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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Anchorage at Ua Pou
Bruce
05/18/2011

There was a brief rainfall in the anchorage, and as the clouds cleared, we had this wonderful view of the volcanic spires of Ua Pou.

This island is our final stop for provisioning before our departure to the Tuomotu Islands. So we are stocking up on everything we will need, not just for the 4 day passage, but for our month long journey through the Tuomatu atolls. Fresh fruit and vegetables are impossible to find there, and many other things are in very short supply. So we have to stock up on everything from eggs to toilet paper.

We are carrying as many grapefruit, limes, avocados, and bananas as we can carry. All of these are impossible to find in the Tuomatus.

Another thing we needed was gasoline, for our generator and our outboard motor. We were surprised to find out that there was no gasoline available on the island... until the next supply ship arrives. Lucky for us the supply ship arrived this evening, so we plan to fill our jerry cans in the morning.

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Arrival at Ua Pou
Bruce
05/17/2011

We made the short passage to Ua Pou (pronounced wa-pu) this afternoon. The island is a delightful anchorage, though very crowded so a stern and bow anchor are required. We have gotten used to setting bow and stern anchors so that this is as easy as a single hook.

We caught a tuna en route, which was very nice. I made fresh fish tacos for lunch, and tuna sushi for dinner.

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Daniel's Bay
John
05/16/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -8.94391 Longitude: -140.16295

Yesterday afternoon we arrived at one of the most spectacular anchorages so far on our trip, known to cruisers as Daniel's Bay. This bay is completely protected from the ocean, very calm, and surrounded by steep cliffs on one side. Survivor Marquesas was filmed here in 2002. The bay is called Daniel's Bay because of the local villager, Daniel, that used to live here. For 60 years he was friendly to the cruising boats that stopped here. When the Survivor show arrived Daniel was relocated and we learned that he died one and a half years ago.



This bay is also a good location as it is near the trailhead for a two and a half mile hike to the base of the third highest waterfall in the world. The trail is built on top of an ancient stone road and was a fairly easy hike. Currently this area is home to only a handful of people, but when the road was in use there were over 5000 people living along the river. Swimming at the base of the waterfall was great after the long hike in. Due to lots of mosquitoes though we did not stay very long at the waterfall.

Before leaving Taiohae Bay we had a chance on Saturday to attend a dance performance. The performance area was packed with locals and some people from boats, and the dances were mesmerizing.

Tomorrow we have a 25 mile sail to the last island we will visit in the Marquesas, Ua Pou,after which we will head to the Tuamotus.

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A Relaxing Week
John
05/14/2011

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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Pearl Lodge
Bruce
05/13/2011, Nuku Hiva

Here Pascale relaxes by the pool at the Pearl Lodge, a fancy hotel where we had a delicious lunch. We also visited the nearby Rose's Museum and Boutique, displaying many Marquesan artifacts. I bought a beautiful yet scary looking spear carved from iron wood at the museum.

We all got our elephantiasis (filariasis) preventive treatments today. The WHO (World Health Organization) is making a concerted effort to reduce this very debilitating tropical mosquito borne parasite disease. We didn't know this, but 10 percent of Marquesans are infected with this. The scary results of the disease are irreversible.

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Mother's Day at Nuku Hiva
Bruce
05/08/2011

The crew of s/v Aeolus celebrate Mother's Day with us on board Calou. We had cocktails and toast with French pate, then went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, the Pearl Lodge. Antoine made a shell necklace for Pascale (see photo) as a Mother's Day gift.

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Arrival at Nuku Hiva
Bruce
05/08/2011

We arrived in Nuku Hiva, a beautiful port and a delightful town. After dropping anchor in the afternoon, we hurried to get to town to do our grocery shopping before the stores closed Saturday afternoon for the weekend. This anchorage is a very large bay, very sheltered. There's some swell, but we set a stern anchor to keep the bow pointed into the swell so it is very comfortable. Best of all we have wifi internet access here!

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A Rainy Mother's Day
John
05/08/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -8.91462 Longitude: -140.09825

Ua Huka anchorage turned out to be quite rough (big swells, waves breaking on shore all around us) so we left after only one night there. Francois and I did swim ashore with boogie boards when we arrived and I had a very brief walk towards town. Visiting the wood sculptors and the maritime museum will have to wait until my next visit.

We left Ua Huka yesterday morning and after four hours at sea we arrived at the biggest town in the Marquesas, Taiohae on the island of Nuku Hiva (which is the second biggest island in all of French Polynesia). We planned to sail, but while I was putting up the swim step I accidentally turned the hydraulic backstay tension adjuster which caused the backstay to loosen. At first we thought the hydraulic backstay had failed so we quickly furled the sails and started motoring. After doing all this we realized the tension adjuster had merely been released and to retension we just need to pump up the hydraulic piece. A relief to be sure since we thought for sure this was another project in the making. Since there was not much wind and the sails were already furled we decided just to motor the rest of the 26 miles we had to go.

We made good time by motoring and got our anchor down in the bay in time to go into town and shop for dinner before the stores closed. Prices seem a little less expensive here. Today we planned to walk around town and have dinner at a nice restaurant for Mother's Day. So far though it has been raining, often in hard downpours only like it can rain in the tropics, so we are still on the boat. At least we have decent wifi internet here so this is a good chance to update the blog and catch up on email.

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