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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Eric the great!!

31 July 2011

We first heard about Eric when Gruffalo asked us to look out for him to apologise for not being able to take him on their boat. Hiva Oa is a tiny place so it didn't take long before we had met him and passed on the message. Eric is a zoologist and so Lochy is in animal heaven talking at him. He is also English but with a French mother, so has been an excellent go between for the English and French speaking boats! ("Eric, what's the French for propeller?!") As he was unable to find a boat to take him onto Tahiti in time for his flight, we offered to take him to Tahuata for a few days with us. When he turned up with 6 baguettes, he was already in my good books, us not having made into town in time to buy any for the past 3 days!! But when he said he was a search and rescue diver and offered to look for our propeller, we jumped at the chance! A French boat has a compressor on board and lent us the air, Goody lent us the equipment and within 30 minutes Eric emerged triumphantly with the black propeller that he had found half sunk in the black mud below. Mark didn't actually kiss him, but I think he was close!!
So with a new propeller (and a spare one on the way) and a boat full of clean laundry - I took all the laundry ashore and blitzed everything - we headed off to Tahuata. About 90 minutes away. Then it was onto the beach with Alchemist, and a lovely evening with a fire, a leg of lamb, some of Lochy's lemon cake, and some wine. I wrapped some dough I had made around some sticks and we toasted them in the fire - delicious! A perfect day.

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Island Hopping

30 July 2011

We've now got the bikes out for the kids, so at least (for them!!) the walk to town is not too bad. Goody, our friends from South Africa arrived at 1am the other night and we were able to guide them in in the dark, so their older son who is 4 has spent the last two days with our kids and now can even ride his bike by himself as a result of wanting to keep up with Lochy! Two days in a row, Jacolette and I took the kids into town as we had it on good authority that there was going to be Polynesian dancing and festivities, but unfortunately, we either had the wrong time or we were misinformed, so we'll have to hope we see some on the other islands. Mark is feeling very sorry for himself - no angry with himself as another boat had a spare prop he was going to buy off them. As he was putting it on to see if it fitted, it fell into the sea and despite him snorkelling and Joop from goody then Scuba diving, they couldn't see it. Just as well Mark's mum is sending us one. We have a couple of jobs to do this morning, then we are going to Tahuata, a little island just an hour away, where we can just chill out and do jobs around the boat. The kids will be able to swim with mantas and we can have fires on the beach at night. There is no village nearby so no provisions or internet, but we'll get the hull scrubbed and stuff like that. So we'll be on sailmail and then back to Hiva Oa to drop Whit off for his flight in a few days, when the provisions run out!

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08/10/2011 | rose marie
hi you all seem to be well and enjoying yourselves. maybe mark should use the system that the astronauts use by tying objects(ie props etc) to the rails!
love to all rose marie
The long walk to town

27 July 2011
Waking up in Baie Taaoa was amazing - a mountain towers over the bay, with a shroud of cloud at the summit. Coconut trees line the beach (which actually isn't a very special beach - dark sand and not much to write home about.) The water is a bit murky and also the bay is a shark nursery so swimming is probably out of the question whilst we are here. And then there's the walk to town. There are no facilities as such in the bay, except water which is welcome, so we all walked the two miles up and over the coast to the next bay where the town Atuona is and where you find the gendarmeries to check in. Unfortunately we all had to go but we thought the exercise would do us good. Once we were there, Whit had to either show his airline ticket out of the country or pay a bond of $1000, so it was to the bank, to the travel agent, then to lunch and then back to the Gendarmerie who told us to come back tomorrow at 7am, despite having told us to come back after lunch in the morning. Ah, the joys of checking in.....On the way back, we thought we'd try hitching as we were told that everyone stops and offers lifts. Obviously, as there were 5 of us, we thought it would be more sensible to split up. Mark and Whit went ahead with the heavy shopping bags and got a lift immediately. Lochy, Mia and I walked the 1 hour all the way back, with no one stopping for us. I wouldn't have minded, but I think the kids had forgotten what it was like to walk (walking never having been their strong point in the first place!) Still, we certainly got rid of any restless energy they may have accumulated during the trip. Impressions of French Polynesia so far. Beautiful island, beautiful friendly people. Lots of tattoos. where would my next tattoo look good??!!

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07/31/2011 | Karen & Nigel
Congratulations to you all. We are in awe of your achievements.
We have just been to Venice and now making our way back to Lefkas. Stay happy and Safe. xxx
Hiva Oa-We've arrived!

26 July 2011
Well, it was dark, but we decided to go to Hiva Oa after all, especially as a fellow yacht "Good News" hailed us on channel 16 to offer us help in anchoring. Good news indeed. So, about an hour after sunset, we pulled into Baie Taaoa in Hiva Oa and dropped our anchor. Sweet. We feel very proud to have reached the Marquesas in 21 days, 3000 miles. Another milestone in our journey. And so to bed...... current pos: 09.48S 139.01W

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Land Ahoy!!

26 July 2011

We have 20 miles to go and land has been in sight for the past few hours. We still don't know if we will be able to anchor at Hiva Oa; the winds dropped right down this morning and progress was slower than the whole of the rest of our trip. But that meant that we could blitz the boat, getting it all ready for landfall. Mark has just brought in the fishing lure after 3 frigate birds were swooping down on it - now that would be bad luck on our last day so we have accepted that dinner will be some textured vegetable protein spag bol affair, rather than mahi mahi or tuna :-(
We put the engines on to help our speed a little and so I have just enjoyed a hot shower now we know we'll be filling up tomorrow - bliss - clean clothes and hair! Hiva Oa looks pretty impressive from a distance. All of a sudden, I'm very excited - we should be anchored in 3 or 4 hours time.....will update again, once we are at anchor. Curr Pos: 09.48S 138.43W

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Whit pulls one out of the bag

25 July 2011

Passing comment to Whit as we changed watch at 2am; "feel free to make a fantastic meal out of the ingredients we have left in the cupboard." Bearing in mind it's day 20, I wasn't really expecting him to rise to the challenge, especially since of our fresh food, we only have onions, potatoes, apples and eggs left. But, showing his truly competitive side (and feeling the need to prove himself after losing several games of connect four in a row to both Mia and Lochy (8 and 6) he really did pull one out of the bag. A Quiche Lorraine. I was woken this morning to the smell of chorizo and pastry - delicious! That got me reaching for the Be-Ro baking book and with a whiff of nostalgia (Grandma had one of the original Be-Ro cooking books) I've spent the day making biscuits, cakes and Cornish pasties. We can spy another yacht on the horizon - our first since we left the Galapagos, but they didn't reply when we tried to hail them on the VHF. They're going faster than us, but it would have been nice to have had a chat as they flew past! I'm really enjoying this sail - I think I could go on for several days before needing to get to land, except for the water situation - don't worry, we have plenty drinking water, but washing water is another thing! But, it looks like we will be arriving around sunset tomorrow - trying to keep the speed up so it's before rather than after the sun goes down, but we shall see. And we have a good back up bay if it's dark, on another island a couple of miles away, so either way, we should be sleeping at anchor tomorrow night. Curr Pos: 09.39S 136.23W

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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