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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
CREW WANTED, Tahiti to Hawaii
Bruce
06/10/2011, French Polynesia

As you know, we're sailing CALOU in French Polynesia and making our way towards Tahiti. Our crew member, John, must perform in a concert in July, so he will be leaving us at least temporarily.

We are looking for someone to help us sail our boat from Papeete or Bora Bora, to the northern Marquesas or Tuomotus (for R&R stop and provisioning), and then north to Hawaii.

The route from the Marquesas to Hawaii is described in Cornell's book, WORLD CRUISING ROUTES thus: "This is a fast and pleasant passage at almost any time of the year".

The departure from Tahiti would be some time in early July. Arrival in the Marquesas might take a week, and the passage to Hawaii two or three more weeks.

Candidates should be either known by us or have references.

Interested parties should contact us via email,
b r u c e @ c a l o u . c o m

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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VIDEO: Snorkeling with Shark
Bruce
06/10/2011, Fakarava Atoll, Tuomotus



Pascale, Antoine and I snorkeled over a coral reef while a black tip shark hovered nearby. Later in the clip there's a beautiful group of blue Springer's Desmoiselles hiding in the coral.

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Arrival at North Fakarava
Bruce
06/09/2011, Tuomotu Archipelago

We sailed from Fakarava South Pass to Fakarava North Pass via a channel inside the lagoon today; it was a delightful sail, in fact the most pleasant sailing we have seen ever... perfectly flat seas, 15 to 20 knots of breeze on the beam, sailing at up to 8 knots, warm weather, sunny, and beautiful scenery along the way as the channel follows the eastern end of the atoll.

We departed early morning and arrived here in North Fakarava at 1230 PM, the route covering some 40 nautical miles. We are anchored in 40 feet of water on sand with good holding.

We haven't seen all of the village yet but we found a good grocery store and the boulangerie, and we had an excellent lunch of grilled tuna steaks at an outdoor restaurant in town.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Diving with the Sharks at Fakarava
Bruce
06/07/2011, Fakarava Atoll, Tuomotus

Today John and I went on two scuba dives, along the reef that borders the entrance channel to Fakarava Atoll. Besides the superb colorful tropical fishes and many varieties of coral, the highlight was the huge number of sharks, mostly black tip and gray sharks, that inhabit the channel. At about 90 feet below the surface, we were surrounded by hundreds of sharks in every direction. I have to admit I was a bit nervous, as the larger ones were bigger than me, but thankfully the sharks paid no attention to us.


colorful Trigger Fish


Springer's Desmoiselles seek refuge in coral


Black Tip Reef Shark


Room with a View


the Pension (Bed and Breakfast) at Fakarava


Sharks in the Water


Bird rests on an Oyster Shell


Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Passage to Fakarava
Bruce
06/04/2011, Fakarava Atoll, Tuomotu Archipelago

Because the weather forecast showed a storm system coming in for some days, we departed Tahanea this morning at dawn and made our way 51 miles from there to the South pass of Fakarava today, arriving at 1430. The conditions were excellent, nearly flat water in the channel, as we arrived during the flood with wind coming from astern.

We have anchored on the anchorage on the right side of the channel after you enter the South Pass. Our buddy boats Charade and Callipyge are also here.

Our sail was quite varied, in the morning we had a flat calm and had to motor, but after lunch we had a series of squalls and the wind built to 25 knots so we cut the engine and sailed. It rained a lot so we got out the foulies.

Right now it's 2030 here in Fakarava and the wind is blowing 25 knots in the anchorage but it's flat water since it's well protected from the swell.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Lobster Feast
Bruce
06/04/2011, Tahanea

Today we had a sumptuous feast on board Charade, starting with guacamole and chips, and marlin sushi rolls that I had made, followed by the main course, lobster tails from the 18 lobsters that we had caught the previous evening. I made the ginger-lime-garlic butter and Carole of Charade cooked the lobster tails and then nicely grilled them in the butter. ##

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Beach Party at Tahanea
Bruce
06/03/2011, Tahanea Atoll, Tuomotu Archipelago

Although yesterday was Antoine's official birthday, our friends on kid-boats Charade and Callipyge arrived this morning, so we had a party on the beach so that Antoine's birthday could be celebrated with their six children. So the crews of Evergreen, Moondance, Charade, Callipyge, and Ipanema joined us on shore where we made a huge driftwood bonfire, and shared food and drink and birthday cake. Antoine got a spear gun as a gift from Arnaud on Charade (photo), and a hat woven from palm fronds. The kids frolicked in the lagoon while the adults polished off rum & cokes.

At 8 PM Arnaud and Carole from Charade and Tomas from Callipyge came out to pick me up; I took them to the tidepools on the ocean side of the atoll and showed them how and where to find lobster. We walked in ankle- to knee- deep water in the tidepools looking for and collecting lobster; our haul was 18 lobsters. Two hours walking in the tidepools sure wore me out, by legs feel like rubber now!

Tomorrow we are getting together for a lobster-with-garlic-butter feast at lunch time. Charade will also be grilling a grouper they caught and we'll be bringing over the garlic butter and some marlin sushi.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Antoine's Birthday in Tahanea
Bruce
06/02/2011, Tuomotu Archipelago

Today was Antoine's 13th birthday. We told him some weeks ago, that we didn't have any gifts for him, because there was nothing to buy on the islands that he wanted. He's OK with that. This morning, he said that "my best birthday gift was being in French Polynesia for my birthday". That sure made us happy since that is all we had to offer.

I did order some things from Amazon.com that I knew he would like. This would be a new Nerf dart gun, and some of his favorite books of the "Alex Rider" series. We had the items shipped to an intermediary in the US (myus.com), and they will then be shipped to our agent in Papeete, for us to pick up when we arrive there.

Pascale baked a chocolate cake, and we had the crews of Evergreen, Moondance, and Ipanema over for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by birthday cake.

After cake, we (John, Francois, Joshua, and I) went out after dark with headlamps to the tidepools at low tide to get lobster. This time, with a little more experience and improved technique, we caught 6 lobsters, and only 2 got away. We are saving them for a feast tomorrow.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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