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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Landfall in Paradise
John
04/19/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -10.46494 Longitude: -138.66841

We have landed in a real paradise! This morning Antoine and I joined friends from the boat Phombili and hiked up to a great view point. From there we had a great view of the village, the bay, and the mountains. The way back down was harder than going up since it was so steep. We followed a paved road, but still, after not walking for 24 days, my legs were in not that great of shape. Tomorrow we are planning to hike 17 kilometers to the other town, but after today's hike, I am not sure I will be up to it.

On the way down from the view point we met Bruce and Pascale and we went off on a side trail and hiked to the base of a 60 meter tall waterfall. It was rough going through the jungle, but the hike was worth it. We swam in a nice pool at the base of the falls.

After the waterfall we walked slowly through the village and talked with some of the locals. It is great that Pascale and Bruce are fluent in French as it is much easier to get to know people here if you can speak French.

Tonight we expect our friends on the boat Evergreen to arrive. We will probably all go to Phombili and have dinner together there, once they arrive.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Landfall at Fatu Hiva
Bruce
04/18/2011

We have had our first sight of land since we left Mexico 23 days and 2700 miles ago! We are just a few miles from Fatu Hiva, our first port of call. Today's sail has been the windiest (and fastest) sail of our entire trip. The winds have averaged 20 to 30 knots all day, so we have been able to maintain boat speed of 7 to 9 knots with a reefed mainsail and jib. The seas have been at times been pretty big; at one point we had a wave come over the bow and spill into the cockpit.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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04/18/2011 | Bob Elix
Well done ! Great feeling after 3 weeks or so,
enjoy a "cold" drink
04/19/2011 | Judy Armstrong
Well done!
Just A Few More Hours (Day 24)
John
04/18/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -10.04453 Longitude: -138.30516

With only 33 miles to go we are anxiously peering over the horizon trying to spot our first glimpse of dry land. Visibility is limited though thanks to a lots of clouds in the area. I think the ocean wanted to give us one last taste of its power before letting us out of its grasp for this leg of our trip. Today has been one of our windiest days of the entire trip. But that means we are moving along at a good clip and are on track to have the anchor down just after sunset today.

During lunch the storm really opened up, giving us a good drenching. I did not mind since I had been at work all morning in my cabin and was quite hot. I did make a lot of progress on a nice new feature for my software.

While today marks the last day of what will likely be the longest ocean passage I will ever make, never fear, the blog posts will continue. You can look forward to new sections for Marquesas, Tuamotus, and Tahiti. I've had a good time writing these daily updates and I am sure I will enjoy reading back over them in the future. Although we haven't yet seen the new world we have entered, there are lots of signs we are very close. Now instead of receiving KCBS from San Francisco, I can only tune in a French station on AM 740. Even the satellite terminal knows we are in a different part of the world as I now have the choice of whether to beam my signal to the Americas satellite or the Asia Pacific satellite. On the short wave radio I am now pulling in signals from Australia and New Zealand. Tomorrow we will begin exploring our new world that we have finally reached. Stay tuned.

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04/19/2011 | Jan Koehler
You guys must be in Fatu Hiva now. Get some sleep!
Getting Close
Bruce
04/17/2011, 150 nautical miles from the Islands

The last 24 hours we logged 138 miles. We had very good winds so we were able to make good time. We're just 150 nautical miles from our landfall, if we have good winds we might arrive tomorrow evening, if not, the day after. There has been a slight change of destination. We are heading to Fatu Hiva to meet up with our friends on sailing vessel Phambili. Fatu Hiva is just 30 miles from Hiva Oa so we just had to adjust our course a few degrees to the left to go to Fatu Hiva.

We are all looking forward to not having to do any more night watches, and getting a full night's sleep.

Pascale baked a loaf of bread this afternoon. So for dinner we had garlic bread, made with Pascale's freshly baked bread and fresh butter and garlic, and pasta with clam sauce. We had a whole pound of baby clams from from Costco which went into the clam sauce.

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Making good speed towards land
Bruce
04/16/2011

The trade winds returned late last night and have continued all day; we have been making 6 to 8 knots continuously with 14 to 18 knots of wind from the South East and a 10 foot swell. The sailing is excellent and we hope to make 150 miles in the next 24 hour period.

We're just about 240 nautical miles from Hiva Oa, which means we'll be arriving at our destination in about 2 days or less if the winds hold up.

We're not exactly heading for Hiva Oa just yet. We are heading for an anchorage at a small island 4 km from Hiva Oa, Baie de Hanamoenoa on the island of Tahuata (9 deg 54.5' S, 139 deg 5.4'W) where we'll have a rendezvous with some friends and fellow sailors.

We ate the last mango today, it was very ripe, but it is amazing that mangoes can hold up three weeks without refrigeration; I would recommend sailors bring lots of mangoes. My theory is that mangoes are a tropical fruit accustomed to the heat and humidity, so they last longer than other fruit. We also ate one of the last oranges; they are getting dry and a little sour but have held up very nicely overall.

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04/17/2011 | alan
love your blog keep on
Getting Close (Day 22)
John
04/16/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -6.80113 Longitude: -135.05856

The wind is back and we are making great progress. If we could keep this speed up, we have only about 47 hours before we arrive. It is hard to believe that today we entered into our fourth week at sea. Other than our brief swim at the equator, we have been on this boat non-stop. Also, we have seen no other people for these last 22 days. Just meeting some new people will be a fun experience. It is hard to think of any other activity besides sailing that involves such isolation. At least we have five people on board. Lots of people do this single handed, meaning there is only one person on the boat. Being completely alone for this length of time seems like it would be even harder to manage.

We haven't had too many boat projects lately, but today Bruce trimmed one of the floor boards so that it would fit better. It may have swelled up slightly and was extremely difficult to remove. Projects awaiting us when we arrive include cleaning the bottom of the boat, attaching a new flag halyard to the spreaders, installing a new radar unit, and replacing the refrigerator. None of these are too time consuming so it should be much less work than what we were doing in Mexico before we left. Longer term, we may haul out in Tahiti to replace the forward head thru-hull. The handle broke off during our first holding tank cleaning.

The weather is definitely a bit cooler now. The water has also cooled a bit. It is now 33.2C. Inside my cabin right now it is 29C whereas around the equator it was always 30C.

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Day 21
Bruce
04/15/2011, South of the Equator

The previous 24 hours were good sailing. We logged 140 nautical mile sduring that period, which was characterized by flat calm interrupted by strong winds.

Today, the trade winds have disappeared. Today is our 21st day at sea. We have had very light winds throughout the day, in fact so light that by mid afternoon we had less than 5 knots of wind, coming from the North. So we were obligated to start the engine and make our way to our destination, hoping for more trade winds along the way.

We are actually hoping for a squall to come our way, to give us some wind so that we can sail again.

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Winter Approaches (Day 21)
John
04/15/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -5.30744 Longitude: -133.33444

It didn't take long for signs of winter in the southern hemisphere to start showing up. Since crossing the equator we have had much more clouds and rain than on the northern side. The good part is that these storms bring more wind which means we can keep moving. Yesterday we made about 130 miles which is pretty decent, especially considering we have had a lot of slower days recently. This weather also is less predictable. After light winds all morning, we are now motoring since the wind has pretty much disappeared. The storms also bring rain which is refreshing. Last night I was so hot I sat on deck in the rain and really chilled out for awhile.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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