Calou's Blog

Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump

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18 February 2015 | Barra de Navidad
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A Relaxing Week

14 May 2011
John
Taiohae Bay.
We've enjoyed a relaxing week in Taiohae Bay. Most of our time was spent exploring the small town. The small "magazine" grocery stores have allowed us to replenish most of our food supplies. We also have tried almost every restaurant in town. The luxurious Pearl Lodge was great for a dinner and a lunch. There is a good pizza restaurant as well. Last night we enjoyed happy hour and dinner at Rose's hotel. Also around town are a few snack vans, one of which is run by a German woman at the wharf who makes excellent crepes.
At the crepe van.
View of the bay from the Pearl Lodge.
I've had a couple of great violin practice sessions in a small park near the dock. These have been my first opportunities to play on land since we left Mexico. Playing there has been a great way to meet the locals as many of them have stopped by for a listen. Now, when walking around town I have lots of new friends coming up to say hi. It turns out that I am the first violinist to visit this island in ten years. A woman that works at the Yacht Services business has a son around 12 years old who has always been very interested in violins. He was very happy to see me and I let him try playing my violin. I think this was his first experience with a real violin.
Violin fans.
The town is spread out along a road parallel to the water. Just opposite our boat is one of the small magazines and also the town basketball court. Beyond that is a nice park dotted with tiki statues. Across from the tikis is the cathedral, with very impressive wooden doors.
Tiki at waterfront.
Cathedral.
Impressive cathedral doors.
Monument.
While we were walking to dinner last night we came across some woman at a folding table distributing preventative pills for elephantiasis. This is a malady spread by mosquitoes which causes severe swelling, especially in the legs. We took our pills and barely made it to dinner without falling onto the table due to the tiredness and vertigo side effects. But once we started eating we felt much better. Evidently occurrences of elephantiasis are fairly high now, with perhaps up to 10% of the population being infected. The disease can take up to ten years to show signs, so all we can do now is hope we did not contract it before taking the pills. Luckily I don't get too many mosquito bites so my chances are probably pretty low.
Dusk tonight.
Bruce has kept busy with a few miscellaneous boat projects. He made little extender straps for our preventer line so that it is not pinched by our fuel cans. Our friends from Georgia J had a crew member flying in today so we ordered a two small inverters which he brought with him. Bruce hopes to use the small inverter to power the televisions so that we don't need to run the full inverter as much. The anchor chain got some red paint where the chain attaches to the rope, and Bruce sewed in small leather markers every 20 feet along the rope rode. The red paint should help us know when we have put almost all the chain out and the markers on the rope will allow us to more precisely measure how much rope we have out. Yesterday a very nice new barometer arrived which Bruce installed in the main cabin. We think the one we obtained before leaving Mexico is not working properly as it does not seem to move much.

Because the bay is murky and full of sharks I have not done much swimming here. Today though I kayaked out almost to the bay and found a nice little cove where I braved the sharks and took a quick swim. I spotted two small sharks and a manta ray from the kayak. It is especially fun watching the sharks at the wharf when the fishermen toss the fish cuttings into the water around sunset. The water turns into a thrashing mess of sharks cutting and jumping trying to get to the handouts. Getting into an inflatable dinghy right next to that going on is a bit unnerving.
Shark infested dock area.
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Comments
Vessel Name: Calou
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 47
Hailing Port: The Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, CA
Crew: Bruce, Pascale, Antoine (15)
Extra: Sailing on the 20th Annual Baja Ha-ha, departing mid October 2013 from Tiburon, and continuing to cruise Mexico. This will be our 3rd Haha. In 2011 we sailed the Puddle Jump from Mexico to French Polynesia, then up to Hawaii and back to San Francisco.
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