April 2010 - Page 2

April 16, 2010 - Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas to Baie Hanamoenoa, Tahuata, Marquesas - 9.39nm

Wow, we love this anchorage. The water is great for swimming and there is a white sand beach. The kids had a great time here swimming and boogie boarding on the waves at the beach. One night one boat organized a beach happy hour and we all met on the beach. It was rather amusing watching everyone come in and beach their dingy in the big surf.

We had to throw out a lot of our meat today as the bottom of the freezer defrosted and then refroze so the meat was rather stinky. We have since put our stryofoam back in and now all the meat is staying frozen. Also all my dried beans and lentils had to be thrown overboard as they were full of weevils. Yuck, I guess we didn't eat them fast enough.

April 19, 2010- Baie Hanamoenoa, Tahuata to Resolution Bay (Vaitahu), Tahuata - 2.93nm

Had a nice surprise when I was pulling up the anchor this morning. The link we put in to join two chains came undone when it went over the bow roller!!!! Very scary. Luckily I noticed it and it was still holding on and we were able to get it over the windlass and the anchor up safely.

Vaitahu was such a pretty little village. We were the only boat here. We stopped by a magazine (store) to ask about finding the the bone carver. He called the carver for us and he came and picked us up and drove us up the hill to his studio/house. We bought two necklaces and after that he gave us a bag of papaya. We walked back down to the store and the proprietor had picked a huge amount of pamplemouse from his tree and cut up some mangos, pamplemouse and papaya and had them laying out on the picnic table for us so we sat and chatted with him for a while. He is orginally from France but lives here now. He started putting all the pamplemousse in the back of his truck in a box so I thought that he was taking them for him I thought that I had misunderstood but then once we were done eating all the cut fruit, he told us to get in the truck and he drove us back to our dingy and gave us the whole box of pamplemouse!! We had two buckets full of it!!!

Resolution Bay (Vaitahu), Tahuata to Baie Hana-Tefau (Haptoni), Tahuata - 3.07nm

We decided to keep going to the next anchorage and village to check it out, keep looking for souvenirs and to meet up with our friends on sv Sterchen for Chris' a new creation -- the pamplemousse martini!! The anchorage was dwarfed by the huge cliffs behind it. The wind whipped down from the high cliffs so we didn't want to stay here too long. Hapatoni was a cute little village. The royal road is the village’s main attraction. Built on a dyke on the orders of Queen Vaekehu II in the 19th century, the paved road, lined with 100-year-old tamanu trees, extends along the shore. We happened to notice a few woodcarvers working on some projects and bought a marlin spike tiki from one of them. We asked him to carve his name in the back of it for us. Then he brought us to his house and gave us breadfruit and more pamplemousse right from the tree! How many pamplemouses can one family eat?

April 20, 2010 Baie Hana-Tefau (Haptoni), Tahuata back to HanaMoeNoa, Tahuata - 4.33 nm

We were not planning to go back to HanaMoeNoa however, it was really gusty on way up the island. The wind blew up to 40 knots at one point. When it was 30 knots there was splume off some small waves. We decided it would be nice to tuck into this great protected anchorage for one more night. Just as we anchored, we saw our friends on Tyee coming into the anchorage|! The kids played on the beach for a couple of hours. They came over for dinner and we had lots of fun. The snorkelling is not bad here, Lucy and John on Tyee caught an octopus so we will try it for dinner tonight. We were able to go inland a bit from the beach and collect lemons. We saw some manta rays at the head of the anchorage.

April 24, 2010 HanaMoeNoa, Tahuata, Marquesas to Hanamenu, Hiva Oa, Marquesas- 10.82nm

Some other cruisers went to this anchorage a couple of days ago and they had to turn around and come back to HanaMoeNoa because it was blowing 30 knots in the anchorage. We will go and see what it is like. We had dolphins playing in our bow wave for a while. The seas are very calm. It's probably a good day to go to this anchorage today, the winds seem to have died. We arrived and us and our friends on sv Sterchen were the only boats here, it was very calm. The water is murky so I don't think we will go swimming, we can’t see bottom.

We decided to go into shore and check it out. We found the freshwater spring, it was like an oasis, very cold with fresh mint growing all around it. We met the guy who lives here for one month processing copra. He collects coconuts from the palm trees, then dries it and a boat from Tahiti comes every few weeks to gather them to process into oils and lotions. He gathered fruit for us. Bananas, coconuts which he deshelled, pamplemousse, lemons and mangos. We went in later and dropped off some food for him to try.

We walked around the archaeological site – a really large one. When we came back the wind had really picked up to over 30 knots in the anchorage. Once we got the dingy back in the water, we noticed that Staerchen was dragging! She was headed for the rocks and fast. It was a tense few moments with all our fruit and the 7 of us plus the wind and waves we weren’t moving too fast. We arrived at their boat in time, they pulled up the anchor and reanchored safely. Then the boat in front of Sterchen was dragging down on Sterchen. They reanchored and all is fine, lots of other boats came into the anchorage, the wind blew until about 1700 then it died for the night. I think it may always be this way in this anchorage.

April 25, 2010 Hanamenu, Hiva Oa, Marquesas to Vaipee, Ua Huka, Marquesas - 56.96nm

I caught my first fish today, Chris was busy talking on the radio so I just brought it in myself. It was a small 7 or 8 pound mahi mahi. It was delicious! We first tried to anchor in Hane Bay but it was too gusty and unprotected. It would have been fine in calmer weather conditions. The next anchorage we tried was the one at the village of Vaipee. It is at the end of a very deep, narrow inlet about 1km long and is called Invisible Bay. It is a very small anchorage, with very little swinging room, so we put out a stern anchor. The water is all churned up and brown coloured. I don't think we will swim here either.

Our friends on Albacore III came in to the anchorage right after us, I don't think there would be anymore room for any other boats. Sterchen came in and decided to head for Nuka Hiva. We played soccer on the every present soccer field. However this one was different because of all the wild horses that are on this island. They made quite the obstable course of the soccer field. There are more horses than people on Ua Huka.

Ua Huka falls off most travellers radars. We pretty much had the whole island all to ourselves. I read somewhere that only 5% of cruisers stop on Ua Huka. We went to the museum with Albacore III. It was a great little museum showing pestles, tikis, finely carved sculptures, pahu (drums) jewellery and period photos as well as a ha’e (traditional houses). We asked the secretary at the Mairie to open the artisan shop. We bought a wood carved manta ray at a great price as they are suppose to be triple the price in Tahiti.

Albatross III decided to leave to go over to the next bay however they dropped their spare battery on our boat for us and it worked after Chris did some tweaking so now we have a generator again. Thank you guys!

Chris started talking to the secretary as she spoke a bit of English. He was asking if there was a way to go to the Meiaute archaeological site in the next village over in Hane Bay. We waited around for a while then the secretary at the city hall (mairie) ended up driving us to Hane Bay herself in her friends car. She stopped at the store for us to buy some lunch, she stopped at a look out so I could take some pictures, then she showed us around Hane Bay and dropped us off at the road that we had to walk up to get to the site. We found it with no problem. There were 3 1m-high red tuff tikis overlooking the beautiful bay. What a magnificent view of Hane Bay on one side and the caldera on the other. Stunningly beautiful.

We walked back down into the village and asked around the guy who has the key to the museum and artisan store. We had a look at the beautfiul wood carvings from the local artisans and looked at the museum. Now the fun started. We thought we could get a ride back to Viepee with someone, but no one drove by, I finally found a bus driver who said he would take us back but if wouldn’t be until he drove the kids home from school in an hour and a half, so as we were waiting around, the lady (Lina) from the city hall drove by on her way home and she brought her friend with her and her friend was going to drive us back to Viapee!!!! She had our bags from earlier with all our in line skating gear in them and she dropped us off right at the dock. The next morning she said she was going to come and give us some fruit.

The next morning, I heard a car horn beeping at 0600 and it was her. We went over in the dingy and she gave us two bags of star fruit, 1 box of pomplemouse, a frozen goat leg and ribs, a bag of bananas and oranges. Unbelievable. We can’t believe how nice and generous the Marquesas people are.

April 27, 2010 Vaipee, Ua Huka to Comptrollers Bay (Taipivai), Nuka Hiva 32.64nm

I think the fish here are different then the ones in the Caribbean. On the way here, we caught and lost 3 fish and lures.

Taipivai is the valley where in 1842 Herman Melville hid after jumping ship in Taiohae, Nuka Hiva. He and a shipmate Richard Tobiaas Greene, slipped away from the American whaler Acushnet while on shore duty. They stayed here for 3 weeks. Melville went on to write the book, Typee about his experiences among the Marquesian peoples. Melville also wrote among other books, the infamous Moby Dick.

April 29, 2010 Haka-Haa, Comptrollers Bay (Taipivai), Nuka Hiva to : Baie de Taiohae, Nuka Hiva - 8.41nm

We are having our first problems with our watermaker. We really do not want it dying in this part of the world. The Tuomotus where we will be going next have no water whatsoever, expect what come down from the sky.

Taiohae is the "Marquesas capital". We were able to get diesel, some cash from the ATM however we discovered that the bank had to be open for the ATM to work, we filled our propane tank, and got gas for the dingy. We also bought some provisions but I think the stores in Atuona are better. We very luckily found the hardware store and purchased four 5-gallon water jugs so we can start hauling water from shore.

The kids and I did 6 loads of laundry by hand this afternoon at the tap on shore. There actually is a notice posted in town dated April 1, 2010 about not wasting water because it hasn’t rained in so long, they are low on water, do not use water to water plants, clean your car etc. I think this is related to our not having a problem with no no's (the very annoying little biting insect that attacks you on the beach and elsewhere). Everything you read about the Marquesas talks about these insects, and how to avoid them in detail. However we were never bothered by any of them. Could there be less of them because of the draught? Our adventure began we we got into the dingy with all of the clean but wet laundry. This is one of the worse dingy docks I have ever been at. It is all rough stone and the surge makes it very difficult. We managed to get all the very heavy laundry bags and ourselves into the dingy, we were just at the point of untying the painter when the dingy got stuck under the ladder!! The water starting pouring into the dingy and the dingy starting listing to one side as the surge was coming up the dingy was turning more and more on it’s side, we were all pushing down with all our might on the side to try to get it out from under the ladder , then just before we were about to go over into the water, we got off and floated away. Now with our semi-clean; semi-salty six loads of laundry. The day before our dingy anchor got stuck on coral and we had to snorkel down to retreive it, then the following day the dingy got stuck again and the whole handle got ripped off and the dingy covere got ripped. Time to move to the next anchorage!