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Flour Girl
The Homeschooling of Zack on a Cheoy Lee Offshore 44
Daniel's Bay Nuku Hiva
06/11/2013, Marquesas, French Polynesia

We sailed into Daniel's Bay, the cliffs were dramatic and beautiful, very green and lush. To get into the bay you sail around a rock point and the bay opens up, as soon as we came in I recognized the bay as one I had seen on the back cover or a sailing magazine. The picture had been taken from the top of one of the hills and in it the bay looks like a lake with no opening to the sea. It is all very dramatic. The picture in the magazine had only on boat in the anchorage, we were about 15. It was great we knew almost all of the boats and met the ones we didn't.

From Daniel's Bay we organized a big group hike, almost all the boats in the anchorage, to the 3rd tallest waterfall in the world. The hike was fantastic. All the kids ran ahead and had a real adventure of it. Zack was the youngest of the group, except for one other 7 year old who seemed very young, and stayed with his mother, he is very much able to hold his own with the older kids. The group ages from Zack,7, to Nikolai,15, and every age in between. I am not even sure that Zack realizes he is the youngest. The hike was really moderate in grade, the path lined with tropical flowers and fruit trees. There are so many fruit trees here that the fruit is just lying on the ground rotting. The path cut across a river several times. The first few times we took off our hiking shoes and waded across, keeping our shoes dry. This worked for a while until I slipped and got one shoe wet, then the other shoe got wet, so after that I just tramped thru with my shoes on. The hike was 2 1/2 hours each way and the river crossings were spaced just far enough apart for your shoes to dry out before crossing again. At the waterfall we all had a great pot luck lunch, sitting on rocks in a lovely field surrounded by high peaks. Almost everyone took a short swim over to the waterfall itself in the ice cold water. David and Zack went, I decided to skip, bad choice I should have gone. These are once in a lifetime opportunities and I shouldn't let little things like freezing, dirty water and a lack of clothes to change into influence my decisions. Next time, I go. When we got back to the beach the kids decided to stay and play, while the adults went back to Sueno and chilled out to Passion fruit rum cocktails, with ice!! thanks to Full Monty. The beach is really nice and Zack was keen to show us the baby Blacktip sharks swimming in the shallows at the other end of the beach, Cool science there. They were about a foot and a half long.

The next day David organized a dinghy fishing trip to try out a new technique he had been told about, vertical jigging. Basically you drop a jig deep and pull it up as fast as you can. I let Zack go, not realizing all of the other kids were staying home to do school, oops. He really wanted to go. David and 4 other boats went out into the mouth of the harbor for about 2 hours. They came back and only David and Zack had caught any fish. They had 2 black skipjack tunas. That was good because we were out of fish and we are trying to stretch our frozen meats as far as we can. Food is super expensive here, almost as expensive as St John. David cleaned the fish and Zack put a hook thru the cleaned carcass and tried to fish off the boat with it. We had just given up so that we could get to school, Zack put the hand line around the winch and a huge shark took the whole thing in one bite. So much for getting in the water to clean the waterline. Zack busted out his school work and after lunch the adults did boat projects while the kids went to the beach. They spent the afternoon building a hut on the beach. It was challenging because a couple of cows kept eating their roofing leaves. They had a great time and early to bed tonight, some of us are still feeling yesterdays hike.

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Nuku Hiva
06/06/2013

We are in Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia. These islands are absolutely gorgeous. Very dramatic, mountainous and lush. The Marquesans are true stewards of the land. There are flowers and ornamental plants everywhere, small gardens and fruit trees. The people are very welcoming and it feels very safe here. We spent a few days in Anaho bay. Lots of kid boats and Zack is having a great time. We took a hike over the mountain to see if we could find internet and baguette. Internet no, baguette yes, and ice cream! We had heard anywhere from 1 to 2 hours for the hike. It was the most challenging hike we have done in a long time. Up a mountain, about 1 hour of steep hiking, in a fair amount of mud. There was a nice mango tree along the way and the town was lovely.
The next day we took a hike to the farm. It was not so grueling as the hike over the mountain. The farm was nice and they let us pick our own fruit and veggies. If you are following us just turn left on the beach and keep walking it is almost an hour but it is the cheapest and freshest you will find veggies in the Marquesas.
We have posted some pictures but videos are still in the works...

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Baguette at Last!
05/29/2013, Hiva-Oa, French Polynesia

After over two weeks in FRENCH Polynesia we have finally procured a baguette! It took four, 2 mile trips in the dinghy, everyone starting in sunshine and ending in pouring rain, but we now have 5 baguettes! We were unable to get internet though, so no pictures for the blog until we get to Nuku Hiva. The 2 mile dinghy ride was around to one of the towns, I only went once and it was raining too hard to look around. We ran straight to the store and tried to wait out the shower. It seemed as if it would never stop so we ran back to the dinghy and were utterly soaked by the time we got back to the boat. We were however fortunate enough to dinghy into a small pod of dolphins, they were within 4 feet of the dinghy, magical. We had Zack, Guillaume and Noemei with us so they were happy. The other thing to mention is that the rain water was running so fast in the gutter that mangoes were pouring down the side of the road, we could have collected a bag full.

We have just been relaxing, waiting for wind, which we will hopefully have in a few days so we can sail up to Nuku Hiva. The kids have been boogie boarding on the beach and we have done some nice snorkeling. I was snorkeling with Nathalie and I thought I saw a bunch of snakes out of the corner of my eye. It was 10 stingrays in a group! Really cool!

We have motored over to Hiva-Oa for a change of scenery. The bay is small and nice, hundreds of palm trees on the shore. On the way over we caught a Big Eye Tuna. It was 16 pounds and we had a lot of meat from it. Full Monty is on their way over for ceviche and wine. A few months ago Zack found a wooden leg from a piece of furniture on one of the beaches that he wanted to use for kindling to start a fire - skip forward a few months and we still have it in the cockpit sitting around because he doesn't want to throw it away. David was re-reading the Cruiser's Handbook of Fishing and got the idea to use something to make a fish attracting device, something you drag close behind the boat to attract the fish into striking your lure. Skippy the Furniture Leg was born and used for the first time today, successfully. We will now be dragging a furniture leg behind the boat for the rest of our journey. Look for the pictures when we get internet access, hopefully in the next week.

We have been doing a lot of pot lucks and yesterday we made mango daiquiris on Sueno with all the fresh mangoes! Life is hard, but we will suffer on!

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trading in Fatu Hiva
05/25/2013, French Polynesia

I was finally able to get the carved basket I wanted in Fatu Hiva by trading US dollars for Euros with our friends Remy and Sylvie on Bellisima. The US dollar is difficult to use in Fatu Hiva because it is difficult to change it into CFP the currency of French Polynesia, therefore the exchange rate is miserable. (about 75%) Some of the carvers do exchange goods for carvings. SO, I set off with Nathalie, she speaks French, David and Jenny (Full Monty) to do some trading. We started at what I considered to be the second best carver on the island. He had the second largest assortment, and it was all very nice. I packed up a couple of bottles of rum, some a fishing lure, fishing line, and 2 headlamps, and 3 hairclips, all things we had heard were of good trade value. I also added a shirt of Zack's and 2 workbooks he was too old for. I asked David to throw in our old jib lines but he was not up for it. I was only thinking about getting a small bowl or another tiki statue. Well, we get to the carver's house and he invites us in. The Polynesians are very welcoming people. It is such a small population they probably welcome someone new to talk with. He starts bringing out all of his carvings and David falls in love with a Polynesian War Club, price $25,000.00 CFP or about $300.00US. Now he wishes he had brought the jib lines! So we are trying to barter with our paltry bag of stuff, he was interested in all of it plus. David went out to the boat to get the jib lines and a machete, but he was unable to find the machete, While he was gone we stayed and talked with the family. They had a four year old son, so I gave him a lollipop. (I had read that bon bons for the children were a big hit in Fatu Hiva because they have almost no candy available) Well, that was a hit, the wife started bringing out fruits and we were having a great time. In the end we traded all we had and $125US for the war club, which is an extraordinary work of art and we all seemed happy with the deal. As we were leaving the family was giving us fruit and dried fish strips and even a frozen baguette! I gave them a shirt and a sticker book for their son it was really cool to trade and share. The Pacific seems very different from the Caribbean, so far.

We left Fatu Hiva in the pouring rain and headed for Tahuata. Zack sailed with Sueno. They caught 3 fish and we caught 0. Zack is like the fish whisperer, he really attracts the fish. He is getting a lot of attention because which ever boat he is on catches the most fish. As we pulled into the bay a Coast Guard boat was anchored in the front of the bay, bummer! We are not checked into the Marquesas yet as you need to go to Hiva Oa and that is up wind past Fatu Hiva and Tahuata, and as soon as you check in you start the clock on your three months in French Polynesia. We pulled in anyway and dropped the hook. The Cost Guard was going boat to boat and our turn came the next morning. They had just spent about an hour on Sueno! Nathalie came over to see if we needed an interpreter, but one of the officers spoke some English so he sent her away. They were very friendly and were not so concerned about our illegal status, they told David to check in within 24 hours. David declared only 1 1/2 liters of rum and we later found out that Sueno had declared most of their wine and the Coast Guard bagged and sealed it, not to be opened until they leave French Polynesia! We didn't know but you are only allowed 2 bottles per adult of wine and spirits each. David on Sueno had thought it was per person and he was counting on his kids to be part of the total. Oops!

We headed over to Hiva Oa the next day to check in. We had heard horror stories about the bay in Hiva Oa, Overcrowded, rolly and plain miserable. We decided to check in and head back to Tahuata, we also had plans for a birthday party for Colin on Full Monty. The bay was not so bad at all and the check in process was pretty well painless, the agent was great. She picked us up at the bay, brought us to Customs, handled everything. She gave us some time to go to the bank and the grocery store and gave us a ride back to our boats. The grocery store was ok, they had a large selection of dry goods, an amazing selection of French cheeses, but a pitiful supply of fresh veggies. I was able to get good tofu and some good French pastries! I almost got ice cream but it was $20US for a liter.

Back in Tahuata, we had a nice day playing on the beach, a nice day of snorkeling, Zack had a sleep over on Flourgirl with his buddy Guillaume and this morning we went snorkeling with Manta Rays! It was great, they have been swimming around our boat in the early mornings. We got in with them today and got within a few feet of them. Zack was thrilled, he almost touched one! We spent about half an hour with the Mantas before they swam off.

Zack went ashore with the Sueno crew to hunt a chicken. It has become almost an obsession to hunt a chicken. I skipped the trip and am going to see if I can scrub some of the scum off of the waterline of the boat.

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05/26/2013 | patrick
what the hell are you going to do with a war club? Pictures please. Getting hotter. Natalie leaves Wed! Last night was my irst night alone since moving here. She had friends pick her up and drive her to Tampa. Missing Carlos but no the house and all the things it brings. Pictures please!
05/28/2013 | carol
love all your blogs keep it up
05/28/2013 | angie
I'm with Patrick, we need some pictures! Did Zach catch his chicken?
Fatu Hiva
05/17/2013, French Polynesia

Fatu-Hiva is hands down the most beautiful place we have ever seen. The landscape is dramatic, huge, vertical cliffs and lush foliage. We are anchored in "The Bay of Virgins" which before the missionaries arrived was called the Bay of Penises, and looking at the rock formations around the bay, it is an apt name. The bay itself is a bit rolly and the boats are packed in tightly. The wind comes down off the cliffs surrounding the bay at almost gale force. So that has been fun. All the boats know each other now, so everyone works together to help each other in anchoring. David has spent a lot of time on the boat to make sure she is safe.

On our second day here we hiked to the waterfall with Dolphin of Leith, & Sueno. It was a great hike, the scenery is spectacular. There are fruit trees everywhere, limes just falling on the ground, grapefruit, bananas, and mango trees which unfortunately are not quite in season. The local people are super friendly and you can barely walk thru town without someone giving you fruit. Unfortunately there are no vegetables. The waterfall was at least a hundred feet tall but barely flowing. We saw friends of ours on the way and it was more of a stroll and chat as opposed to a full on hike. There is not a lot to do here and the waterfall is quite popular. We spent some time playing in the river and eating coconut and grapefruit.

Day three the cruisers got together for a big potluck. It was great, lots of good food and the kids and some of the guys had a game of soccer. It seems to rain here almost every afternoon and the potluck was rained out a bit early, but not before we had cake and sang Happy Birthday for a new friend of ours, Nikolai (15) on Voyager. We have been spending a lot of time with them here. His dad is from Germany and his mom is Tinidadian, which is reminding me of Colleen and Roger from St. John!

After the potluck a few of us ladies went around to look at local crafts. Mostly wood carvings. We had read that a master carver lives on Fatu-Hiva, and we found him first. His carvings are amazing but very expensive, and unlike all the other carvers he does not want to trade. Cash only, and US dollars are not the favored currency. They use what is called CFP here and we do not have any. There is no bank on Fatu-Hiva. To exchange money you need to go to Hiva Oa first and then beat back to Fatu-Hiva. That didn't sound like much fun so we came here first. They will take Euros but we are fresh out of those as well. We went back to the carver today to purchase a really nice carved basket/bowl that I really liked. She had said she would take US at an exchange rate of 80 CFP to US$1 which is not very good as the official rate is 92 to $!, but ok, when we arrived she said the US dollar is not stable right now so she would only do 70 to $1. Ouch! That made the bowl $230 US which may be a bit much. We are going to try to find some Euros. There are other carvers and they are willing to trade, but the master carver has a far deal nicer items and a much larger selection. We are going to go tomorrow and see how we do trading. If anything it will be interesting and fun. Zack was by the dock this afternoon with his net and a local guy asked him to trade for some fruit, but Zack was not about to give up his net for food. Trade is popular here because it is difficult to have things shipped here. We have read that head lamps are popular, rum, and fishing supplies, and line. We have all these so hopefully we will be able to do some good trading.

We did another hike to the waterfall today with Sueno, Voyager, and Full Monty. Again it was more of a stroll, meeting people and talking to friends from other boats. It was a pleasant day and the kids had a great time together. Zack was fishing for crayfish in the river and when he reached down to get his net he got bitten by what he thought was a little fish. He used his net to scare it out and it was a huge eel, about a foot and a half long! Gross! Pete from Alua was there and he had some antiseptic so Zack had red hands for the rest of the day, but will hopefully be fine, it was a very small bite, so don't worry. Tonight we are all going to Full Monty, cocktails for the adults and movie night for the kids.

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Fatu Hiva
05/13/2013, Marqueses Passage - DONE!

We have arrived in Fatu Hiva. The stories are all true, this is one of the most dramatic/beautiful anchorages we have ever seen. The bay is carved out of cliffs and there are palm trees everywhere, a postcard perfect Pacific anchorage. We arrived very early in the morning and had to hold off for a couple of hours before heading in. It was perfect because Sueno was early as well and we were able to sail in together. As we came into the bay all of our friends who were already here were blowing horns and cheering us in. Zack got out his conch horn to answer the calls. We are making a lot of great friends out here. We are taking a rest today, getting the boat cleaned up. Zack is keen to get off the boat so hopefully this afternoon we can go ashore for a bit.

Here,s the summary of the voyage: 2,927 miles in 21 days at an average speed of 5.8 knots - best day 181 miles, slowest day 113 miles Total fish caught - thirty : one striped bonita, one skipjack tuna, one fifty pound shortbilled spearfish, and all the rest were mahi mahi

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05/16/2013 | Dan
Angie and I spent the last 30 minutes trying to catch up to the fast times and interesting lives of the Edwards. What I have read, has me stoked for yall; surfing, fishing, sailing, living the adventure. School is tedious as of late, with deadlines and tests, but tons of knowledge and ideas as well. We are thinking of you, and glad you made land again.
-Dan and Angie
05/19/2013 | patrick
more ah than I can muster. I can see looking at the guy thinking are you serious? My net for fruit? More pictures please. So happy you made such great time. Off to lunch with Toni, Mo Susan and Candy. It's starting to get started. Marley is playing and I'm thinking of you.

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