Tales of Enchantment

also known as "Michelle and Vern's Excellent Adventure"

12 January 2016
27 December 2015
15 September 2015
25 June 2015
26 March 2014
09 November 2013
16 August 2013 | The Society Islands
20 June 2013 | The Tuomotu's aka The Dangerous Archipelago
26 May 2013 | Marquesas
25 April 2013
23 April 2013
15 December 2012 | Panama Canal, Central America
16 October 2012
26 June 2012
28 April 2012
28 April 2012
19 February 2012 | The Bay Islands

French Polynesia Chapter 1

26 May 2013 | Marquesas
Forty years ago I sailed to French Polynesia on the above boat, the Regina Maris, built in 1908 in Norway. Now we have sailed our own 40 foot boat across 3000 miles of Pacific Ocean, a trip that took 27 days and nights nonstop. The weather was good with no storms or mechanical problems, unlike some other unlucky cruisers. French Poly is separated into 4 large regions, the Marquesas in the NE, Archipelago Tuomotu in the middle, the Society Islands which included Tahiti, and the Australs to the SW.

This entry will cover the Marquesas, first discovered in 1595 by Spaniard Alvaro Mendana de Mendoza. The late 1700’s brought Cook, Ingraham, and the Frenchman Marchand. The Marquesas became a French protectorate in 1842. Of the 12 islands only six are inhabited with a total population of about 15,000, up from a low of 7,200 in 1970. When first discovered the native population was estimated at 100,000. The natives were fierce warriors who practiced cannibalism, but were no match for guns and the ravage of European diseases introduced to the islands.

Fortunately the locals no longer eat the visitors and are very warm and welcoming. A large number of the population work for the government in one capacity or another. The rest harvest copra, have small farms for their own needs, or are craftsmen. For the most part they seem to live simple relaxed lives and always have a ready smile for you. They are some of the best wood and bone carvers in the Pacific and their works can bring many hundreds of dollars in Tahiti or other tourist areas. Despite the high cost of everything on the island a surprising number of houses have satellite TV dishes and more cars and pickup trucks than you would expect to see. Especially when you find out that a small Toyota or Nissan pickup can cost $70,000!!

The dramatic beauty of these islands is truly awesome. Tall steep mountains and deep valleys lush with vegetation of all types. You rarely see fruits for sale in the few supermarkets (really more like a convenience store in the US) because the locals can just go pick them from their back yard. We were all out of fresh produce on our arrival and were hungry for them. With a little searching you can usually find much of want you desire. Our next stop will be the Tuomotus which are low, dry and grow almost nothing, so we will need to stock up.
Comments
Vessel Name: Enchantment
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet 40
Hailing Port: Chicago
Crew: Vern & Michelle
About:
Vern, originally from Chicago, has lived in New Orleans and the Nashville, Tn area. I have been sailing for almost 40 years, have logged over 15,000 offshore miles and hold a 100 ton masters license. I also work as a critical care nurse. [...]
Extra: We are currently finishing with upgrades and improvements to Enchantment in preparation for a 3-4 year cruise from Baltimore to New Zealand. Our cruising kitty will be fully funded and our departure date is set for Oct 2010 with a transit of the Panama Canal late February 2011
Enchantment's Photos - Main
84 Photos
Created 19 December 2016
A small sample of all the wonderful things to see and do in China
99 Photos
Created 19 December 2016
More than you ever wanted to know.
3 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
56 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
51 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
32 Photos
Created 21 June 2016
Just a few pix from Singapore
32 Photos
Created 27 December 2015
65 Photos
Created 10 December 2015
Photo's roughly follow our passage from E to W in Indonesia. We are currently about half way across the Southern island group. 300 miles East of Bali
83 Photos
Created 15 September 2015
37 Photos
Created 25 June 2015
The Fijians have a reputation as one of the friendliest people on the planet....we believe it
115 Photos
Created 13 March 2015
50 Photos
Created 26 March 2014
50 Photos
Created 26 March 2014
24 Photos
Created 9 November 2013
68 Photos
Created 16 August 2013
54 Photos
Created 20 June 2013
49 Photos
Created 26 May 2013
67 Photos
Created 25 April 2013
49 Photos
Created 23 April 2013
We volunteered to be line handlers on a friend's boat to transit the Canal. Each boat requires 4 handlers plus captain and a paid Canal advisor. It is a great way to see what to expect for your own transit
43 Photos
Created 15 December 2012
Photos from another world, also called The San Blas
46 Photos
Created 16 October 2012
46 Photos
Created 26 June 2012
26 Photos
Created 26 June 2012
Providencia, a real jewel of a destination.
31 Photos
Created 28 April 2012
28 Photos
Created 28 April 2012
25 Photos
Created 14 February 2012
Photo's of some the reefs and critters found in Roatan, Honduras
31 Photos
Created 14 February 2012
44 Photos
Created 28 November 2011
You can see by these photo's the living conditions in the orphanage. Most buildings are built on pilings for when the river rises as well as the torrential downpours during rainy season.
45 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Guatemala Independence Day party on the Rio Dulce
13 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
30 Photos
Created 15 September 2011
20 Photos
Created 15 September 2011
Random assortment of pictures from the Western Highlands, where volcanoes and traditional customs predominate
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 8 August 2011
A variety of churches and colonial building we saw. Way too many to post photo's of them all
44 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
17 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
31 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
I wish our camera did justice to the splendor of the reefs and marine life in Belize.
15 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
Belize is rich with Mayan ruins and artifacts. There are still may pure blood Mayans left in Central America, mostly living inland.
28 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
Collection of photo's from along the coastal area
20 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
12 Photos
Created 29 May 2011
Georgetown to Long Island
33 Photos
Created 15 March 2011
43 Photos
Created 25 February 2011
26 Photos
Created 19 January 2011
10 Photos
Created 18 December 2010
One of the hardest things about a leaving are the freinds you have to leave behind. In the 5 1/2 years we were in Baltimore we made many friends that we will miss. Our jobs at Harbor Hospital, Hopkins Bayview, and Sitel were some of the best we have ever had and we feel fortunate to have met and worked with the people we did.
20 Photos
Created 4 November 2010
A ton of "stuff" was brought on board over the last few months.
8 Photos
Created 28 September 2010
This year about 75 boats arrived for the event. The Thursday night before it starts most of the early arrivals get together on a tiny island for pot luck, drinks, and socializing. We have met many of the couples before and at least half of them are going South for the winter, mostly to the Bahamas. For many this is a first trip outside the US. Over the weekend they have many guest lectures, short seminars, marine flea market, some free breakfasts, some catered meals, cocktail party's by various SSCA supporters, and lots of sea stories to be shared.
9 Photos
Created 28 September 2010
Our last winter, 2 major blizzards in one week.
10 Photos
Created 15 February 2010