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Anthem Adrift
Blowin' in the Wind
06/01/2010, Day Three

June 1

Appears that insouciance will be missing for a couple more days. Wind is 15 to 25 from the northeast concomitant with 10 foot seas. Frequent squalls push that up to 40 and put corners on the waves. Since destination is southwest and downwind is not a favored point of sail, one almost longs for a strong norther crossing the Gulf Stream. At least, with several hours of respite from storms after mid-morning some of the sharp edges were rounded off a bit. Unfortunately, like in "Poltergeist", they're baaaaaack.

Had been running since last evening with only yankee. Works well with 30 to 40 knots, but pretty pokey at only 20, so also flew a double reefed main much of today. She moves along OK when the wind is down, but makes a handful in the extended puffs. Latest batch of rain brought south wind, so now hard on it and not quite able direct Kauehi. Wonder which direction the southeast trades will blow next? May not get much rest for duration.


05/31/2010, Day Two

May 31

Balmy, fragrant breezes carry your craft gently through benevolent undulating swells and over the cerulean depths from one enchanting paradise to the next. Paradise, yes. Benevolent no. There are "coconuts" out the wazoo, but have yet to experience the "milk run" aspects of this, thus far, (supposedly) atypical track through the South Seas. Have had only a few relaxing sail days since Panama. Presently enjoying over thirty knot winds and three meter seas on the quarter as latest in a series of squalls passes. Spread the word.. it's the dry season. Guess we'll blame the baby for rough seas, although effects were forecast to diminish by now.

This will be short as it's difficult to type while Neptune is attempting to fling me across the cabin. Hope to regain boyish insouciance by tomorrow.


05/31/2010, Day One

May 30

Weighed anchor at 0600 for five hundred and change mile jaunt to next destination. Almost regretted swinging by Ua Poa to see spired topography after being becalmed in its shadow, but ensuing breeze has more than made up for delay. A large pod of what appeared to be bottle-nose dolphins were probably trying to point me away from the bad air. If they just looked more like Lassie. Barring a collapse in wind speed, will have to dawdle at other end, anyway.

With apologies to Gambiers and Australs, the three primary archipelagoes in French Polynesia are Marquesas (all island and no reef), Tuamotus (all reef and no island) and Societies (have it all). The islandless group (they have motus formed atop coral), having seventy eight atolls, must hog a high percentage of the word's supply. Most are big, with Rangiroa, 78 km by 24 km, the largest. Currently heading for Kauehi and may visit three or four others. Will remain well clear of Mururoa, site of last atmospheric nuclear test. Like Jimmy, "don't want to see my skin aglow".

After evening net and being yet a trifle tired following visit by malevolent organism, shut my eyes for just a minute and was awakened two hours later by a bright light coming straight on. Fortunately the full-plus-a-day moon showed no interest in a collision as it peaked over the coaming illuminating the world like a flare. Leaped up to discover wind vane was still heading pointy end toward objective. After sending this, will probably shut my eyes for just a minute.


Bug Break
05/29/2010, Hakatea Bay, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

May 29

Unconfirmed reports were that an earthquake in New Caledonia was proximate cause of tsunami level swells entering Taiohae harbor before and during departure to Hakatea Bay (Daniel's Bay) on Thursday. Watched from shore as Anthem, although in 20 feet of water and well hooked, was closest in and made an impressive soaring, plunging, disappearing show. Was actually more concerned with dinghy, tied to quai and riding from out of sight to above top. Missed really impressive first series, but later video is still pretty cool. If possible, may eventually get it to web site.

After having not a sniffle for over a year and a half, was prostrated by something also visiting a number of other boats. Initially thought it to be dorado innerds (assuming any were eaten) or the excessively messy hamburger (insufficiently good to justify flying out for lunch) injudiciously consumed Thursday, but have concluded being bugged. Won't go into graphic detail, but have been a quivering heap of useless protoplasm for the last forty six hours. Still feel like crap, but so much better as to be nearly well. Upside was spending much of waking hours yesterday watching episodes of "Adventures in Paradise" with Gardner Mckay.

Barring relapse will depart early AM for Kauehi atoll, Tuamotus. Reported light winds may extend what would normally be a four day passage. Due treacherous passes and coral heads, arrival at slack water in good daylight essential, so hoping for NLT Thursday afternoon.


Full of Bull
05/26/2010, Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

May 26

Due multifarious achievements yesterday and today, may depart for Daniel's Bay tomorrow afternoon. Although a few errands await the morning, i.e. purchases of bread, eggs, screws and a sim card for the quad-band, primary goal is, if at least two enthusiastic endorsements not belied by facts, the most exquisite hamburger in all Oceania. Opinion from a non-aficionado may be suspect, but will offer judgment in case anyone wants to jet over for lunch.

Although first night here was smooth, anchorage has since lived down to reports. Wind moves pointy end of boats all over, but waves ricochet off western shore from south southwest then reflect back from north end of bay. Without a stern anchor, and even with, motion can occasionally be a tad too enthusiastic for extended winkage above forty.

After catching a bull dorado, Jacksters offered me what had been taken as row when extracted from a cow - two long sacs containing something the consistency of cooked cheese grits. Anybody know what this stuff is? Tasted pretty good both times, pan fried, if your solicited reports indicates it's edible, otherwise I threw it out.


Floral Crapulence
05/26/2010, Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

May 25

Writing has suffered, and by extension the folks who actually read this codswallop, due less time spent at it. Seems there's always something to do and cruiser's midnight has, unaccountably, been edging back toward civil twilight. Have previously held out the carrot of less verbiage or fewer posts, but maybe this time you'll get lucky. With modest exceptions days seem busier than ever. What happened to that vision of sitting under a palm tree all day becoming buzzed on something with a flower in it? Maybe next island.

Jacksters are getting fidgety to leave for Tuamotus where diving is promised best on earth, but think this operation will stay here for a few. Taiohae looks to be a grand little place and not quite as pricey as reports, notwithstanding an allocation of $41 to acquire seven gallons of essence sans plomb (no lead petrol).

Walked a mile around to Keikahanui Hotel with Gary & Jackie for drinks and dinner. Was pleased to find quality justified prodigious francage required. After languishing for a month and a half VISA was out of condition and got cramps, but gamely soldiered on to consummate charge. Included, however, was a creme brulee worth, itself, entire amount. May go back just to plunk down twelve bucks for another.

Returned late and have 0700 show for fresh market (bread, lettuce and tomato disappear early), so will bid all a fond adieu... a fondue.


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