to come back today, he may make Jeannie a necklace and maybe a tree with fewer pearls so he can take it to her.

Then we had supper. Sashimi with legumes and coconut milk. That's carrots, cucumbers and onions. Also Chicken with other vegetables, but the chicken was cooked where as the fish was raw. Trinda ate it and liked it. We may make a raw fish eater of her yet!

Then they brought out a bottle of home made coconut oil for her. Then with coffee, they served homemade vanilla with an eye dropper. 8 or 10 drops freshened a whole "bowl" of coffee! They mostly use Nestle's instant coffee and several of them add cocoa powder to it. A very nice evening.

We are promised a large coco nut crab today. The chief's brother went to get it this morning and said, "Past mid-day". He would really like a little tequila for the crab, so I found a small coke bottle and plan to give him half of my good stuff. Also, seems his wife is not ready to be picked up yet, not today.

We need to leave tomorrow. It will be sad leaving such wonderful people.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Raraka - Tuamotu Day 5

They loved the pictures, the embroidered bred basket cloth, the material and Beanie Babies Trinda passed out.

We are having supper with the school teacher tonight and are promised once again coconut crab hunting "tomorrow".
Donnie had a look at the village tractor. It seems to have no brakes, cause they are worn out. We couldn't fix them. They will have to call a mechanic to fly in with parts. They really wanted Donnie to fix it.

The chief s off tomorrow to fetch his wife from the airstrip on the neighboring island, Kauehi, tomorrow and invited along for the party, but we declined.

I think the anchor chain is tangled in coral heads, so we may have to stay a few more days, HEHEHE!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Raraka - Tuamotu Day 4

Well, the biweekly supply ship came yesterday bringing beer....
So the trip to collect the coconut crab was postponed due to multiple hangovers!

We had a nice day anyway. Trinda decided to use her machine to embroidery a fish and Joseph's name on a T-shirt. She spent most of the night and morning working with the sewing machine. Donnie and I got out the dive board. He is still grinning from ear to ear. Nothing like snorkeling in 100 foot visibility at 6 knots and able to pull down to 30 feet!n He had a ball, didn't even know the thing was possible.

Some local fishermen saw us going through the pass with an outgoing current and told Donnie he was absolutely crazy!

This after noon, we went to see Joseph and Lucette and took their pictures so we could print them for them. They were excited, I think.

Maybe we can get the crab tomorrow.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Raraka - Tuamotu Day 3

We had a wonderful afternoon with the ex-chef of the island, his son the new chef and their families. Trinda made a wacky chocolate cake with fudge icing and fruit plate. They had baked red snapper and Tuna and bonito shashimi, Bar-B-Que chicken and pasta and rice. They loved the cake! So there was not anything that I thought might be "authentic" Polynesian food. But that is what they eat.

His son, the new chef/mayor is taking us hunting for coconut crab tomorrow. I can hardly wait.

Because the biweekly supply ship came tis morning, there was lots of beer. I forgot the rum for the coconut juice, so when I went back to get it, 5 kids swimming at the dock wanted to go. The loved the fast ride in the dinghy. So there was lots to drink. Very little English, but we all tried hard and mostly teased each other. The main joke was, "With 5 beers I can't speak English, but after 20 beers we all can all speak anything!".

I forgot to take the camera, so maybe tomorrow I'll get picture. Trinda promised to machine embroidery his name and a fish on a T-shirt for Joseph and make a pot holder for Lucette.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Raraka Tuamotu - Day 1

The last day of the passage here was a little more eventful... The wind died so we were motor-sailing. The oil cooler for the transmission seems to have corroded through and let the cooling salt water into the transmission. We spent a couple hours draining and rinsing the inside and finally filled it with new oil again. It seems like it will work for short periods now. We had to bypass the water cooler and the oil lines for the transmission to do it. I can probably get a new one in Rangaroa or at
least Tahiti.

We sailed slowly on to the atol, and the wind filled in this morning. We had picked the GPS waypoint for the entrance to this atol from Google earth, while we had the internet in Nuka Hiva. Big mistake. Of course we had the radar on and all so it wasn't dangerous, but when we were one mile off the island, we still couldn't find village or the entrance to the lagoon. I broke out the computer chart program, Noble tech, and looked at the charts more closely and realized that Google earth is not accurate
by about 5 miles! After anchoring, I verified our position in Noble Tech, and it is exactly right! I was used to Mexico, where the charts are several miles off, so I did not trust them. HA!

As we were about to enter the pass (50 meters wide by 5 meters deep, the only way into the lagoon that is 10 miles in diameter) 3 local fishing boats appeared. One asked if we spoke French. Since we don't, they went to hand waving and sign language and had us follow them. They led us through the pass and all the way till we dropped the anchor. Talk about personal service!

We snorkeled the anchor. In 45 feet of water, we could all but see the anchor from the boat. I swam over toward it and half way there I could see that the chain is wrapped around 4 coral heads and never quite straightened out. Oh well, it is definitely not going anywhere. It may take an extra few minutes to unwind it all when we leave, but that is later!

We went to town and asked about a store. "Sure, its over there", again in sign language and my 3 words of French. When we got there they had "lolly-pops, a case of English peas, a case of canned mackerel and a few other cans". That's it! The supply ship is due Sunday morning. We really didn't need anything anyway, thank goodness. They are al awaiting it too.

When we got back to the boat, the friendly guy with the directions to the "magazín" showed up in his boat. Quite an affair. It is a 16' Vee bottom run-about, but with a special hand-made deck. He has a standing steering helm right in the bow. While going he is standing right up in the bow, he can lean over and spear fish directly over the side of the bow. It has a 90 HP outboard with cable steering to a stick in front of him, like an old crop duster airplane. He said spearing dorado is easy!

Anyway, he asked if liked to eat fish. So he took us and our goggles to a fish trap near the entrance passage to the lagoon. he jumped right into the pen of the trap and motioned us in too. The final pen of the trap is maybe 6'x8' and 7' deep. Donnie and I herded the fish around as he selected 2 fish for us. There were maybe 100 fish to choose from. Parrot fish, black Jacks, 2 kinds of red "reef fish", red snapper, angle fish, trumpet fish and an eel that he speared and threw out. He then helped
us out of the trap and filleted the fish. When he dropped us back at the boat we had him aboard for a beer and he invited us over to his house tomorrow.

I think the fish were "black Jacks", and they were excellent fried.

There are rumors of coconut crabs and lobsters here... maybe we can get him to take us on a hunt!

Raraka Tuamotu - Day 1

The last day of the passage here was a little more eventful... The wind died so we were motor-sailing. The oil cooler for the transmission seems to have corroded through and let the cooling salt water into the transmission. We spent a couple hours draining and rinsing the inside and finally filled it with new oil again. It seems like it will work for short periods now. We had to bypass the water cooler and the oil lines for the transmission to do it. I can probably get a new one in Rangaroa or at
least Tahiti.

We sailed slowly on to the atol, and the wind filled in this morning. We had picked the GPS waypoint for the entrance to this atol from Google earth, while we had the internet in Nuka Hiva. Big mistake. Of course we had the radar on and all so it wasn't dangerous, but when we were one mile off the island, we still couldn't find village or the entrance to the lagoon. I broke out the computer chart program, Noble tech, and looked at the charts more closely and realized that Google earth is not accurate
by about 5 miles! After anchoring, I verified our position in Noble Tech, and it is exactly right! I was used to Mexico, where the charts are several miles off, so I did not trust them. HA!

As we were about to enter the pass (50 meters wide by 5 meters deep, the only way into the lagoon that is 10 miles in diameter) 3 local fishing boats appeared. One asked if we spoke French. Since we don't, they went to hand waving and sign language and had us follow them. They led us through the pass and all the way till we dropped the anchor. Talk about personal service!

We snorkeled the anchor. In 45 feet of water, we could all but see the anchor from the boat. I swam over toward it and half way there I could see that the chain is wrapped around 4 coral heads and never quite straightened out. Oh well, it is definitely not going anywhere. It may take an extra few minutes to unwind it all when we leave, but that is later!

We went to town and asked about a store. "Sure, its over there", again in sign language and my 3 words of French. When we got there they had "lolly-pops, a case of English peas, a case of canned mackerel and a few other cans". That's it! The supply ship is due Sunday morning. We really didn't need anything anyway, thank goodness. They are al awaiting it too.

When we got back to the boat, the friendly guy with the directions to the "magazín" showed up in his boat. Quite an affair. It is a 16' Vee bottom run-about, but with a special hand-made deck. He has a standing steering helm right in the bow. While going he is standing right up in the bow, he can lean over and spear fish directly over the side of the bow. It has a 90 HP outboard with cable steering to a stick in front of him, like an old crop duster airplane. He said spearing dorado is easy!

Anyway, he asked if liked to eat fish. So he took us and our goggles to a fish trap near the entrance passage to the lagoon. he jumped right into the pen of the trap and motioned us in too. The final pen of the trap is maybe 6'x8' and 7' deep. Donnie and I herded the fish around as he selected 2 fish for us. There were maybe 100 fish to choose from. Parrot fish, black Jacks, 2 kinds of red "reef fish", red snapper, angle fish, trumpet fish and an eel that he speared and threw out. He then helped
us out of the trap and filleted the fish. When he dropped us back at the boat we had him aboard for a beer and he invited us over to his house tomorrow.

I think the fish were "black Jacks", and they were excellent fried.

There are rumors of coconut crabs and lobsters here... maybe we can get him to take us on a hunt!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Nuka Hiva - Tuamotus - Day 4

116 miles today (this morning) now at 14-34S 144-02W

The wind slowed down yesterday afternoon an completely died about 5 AM. We have been motor-sailing since then. Only about $4/hour for diesel, HA! I shouldn't complain I guess, at least we have it.

One more failure....I have a dripless packing gland on the main propeller shaft. It is a deal with some O-rings and a hose that drips oil in between them to keep them lubricated and slipping free, but keeps the water out. Well, one of the O-rings must have failed, cause there is salt water filling the little oil reservoir and running over. It is only a dribble now, as long as the other O-ring holds up. Then it may be a little bigger drip. Oh well, the bilge pumps are still fine! I will have to get
some O-rings and fix it. I don't have the instructions for it so I don't know what size to get yet. Maybe when we get to Tahiti and can research on the internet again.

One more thing for the "20 20 Hind Sight" book...the reservoir was installed inside a storage bin which we very seldom have a need to look in, so I forget to check the oil level regularly.

The water is unbelievably blue today. It is supposed to be around 2000 feet deep, but is is extremely clear. I guess that's why they call this "blue water cruising".

We made beans and cornbread today, and got hungry and ate it at 10 instead of waiting for lunch. With all the time changes, we seem to be having a little trouble getting our bodies to catch up. It was 3 1/2 hours earlier in the marquesas and it is another 1/2 hour earlier now, -10 hours from Zulu. Here the sky starts getting light about 5:30 and dark about 6:00. Twilight doesn't last long at all.

We have been looking at the stars some. I had not noticed the Southern Cross before. I didn't realize that there is no south pole star like the North star. I should have memorized the constellations sometime. The one book I have, "Emergency Navigation" doesn't really teach them much, but expects one already knows them.

No Fish, not even a bite.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nuka Hiva - Tuamotus - Day 3

153 miles today (this morning) now at 13-13S 143-08W

Not much new. Same tack for 2 1/2 days. hardly touched a rope!

This afternoon the wind is dying down some. The weatherman predicted 15 knots steady for 5 days.... I remember, I'm not suppose to believe them am I!

We had bought some fish in Nuka Hiva before we left, 1/4 of a big wahoo and some tuna. I fried some wahoo with potato flake breading and some fresh snap beans with bacon and potatoes. Great lunch. The wahoo is in the barracuda family, but not very close... It is a nice firm white meat and very flavorful. A bit nicer than dorado.

No live fish. We changed back to the lures that worked in Mexico, 4" plastic squid, with a little piece of lead. Pink and purple seem to work some. Green and white worked good in Mexico.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nuka Hiva - Tuamotus - Day 2

145 miles today at 10-56S 141-29W 368 to go.

All is well. We have had good wind, making about 7 knots most of the time. Auto steered most of the night. We had a rain squall with funny winds and had to hand steer through it for an hour or so.

We caught a small tuna. I fried half of it for supper. It was the red kind, but not too red. It turns a little grey when cooked, instead of white. Trinda even liked it ok.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nuka Hiva - Daniel's Bay

We got up at 4:30 AM to go to the fisherman's market. We were able to get some fruit and vegetables. We bought 1/4 of a wahoo and 1/2 a tuna the night before.

We got our "duty free fuel paper". It gives us a discount on the diesel here, from 125cfp to 69cfp/L. $1 = 84cfp, so it is a significant discount.. We took 336 liters. Gasoline was still over $5/gal. We bought groceries and headed for Daniel's Bay.

We motored the 4 miles over to Daniel's Bay. The chain got tangled in the anchor locker, so Donnie went down to untangle it. I was letting it out up on the bow. Just as we were backing up to set it, we were headed for shore and I was still fighting the chain. Trinda was in the cockpit driving and the shift leaver broke in reverse. I yelled for her to kill the motor and we decided that it was set.

We started taking the shift leaver apart to see what was wrong. Turns out the shift lever on the transmition had rusted so that it was hard to turn so the cable broke when we forced it. I looked around and found a used one that i kept when I replaced both the throttle and shift cables in 1999.

It is a quiet little bay, featuring the 3rd largest waterfall in the world. It is supposed to be a 2 hour hike each way. Donnie and I plan on it, but the trail is rocky and fords the river 4 times, so Trinda has elected to "watch the boat".

We were hot, tired and disgusted, so we decided to take the ike to the waterfall and fix it later.

I needed to make some room on my camera card for more pictures, so I deleted the ones I had copied to the computer.... Windows bites again!!!, it corrupted the card, and I lost all the pictures I took during our tour. I hope Donnie's pictures come out OK!

We had dinner with Bold Spirit last night. Trinda had bought a whole chicken and I made a blackberry cobbler that we took over to their boat . We grilled the chicken there and had a few drinks and played cards afterwards. A nice evening.

Nuka Hiva - Tuamotus - Day 1

We packed up and left for Kauehi, Tuamotu this morning about 10:00. After 2 days of the mosquitoes eating us alive, we were ready to get out of there.

It turns out that Donnie is not allowed to leave the boat from Fakarava. In order to update my boat crew list, and for him to get exit permission from French Polynesia, he must leave the boat in Rangaroa. So we are heading a little closer to there than originally planned.

I should be about a 5 day passage, as it is 500 miles. The weather is predicted to be mild. We have motor-sailed the first 2 hours with only 6 knots of wind. The batteries need charging anyway.

We traded a beer and 6 fish hooks for 9 "popel le moouse", large sweet grapefruit, and a bunch of limes from one guy then 5 cans of beer for a stalk of bananas from some other natives (5 of them..) don't ever tarde for beer with a crowd, they all want one!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Nuka Hiva - Day 5

A little slow. We are enjoying Nuka Hiva. There are about 25 boats here. The Polynesian Yacht service has an office here and they offer lots of assistance.

I have wireless internet access, but the server is extremely slow. I can't upload many pictures. They say when we get to Tahiti, it will be fast enough to send pictures.

My parts order arrived. We have not installed them yet, maybe today. More things have worn out. The impeller for the boost pump in the water maker failed. I ordered a new one from the marine store in Tahiti. It should arrive tomorrow. It is really expensive here. It will be almost $100 with service and shipping charges!

We took a jeep tour of the island yesterday. Had a good time and took lots more pictures. From a lookout at the top of the island we could see 2 of the next closest islands. We had lunch in a restaurant on the other side. A nice birthday present, followed by a pecan pie.

We have made friends with several more boats and caught up with some of the friends from Zihuatenajo.

Trinda is replacing the plastic tarp on our sun shade again. This time she is using sunbrella instead if a plastic tarp. It is to be permanent this time.

We are looking at leaving here in a few days to go to the next bay here, then off to the Tuamotus. We are trying to buy Donnie's return tickets, from Fakarava to Tahiti then Las Angeles. We plan to be in Fakarava by June 8.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Taihoae - Nuka Hiva

Off again. We were delayed a little leaving Oa Pou. The guy for the wood wasn't there all morning. Then we discovered that a marathon was being run and would end right there on "our" beach! So we stayed to watch. It is an anual event and folks from France came to run! A really big deal. Only 45 runners though, but one was a 3 time champion from France. It was a 42Km run almost all the way around the island.

They had food and crafts for sale, so Trinda and I went our separate ways.... She found a shark vertebrae and seed necklace that is real nice. I found fried rice and a local fruit cake. The announcer had a great time explaining how good this pie was to be and also how much it gives the "popping farts". So naturally I had to walk over and buy it with every one laughing and having such a good time. This morning Trinda confirmed the potency! There were only about 8 English speaking people in th e audience,
but he explained lots to us, and translated our comments back to the crowd. It was fun.

When the craftsman, Rata Ro, returned he only had a whole tree that he offered to cut up for my steering oar. I told him it was OK, I'd look else where. Then he cave me a piece of wood to repair the dinghy oar that broke into while we were first launching it here.

Then this morning we headed out for Nuka Hiva. We were low on water, so I started the watermaker again. The bay at Oa Pou was too dirty. It stopped up my filters. Minutes later t was blowing the antifreeze out again. So with the sails up and making over 5 knots on our way for 265 miles, I went to work on the watermaker yet again. It turns out the rubber impeller in the watermaker boost pump has eaten itself! Darn! I don't have an extra for that either! I find a transfer pump that I have been using
with the diesel and temporarily install it.

Well, we made Nuka Hiva. Saturday about noon. Everything is closed til Monday! I can't even get the internet til then!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Oa Pou - 2


Spelling.... Yeah I had it wrong. I hope it is the last time I fail to spell the name of one of these places correctly! Ha!

We Had a nice pot luck last night. Lots of raw fish. Trinda made the ceviche and 3 other people brought fish, tuna and some kind of "yellow Jack". It was god. One local sauce was soya, oyster sauce, mayonnaise, catsup and garlic. Very tasty. She also took a chocolate cake, the wacky cake mix.

This morning we had to go to the gendarme to check in again. It turns out that we have to say hello in every port, even in the remote Tuamotu's. We are to find a policeman and report in so he can call the main office to say where we are. The office in Hiva Oa did not enter us in the computer. So we had to wait there while he entered all the info in again. At least it didn't cost anything this time. It was 62,700 cfp to check in using the agent. That may be almost $700 US. If we had known, we might
have been able to have saved a significant part of that. Oh well, its only money.

We went to the local hospital where they gave us, FREE, drugs for anti-elephantism. It seems to be a real problem here. We have seem numerous locals with large arms and legs and feet. We will take the pills tonight after supper, as directed. It is supposed to last for 1 year.

Guess what we are having for lunch and supper again? If you guessed fish, you win again! Yep, grilled dorado and breadfruit. The bananas didn't make it. We still have 2 hands that went straight from green to mostly black! They are good still, if after eating 7 hands in a little over a week, you can call them good. But at least not mushy.

A local guy at the pot luck is a craftsman that makes oars for the racing out-rigger canoes. He says he has some hardwood that should be good for my wind vane steering oar. I am to meet him at his shop tomorrow morning with my dimensions. He seems quite a character. When Survivor filmed on Nuka Hiva, they later needed some original music. The director flew him to Los Angles, where he wrote and maybe performed the vocal for the show. He said he sings more than is a musician. It will be interesting
getting acquainted with him. One of the other boats setup the pot luck at his house. They have been in or around French Polynesia for a year, but are now on their way back to Hawaii.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Ou Pau


FISH!! Fish!! Finally. On the way to Oa Pau we finally caught a darado! A BIG one, maybe 53 inches long to the split in the tail! It took both Donnie and I to hold it up for the pictures. We already had caviche once and are taking it to a pot luck tonight here on the beach.

We left Hiva Oa about midnight and sailed through the night. Wind was good. We made about 6.5 knots most of the time. This morning about 8, he hit my lure. It was a 3 inch purple and pink plastic squid. We were only doing 5 knots when he hit, but we couldn't stop. It was 20 minutes before I could reel him up to the boat. Donnie had the net and Trinda the gaff. It did take all 3 to get him aboard. I also made a tray of teriaki fish jerky. It is not done yet, so reports for it will come later.

There are 6 other boats here. Also the inter-island supply ship came in just behind us. It is the same one from Hiva Oa. It is kind of fun to watch it maneuver into these little bays and tie up to the old docks. It took all day to unload in Hiva Oa, but only a couple hours here. They first unload their own fork lifts then the containers. Here they unpacked the containers and loaded them up again.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Havamenu - Hiva Oa



The guide books said it was "uninhabited, pick all the fruit you want while in season and bathe in the beautiful river." ... The natives forgot to read the guide book. There are 3 parties here, a vacationing group of fishermen from Tahiti, a big group we recognized from Atuona and a group living in a hut that is apparently maintaining the fruit trees and trails between them.

There was one other boat here, Avventura. A couple of young guys from California. They had a breadfruit and not much idea how to cook it, so Trinda invited them and their breadfruit to supper. She fried it with bacon bits and onions. We all enjoyed it. If any of you have any special recipes for breadfruit, please e-mail them to the winlink address.

Oh well, we hiked up past them, looked at the coconuts and funny trees, then waded in the river.

Today we took the dinghy around to the next little bay, really just the other half of this one. The surf was big and the shore had rocks and coral so we anchored the dinghy off and swam ashore. It was quite a swim through the under tow. I put our rubber shoes in the snorkeling mesh collecting bag along with the mosquito repellent and my hat, and swam. Yeah, the hat got wet. There we hiked back quite a ways then we heard gun shots and became nervios. So we started back to the beach where we left the
swim fins and masks. On the way back, we saw the locals from the camp on the other side, on the top of the ridge, hunting. So we relaxed a little.

We managed to find a few breadfruit. Most of them were at the top of 100 foot tall trees. Donnie shinnied up a small, short tree and got the first one. Then we shook a few more out of other short trees. They may be green, but we'll try them anyway. We heard there were mangos ripe, but we failed to find those trees.

We are heading for Oa Pau tonight. It is about 60 miles, so we'll leave well after dark in hopes of a daylight land fall. It is about 20 miles from Nuka Hiva, where my replacement parts are supposed to be.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Tahuata - Nord Oste

Enough of the big city. We left Atuona and sailed down wind through the same channel. Much nicer trip down wind! Ha! We are in a little bay on the NW corner of Tahuata, close to where we were before.

There is no one living in this bay, so we helped our selves to some coconuts, pomel'le'muose (large great fruit), limes and a mango. Trinda and Donnie both walked too close to a wasp's nest with the usual effect. (benadril, back at the boat took care of the swelling).

Then we went snorkeling. I saw almost every fish from the movie, "Finding Nemo".

Trinda put her fishing pole out and left it over night. She has just bought a roll of 230 LB test line and a new lure. This morning it was gone! Pole, line lure. Even the pole holder. So the score is 9:2 with the fish ahead! ;( I cut a small piece of fish from the tuna we caught on the way here that was still on deck in a bucket, it was not a good one. And immediately caught 2 nice fish. A red snapper and something else. We decided to take them around to another boat or two and get a second opinion
about the edibility of them. It was unanimous that there is ciguatera here and we shouldn't eat either of them. But while telling the story of Trinda's pole, I realized that it might be here still. When we got back, we got the snorkel stuff and looked,, Yep! There it was, right under the boat, only 42 feet down! Just as clear as anything. I got the grapnel anchor out of the dinghy and from the surface, managed to snag the pole and bring it up. Her lure was firmly caught in a rock on the bottom. We
put the line in a wench and pulled it right up, lure and all!

Tomorrow we are going to the NW corner of Hiva Oa, Hauamenu. It is about 12 miles away.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Atuona - Hiva Oa

We motored up wind for about 2 hours to go around the corner of Tahuata to the main bay on Hiva Oa. There is always a wind blowing thru the channel, and today was no exception, about 25 knots on the nose the whole way. The bay we left had 30 to 35 with gusts to 40 knots to day so we out just in time.

This is one of the oficial immigration and customs entry points for the Marquesas. We found the agent's representative that we had e-mailed and met in Zihuatanejo today. She did not have our papers ready so we will meet her again tomorrow to check into the country.

We anchored with help from our friends on "Bold Spirit" from Port Orchard, Wa. They have been here a week waiting on auto pilot parts. Our parts are indeed now in Tahiti and will be shipped to us as soon as we tell them which harbor to ship them to.

We were hitch-hiking to town to meet the agent, walking down the road in the light rain, when Trinda slipped in the mud on the pavement. And, SPLAT, fell on her but in the mud. OOPS, so there was a side trail down to the shore next to the lagoon, so she strips down to bra and panties and does some laundry right there on the beach. No one was around, so it was OK I guess. We walked back up to the road and a few minutes later a pickup stopped and gave us a ride in the back the 3 miles to the town of
Atuona. Shortly after we started up in the pickup, Trinda's hat blew off in the road. Of course, the driver didn't see or stop, so she is down one more!

We got stir-fry from a van parked under a tree. Donnie and Trinda had pork and veggies. I had beef in oyster sauce. It was all good. We found a bank machine and got some Polynesian Francs, I thought 8000 would do, but it cost 1800 for lunch. I recalculated and tried for 30,000. I think that may be almost $250.

We went on to find a grocery store. We got some chicken breasts, pork chops, cabbage, butter and crackers for about 4000cfp. They have butter in a tin can, like beans? We haven't tried it yet, but intend to soon. We kept buying things in Mexico, to try, and then not trying them till it was too late to get more when they turned out good. So we are going to try the butter tonight, so we can get nm0ore tomorrow if we like it.

We ate the last 2 of the eggs from Zihuatanejo today. That's 5 weeks for eggs on the counter! Only one floated and was thrown away last week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tahauta Day 2


We moved successfully 45 miles north, from Fata Hiva to Tahuata.
We had a real nice dinner with the folks on Marcy. Bread fruit French fries, pepper jelly w/cream cheese, steak, pork chops, cabbage/rice sauté, kava fruit, coconut, wine, brownies, banana bread and port wine desert. And lots of nice stories. You meet someone, then 3000 miles later, across a whole ocean and there they are again!

It has been great so far. We intend to spend at least a couple weeks here in the Marquesas. Then on to some of the southern Tuamotu's. I haven't decided which one really as of yet.

Every thing here is fine with us. No new failures, HA! not much repaired either. We have a parts order supposedly coming via PSY , but I haven't given them a destination yet. Not much, just blocks for the wind vane, GPS antenna and Genoa track slides.

We have had our first experience trading with the natives and trying to figure out how to eat what we got back with. Kava fruit, great fruit and bread fruit so far, and oh yes , LOTS of bananas. I may turn yellow if I eat them fast enough that they don't spoil.

I understand the I will be able to access the internet when we get to Nuka Hiva. I hope to be able to upload the pictures for the stories then too.