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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
The dreaded no-no fly

21 August 2011
curr pos: 11.51S, 141.38W
I knew I had been bitten at the waterfall by mozzies, but they don't usually affect me as much as they do Mark and Mia. They say it's because I'm cold-blooded (in the nicest possible way.) But these bites itch more than anything I've ever had, so I think I may have been bitten by the dreaded no-no fly, which is prevelant in the Marquesas. Enough apparently to keep away the tourists. Tahiti and Hawaii have spent millions of dollars to eridicate the fly from their beaches successfully .But it won't leave the Marquesas. We are all suffering from the bites, though Mark sprayed himself and the kids sooner than I sprayed myself, hence the 35 bites on my legs alone. I guess with 3 days at sea we'll be feeling better soon. Although we haven't officially started school again yet, sea is the perfect time to crack open the science books to read ("this isn't school though mummy is it?") We could even do all the experiments that involved balloons, after acquiring them for Lochy's birthday, such as the making carbon dioxide gas with vinegar and bicarb to inflate a balloon (success) and making a balloon propelled lego car (failure.) We learned about the Portuguese man-o war, how it's not the same as a jellyfish, because it is a group of organisms that can't live without each other, whereas a jellyfish is an animal in it's own right. So now you know too. And although they cause excruciating pain, you're unlikely to die unless you have pre-existing heart or lung problems. So, that's reassuring. Really we should be reading up on sharks as there are a lot in the Tuamotus but apparently harmless. Also, manta rays, although up to 2 metres wide (or was it 5? I'll have to ask Lochy) are plankton eaters. So, am I ready to take the plunge once we arrive, with all this knowledge at hand? Well, I 've realised that I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to large things in the sea, but as I don't want to pass on this fear to the kids, I'll probably snorkel with them when we get there. Or at least man the dinghy whilst Mark snorkels with them!!

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Travel light move fast

20 August 2011

we've realised that Pegasus isn't quite the old nag we thought she was when it comes to speed, if we don't have full fuel or water tanks, which we don't. With about 500 less kg on the boat, we are flying along with 2 reefs in the main and genoa, still going 8 knots into wind. I would prefer, given our current rig situation, that the winds were a little lighter than the 30 knots we have at the moment. The GRIB files did predict considerably less, however, at least we will get there quicker. We have a cunning plan regarding getting in in daylight hours - there are 2 islands about 12 hours apart, so we will just choose which one is our destination once we are a bit closer. Not much to report, other than I've noticed Mia doesn't get sea sick anymore, which is fab.

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08/20/2011 | rose marie
great to hear all your adventures. hope lochy had a memorable day to celebrate his birthday. tis quoite a month for birthdays.
love rose mariexx
Hiking in Eden

18 August 2011

Up Jackson early (leaving the boat by 8am) and an exciting dinghy ride surfing into the mouth of the river and then, as it's low tide, hauling the dinghy up onto the beach and tying it to a coconut tree. The 4 hour round trip to the waterfall was completely worth it, and absolutely gorgeous. I wore my flip flops as I take after my mother when walking and stride ahead expecting the kids' little legs to keep up. I also carried the backpack, this keeping me more in pace with Mark and the kids! It reminded me of when Jess, Robbie and we hiked in NZ 7 years ago and we had to strap Lochy to Robbie's chest just to slow him down! Lochy wore Mia's wellies - the only things that fitted him that weren't flip flops and Mia wore some type of walking sandals that just about fitted her. It's one of the benefits of sailing - we haven't bought shoes for the past year. We had to go through the river a couple of times, up to thigh depth for the kids, but they were great, mightily helped by being accompanied by the village dog who escorted us all the way to the waterfall. The kids were abit disappointed that they couldn't swim in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall, but once I had seen about 10 mozzies descend on my legs in some kind of Red Arrows formation, I had made my decision. We were going back. We had heard about the no-no flies that are here that are vicious little blighters so were all sprayed up, but those mozzies, they just laughed in the face of our DEET spray and we've all got the bites to prove it. On the way back, we were offered fruit and water from a local couple in exchange for some rope they needed for their horses.

Getting the water was a mission, let me tell you. We left the kids on the boat, whilst we dinghied up the river where it was now higher tide, but not yet high enough to use the engine so we row into the mouth of the river where the surf is opposing the flow of the river. Narly, dude. Once we have paddled up to the house where we have been offered fruit, we can fill the jerry cans from the tap, but our hose doesn't quite reach to the dinghy to fill the water bags, so we have to find a different tap. In my best French, which is seriously lacking the main vocabulary (like, what time does it get dark, because I'm slightly concerned about the return journey? - I knew what time it got dark, but I didn't want to be rude and say, thanks for the water, now we've gotta go because the sun is setting) it was lovely to chat to the man whose face was completely covered with tattoos. I found out that there were currently 10 people living in the village as the school holidays were over and those with children lived in the main town with their kids during school term time. 200 people lived in the village when it wasn't school time. I could have learnt more, but I'm restricted in my French. Must learn more. Anyway, back to the water; Mark and I discussed the benefits of a water maker in such circumstances, or at least a decent rain catcher and I conceded that although the day had been lovely in general, this last part was 'a bit shit.' As we headed back through the river and then the surf and the sun was setting but we had some full jerry cans, Mark said "put that in your blog and smoke it" so I did.

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Lochy's birthday

17 August 2011

We actually celebrated Lochy's birthday a day early. I made possibly the best chocolate fudge cake I have ever made, after Mark and Mia had made one the day before unfortunately with plain flour instead of self raising, with disastrous results. I'm not saying that to brag, it's just I have always been the mother that has either bought a shop birthday cake or got the mother-in-law to make one! We decided to go to the rather lovely hotel for dinner, where Lochy got to eat his favourite fish - wahoo and Mia got to swim in the infinity pool (Lochy wouldn't get in because he had stubbed his toe and it stung - his loss!) It was lovely evening, with Daniel from another yacht joining us. We'll have to have a kiddy party at another date as there are none to be seen around here.
Unfortunately, but rather predictably, our spare propeller has not arrived by post, so we have arranged for it to be sent on to (back to!) Tahiti where we will hopefully pick it up there. We are now in Daniel's Bay in Nuka Hiva - a beautiful bay surrounded by high mountains. We didn't make it here in time to walk to the waterfall, so we will get up early to hike the 4 hour round trip, then fill up with water and head off to Fakarava.

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Ascension Day in Nuka Hiva
08/14/2011, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

We knew it was a religious holiday weekend but were a bit vague as to which holiday (!) but we thought we'd head over to land for a wander. As we approached we could hear the beating of drums and the sound of the conch shell being blown - ah, they've come to welcome us, we thought! As the whole town had turned out in festival red, we thought it might be for someone more important. And so it was. The Virgin Mary came cruising up in a canoe, rowed by some teenagers sponsored by 'Sprite' and was met by the haka and amazing Polynesian singing, including all the little toddlers copying the haka - cute! The drumming was amazing; really pleased to have witnessed this ascension day in Nuku Hiva.
Monday just chilled out, and Mia and I made a traditional polynesian necklace for Lochy's birthday with sea urchin spines and red berries and a huge chocolate fudge cake - yum! We are going to celebrate Lochy's birthday tomorrow so we can get on with the sail the next day to Daniel's Bay and onto the Tuamotos. All the boats that are already there are saying homw amazing they are and now we can't wait to get there!

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Mia becomes skipper for the day
08/13/2011, Nuka HIva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

13 August 2011

And a great job she did too! In the morning, she looked at the charts to work out how far she had to go, the course and how long she thought it would take us. Then she decided what time we should leave to arrive before sunset. We then made a list of everything we needed to do before we could leave (check hatches are shut, bring up stern anchor, stow dinghy etc etc) and she delegated the jobs. Once she deemed we were ready, she turned the engines on, got Lochy to bring up the anchor, and drove us out of the bay, decided when it was a good time to turn into wind for us to get the sails up. We had the most glorious sails of our trip so far, with 15-20 knots of wind, and the journey took us exactly the time Mia had reckoned on, even getting us in half an hour early because she left half an hour before schedule, we were so ship shape and ready! Arriving in Nuka Hiva at 3pm, Mia drove us into the bay and chose where to put down the anchor and then turned our engines off. A fantastic job. She was then so exhausted from all the concentrating that all she wanted to do was take to her bed to watch a film on her I pod - I know the feeling. The boys went ashore to find the inn to which our spare propellor is being sent. Unfortunately, tomorrow's Sunday and Monday is a religious holiday, so we'll have to wait until Tuesday to go to the Post Office to see if it has arrived! But, it's pretty beautiful here so we're happy to wait.

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