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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Hiva Oa Coast
Bruce
04/30/2011, location

We hired a guide and took a tour of the island of Hiva Oa, which included a drive over extremely mountainous terrain and hair-raising switchbacks and coastal roads. The driving here is not for the faint of heart. Most of the route was along sheer cliffs into which French engineers had dynamited a barely passable road.

The photo shows the view downhill, with three passes of our own road which lies directly below us.

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Back in Civilization
John
04/29/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -9.80295 Longitude: -139.03131

A few days ago we left a beautiful anchorage and are now anchored in a slightly less beautiful anchorage, at the harbor of Atuona. With approximately 1300 residents, this is the largest town we have stopped at since leaving Mexico. Here we have officially cleared customs into the country, picked up four packages that we ordered weeks ago, buy more food, and refuel. Tomorrow we are off on a day long tour of the island, one of the highlights is a large tiki statue.

Yesterday we had fun checking out the four small grocery stores on the island, and taking a hike in the jungle. Our first day here we enjoyed our first meals out in weeks. For lunch we had hamburgers and fries, and for dinner we had an enormous dinner at Alex's house. He and his family prepare big dinners for visitors. He even picked us up and dropped us off back at the boat. Good thing because his house is up a very steep road above the harbor.

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Alex's Restaurant
Bruce
04/27/2011, Hiva Oa

We had a great dinner this evening at Alex's restaurant. Alex is from France and, incredibly, went to school at a tiny village just a few kilometers from Pascale's sister's house in rural north eastern France.

Alex runs a "pension" (bed and breakfast) high on a hill overlooking the harbor where he served us lobster salad, beef stew, roasted pumpkin au gratin, and ice cream made from Taro root.

This is a picture of Alex with his lovely family.

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Atuona Kids
Bruce
04/27/2011, Hiva Oa

We arrived today at the port town of Atuona (pop. 1600) on Hiva Oa. Here Pascale poses with the very friendly kids of Atuona. They were very curious about us and asked many questions, and loved to have their picture taken.

We are here to pick up replacement parts that we ordered while under way (refrigeration, radar, and plumbing parts, and a new barometer). We'll also be checking into French Polynesia (getting our passports stamped, etc).

We have an oil leak at the engine coming from the oil pressure switch. So I have to find a new one or order one and have it flown in. We can still run the engine but we lose engine oil slowly while it is running.

Also I have to find someone who can re-weld our broken radar scanner mount.

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Another Great Day at Tahuata
Bruce
04/27/2011

We had planned to sail into Hiva Oa today to get our papers in order and our spare parts that were shipped from the US, but we decided to wait another day because today was the first day after a holiday weekend (the Monday after Easter being a state holiday).

I got some projects out of the way. One was, we had overtightened the boom once while at anchor so that it was rubbing against the bimini, this created a 10 inch tear in the bimini fabric. I sewed on a patch to repair the damaged section.

Secondly, I forgot to mention this earlier, as we were motoring on our final approach to this anchorage, we had an oil pressure alarm go off. I had checked the oil in the crankcase and there was none, but there was about 5 quarts of motor oil in the sump under the engine. I had determined that there was a slow leak of motor oil coming from the oil pressure sensor... one drop at a time.

So today I pumped all 5 liters of motor oil from the sump into containers, and Pascale and I started mopping up the sump area under the engine with paper towels.

I removed the leaky oil pressure sensor and applied epoxy to it in the hopes of stopping the leak.

Tomorrow, before we leave the anchorage, I'll put the epoxied pressure switch back in place and see if it still drips oil.

Oh, and the refrigeration is getting a new lease on life. Dennis on sailboat Evergreen had Freon and equipment on board so that we could get our refrigeration working again. I used J.B. Weld epoxy to seal the holes in the evaporator that Antoine had made. Then Dennis and I spent the better part of the afternoon purging the system and adding freon. After a few days of trial and error, with a little less, and then a little more, freon, we now have a refrigeration system that seems to work as well as new. Today was the first day that our refrigeration hit the 20 degree F setpoint that we set for it. Looking good!

Between projects we had some time to have some fun, we took the dinghy for a ride to another cove on the island, where we explored the rocks, observed clans of hermit crabs, and collected sea shells, while Antoine body surfed and made "dinosaur tracks" in the sand, and John flew a kite in the light breeze.

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A Perfect Day at Tahuata
Bruce
04/26/2011

We spent a perfect day at Tahuata. The weather was perfect.

The day started with projects.

John and I got the defective radar scanner down. The swivel mount for the radar scanner was broken, whoever did the welding just put in a single tack weld, no more than 1/4 inch long. No wonder the thing broke. We hope to get the parts rewelded in Atuana. I did some electronic testing of the radar scanner which proved definitively that the scanner electronics had gone bad. Check.

We had a problem with the watermaker since yesterday, it was producing very reduced flow. This was due to a clogged seawater inlet line. I worked on that problem and got it unclogged. We have a new one being shipped to us. Check.

We have plastic hoods that go over the ports in the side of the boat. The hoods keep the rain out when the ports are open. The one by our cabin had broken due to wave action. I sawed off part of it to reduce its wave catching ability and reglued it in place. And we have two such ports in the salon for which I had not yet installed the hoods. Those hoods are now installed. Check.

The rest of the day was reserved for fun.

Francois and I, and the crew of the French catamaran CHARADE, went scuba diving at the reef on the north side of the anchorage. The water is so clear that we had at least 100 foot visibility. We were diving to 60 foot depth and you could easily observe the surface. The water temperature is 90 degrees F, so no wet suit was required. The display of fish was fantastic, as good as I've seen anywhere. CHARADE has a dive compressor so we were able to get our tanks refilled.

Finally this evening we had the crew of CHARADE over for dinner. There were 10 of us seated for dinner around our salon table! It was tight but we were able to get everyone seated. We concluded the evening with music (John on violin and myself on accordeon).

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A Day at Tahuatana
Bruce
04/26/2011

Today was mostly sunny; we spent the day enjoying the emerald colored water, this being helped by a 90 degree (32 C) water temperature. Francois spent most of the day with the dinghy visiting his friends on sailboats Phambili and Evergreen. John took off on the kayak. This left us stranded more or less on the boat though we did go for a swim a few times to get refreshed.

This morning John and I took down the radar scanner, which not only was not working, but the swivel mount it was connected to was held together with just a couple tack welds where some serious linear welds were really needed.

After that I spent some hours looking at the water intake for the forward head and the watermaker. There's some restriction somewhere that is reducing the flow to both devices. This project will continue tomorrow.

We said good bye to Phambili, who are sailing today to Nuku Hiva, and thence to Tahiti. We hope to meet up with them again in about a month's time in the Tuomotus.

We introduced ourselves to the catamaran Charade, a French family from La Manche (Britanny). They have 3 small children, the oldest being 11, around Antoine's age.

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A Unique Easter
John
04/24/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -9.90839 Longitude: -139.10486



What a great way to spend Easter, at anchor in one of the most beautiful anchorages in the Marquesas. We had a relaxed laid back day today. In the morning, a few hours working on my software, then Bruce and I removed the broken radar unit. After that a kayak to shore and a climb up the nearby hills for a view into the channel on the other side of the island.

Followed by a snorkel session filled with lots of tropical fish. Next relaxing on the beach talking with our friends from Evergreen. Then I picked some grapefruit from semi wild trees, and made it back out to the boat just in time to say goodbye to Phambili. They left tonight for an overnight passage to their next stop. We hope to meet up with them in about a month in the Tuamotus.

The last few nights we had some great music sessions aboard our boats. I even gave a violin lesson to Neomi. It was my first time teaching, and definitely very memorable. We were outside in the back of their catamaran going through some Suzuki songs. Bruce and I scanned a bunch of Canadian fiddle music from Fiona, and I hope to be a real fiddler by the time we see them next.

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