Jacana's yarns
Sailing west about from Melbourne, Australia.
Passage to Tahiti- Arrived after 6 full days
Yo and Dan Hellier
May 5, 2011, 9:30 pm, Taina Marina, Papeete, Tahiti

We arrived at 1100 hrs Thurs after a fine but willing sail overnight.
A band of wind down south moved up enough to give us 20 to 25 knots during the night and lakes full of rain - damn.

The anchorages here are very tight. These days mainly mooring buoys all bar one filled with local boats. We ended up going into the Taina marina as we are not prepared to anchor with 2 to 1 chain anywhere.
There are about 20 buoys available on a first come basis, but getting one would be like winning the Melbourne Cup.

The port control speak perfect English and are most helpful.
The actual harbour is simple to enter at night, but I would not be game to tackle the channel down to Maeva beach or the marina at night first time in. There is one particular spot where the coral juts out.

Plan on enjoying Tahiti for a couple of weeks

May 7, 2011, 12:18 am | Stolen Kisses
Thanks for the tips! We are noting them down!! Leave some fish for us. Good to see the weather gods have been mostly nice.
May 8, 2011, 9:33 pm | Robert Millard and Claire Thomas
Just by chance picked up your thread by browsing. Brings waves of nostalgia from pretty well exactly 10 years ago; envy of your brilliant communication facilities, and slight guilt that we havn't afforded you the the support through contact that you gave us. Our passage from the Galapagos to the Marquesas took 21.5 days and the notes from the log which I have just looked at are remarkably similar. All of this is now part of a distant former life for us. Best wishes to you both. Don't miss Suvarov. Cheers, Robert and Claire
May 10, 2011, 3:32 am | Janette
you are such lucky buggers - Tahiti, inspiration of Gaugan, his release and, ultimately, his downfall. Fantasised about it for some time but hear it is as expensive as. Let me know if that's right. That tuna catch en route is impressive to say the least. Must have been quite a tussle to get on board.
More about Tahiti please - and pics!
May 15, 2011, 4:31 pm | GEORGE AND CANDICE
was wondering why you skipped the Tuamotus . enjoying reading your blog.
June 2, 2011, 12:23 am | anthea rutter
Enjoy your communications enormously - you really are living the dream..... does it have its downsides!!??
anthea and Hugh
On Passage to Tahiti - Day 4
Yo and Dan Hellier
May 2, 2011, 4:10 pm, On Passage to Tahiti

Threading our way through the low lying Tuomotu Atolls in light winds. A slow but easy trip.

Heaved in a 30 lb tuna bang on dusk. Tuna burgers, Sri Lankan fish curry and sashimi coming up.

Birds we saw in the Galapagos
Yo and Dan Hellier
March 20, 2011, 6:05 pm, Wreck Bay, San Christobal, Galapagos

Cactus Darwin Finch

Chatham mocking bird (endemic)
Vegetarian Darwin Finch
Woodpecker Darwin finch
Cactus Darwin finch
Small ground Darwin finch
Warbler Darwin finch
Tree Darwin finch
Galapagos flycatcher
White cheeked pintail (endemic)
Common Galinule gallinulla chloropus (endemic)
Yellow warbler
Smooth billed arni (introdu ced)
Galapagos storm petrel
Galapagos or lava heron
Great blue heron
Yellow crowned night heron
Lava gull
Laughing gull
Nazca booby (now recognized as a different species to the masked booby)
Blue footed booby
Red footed booby
Magnificent frigate bird
Great frigate bird
Brown noddy
Brown pelican
Wandering tattler
Semi palmated plover
Red billed tropic bird
Elliots storm petrel

We had a day with a local guide called Wilson Roja, who took us to the bird locations. This tour was organized by Sharksky especially for ourselves and was excellent.
We saw most of the Darwin finches that live on San Christobal, and many endemic species. The land tortoise rehab centre was good for these species.
A highlight was viewing the frigate birds washing in the fresh water volcano lake (El Junco).

We had been under the impression that as the frigate bird finds it so difficult to launch into flight, it does not land in water. Not true. They in fact, come to the fresh water lake to clean the salt from their plumage.
They drop into the water for some seconds, take off and soar to a great height, then go into freefall, violently shaking their wings and feathers as they plummet.

They pull out of their fall as they get nearer to the ground.
At Los Loberia, a beach on the south coast, we saw a surprising number of seabirds.
The Darwin finches are another story. Now they have been identified as tanagers. Every type of finch relates back to a pair of blue black type quits, but they have all adapted differently.
While many all eat the same food in the good years, when everything dries up they have adapted to survive in their own unique way.
The vampire finch has adapted to suck blood from red or blue footed boobies, the wood pecker finch uses a stick as a tool to extract lavae from the trunks of dead trees, yet another has learnt to survive on the lice from the giant land tortoises and iguanas.
Adaptability is the key, and it is the beaks that have primarily adapted in varying ways to suit the conditions of their particular terrain..

Tsunami no problemo para Jacana

March 12, 2011, 2:19 pm, Wreck Bay, San Cristobal

March 12, 2011, 4:32 pm | Carol Cardile
Hey Dan and Yo,
Glad to hear you had a great trip, also to hear that you are not affected by the tsunami.
I guess you'll stay put for the next few weeks. Enjoy. Lots of pics please. By the way just cause you're so far away it's no excuse not to be aware of the fact that the Mighty Black Caviar won her tenth race straight. Better than Vain I think Daniel!! And we were there to experience it. Yo, we've got Isaac for the weekend!! Exciting times.

March 15, 2011, 11:12 am | Stolen Kiss
One tsunami in a life is enough!! Knew you would be ok!!
Today we transit the canal
Yo and Dan Hellier
February 16, 2011, 7:29 am, Shelterbay marina

After 2 months of jungle walking we farewell Shelterbay.

We cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean when, in the next 30 hours, we transit the canal.

Dunlop shareholders should be smiling, we hope we've armour plated Jacana with enough tyres (see pic above).

Susie and Gene from Peregrine, who we had first met in Darwin, in the second year of circumnavigation, helped us cast off lines as the skies opened for a brief tropical drenching.

We have 2 professional line handlers helping us as well as 2 fellow Australian yachties, Lainie and Terry from Virgo's Child. We pick up our canal advisor at 1630 hours local time.
If you're interested in viewing the transit just google Panama Canal webcam

ciao a Shelterbay marina,

February 17, 2011, 10:34 am | Gene and Sue
Fair Winds, Jacana. Looking forward to read of your adventures in the Galapagos.
Gene and Sue
February 18, 2011, 1:45 am | Janette
Wow, Jacana looks too booful for words! Shelterbay looks lovely too. Have a good canal trip - your previous experience will ensure that it is a good one. Can't wait for the next episode of yer travelogue!
On safari for crocadillos
Yo and Dan Hellier
January 24, 2011, 9:12 pm, ShelterBay Marina

What a top surprise. We hadn't seen Darcy n Anto for a year and cheapo tickets were unearthed on the internet. Return tickets from Vancouver to Panama for $350 each. Bring it on.

Everyone had a sumptuous week on the floating hotel, knocking down frosty balboas by the pool, and working off the excess on the pequenos pedallos through the jungle to the Chagris River.
The Dantos added the search for the sloth and the crocadillo to their quest to find the hairy tortoise.
Sloths abounded, but the crocadillo remains hidden with its furry acquaintance.

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