Finally the day has come to leave this enchanted island in the middle of its vast watery space. I have to admit I became ever more fascinated as the days went on. And the last day...well, that was something that remains in one's memory....a 7.5 kilometer walk to the third highest waterfall in the world, through magnificent forests, old stones of civilizations, rocky craggy paths all accompanied on our left by sheer cliffs reaching 2000 feet into the air. The waterfall was dry as rain has been scarce but that allowed a swim in its deep dark fresh pool of water and looking straight up imagining the millions of gallons of water usually cascading into the pool.....I have video but Im afraid only the human eye can really see the truth in such cases.
Jennifer Labbe, a former sailing student and friend is accompanying me on the short hop to the Tuamotos on the way to Papeete. Came all this way to see 'what its like'. Then its off alone again for the second half of the voyage.
PRACTICE AT THE GYM IN POLYNESIA
27 June 2010 | Nuku Hiva
Curiosity got the best of me last night. After hearing drums the previous nights coming from land, I decided to investigate. I jumped in the dinghy just as the moon was coming up over the peaks in the east. I motored over to the wharf and followed the drums. What I found is what you will see....unedited video taken last night of modern Polynesians practicing the same music and dance that their ancestors did centuries ago. This was a practice for Bastille Day in mid-July. As I have been unable to put a 'face' on this island, I was happy to finally find it in my drop-by the local gym.
KANAHAU NUKU HIVA
24 June 2010 | NUKU HIVA, MARQUESAS
23 June 2010 | NUKU HIVA, MARQUESAS
Apologies for the long delay in a post but while the islands here are magnificent the internet connection is tenuous. I have posted the next video tonight after days of trouble getting it out....actually Im in the midst of my last attempt to get it out but Im optimistic.
A word about the video....after filming it, editing it I realized that humankind is not represented. After querying myself on this I came to the following: because the island is heavily subsidized by the french and almost everyone seems to drive the latest 4x4 Toyota truck, my eyes simply found nothing to report of interest in the humanity I found here - albeit in a brief visit to the inner island.
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1000 AND ONE FLYING FISH! Sean, did YOU ever see a flying fish?
10 June 2010 | Nuku Hiva
Once upon a time, far far away near the Pacific Island of Nuku Hiva, there lived 1000 little fish and... one more too. They shone like silver and had extra... EXTRA long fins. And they swam all day, all the same way, all together they loved to play.
One day, one burst out to say..."Hey, there's David in his little boat , he's come so far, lets welcome him." And all together they shouted: "Yay!"
"But... how do we do that? We are below and David's above? We can't should loud enough."
And they all hung their heads in the saddest of ways..."No" they all said in voices so low, "David's above and we are below!"
And then a big shout from a fish just down under, "But... we are not ordinary fish! We are EXTRAordinary. Our fins become wings!"
And, not a second later, the fish from down under, flapped his extra EXTRA long fins, harder and harder, faster and faster and then with one leap... his fins became wings and he flew and he flew... yes, just like a bird , Oh! how he flew.
And they all looked aghast, not believing their eyes..."Yes" they all cried, "he flew,he flew. We are EXTRAordinary, WE CAN TOO!"
And all 1000 little fish, flapped their extra...EXTRA long fins, harder and harder, faster and faster and then with one leap... their fins became wings... and they flew and they flew...yes, just like a bird, Oh! how they flew.
And then all together, all the same way, and ALL now from above, they cried out to David in his little boat: "David, you've come so far, A Big Big Welcome!! How happy we are!
And off they flew with a woosh and a wiish, 1000 and One... now all Flying Fish.
WE HAVE ARRIVED!
09 June 2010 | NUKU HIVA, MARQUESAS
After almost exactly 20 days at sea, we arrived on the island of Nuku Hiva this morning June 9 at about 1130. Had a restless last night out on the ocean waiting for daybreak, rather rough and uncomfortable and with an uncharacteristic NE wind. Coming into this lovely open bay, with towering volcanic cliffs and a fresh breeze running down the lush green faces, I was reminded how nice land can be. We came 3000 miles, used only about 15 gallons of fuel and no major breakdowns. And tomorrow, I venture into town where a rumour has it that there is french bread!
Mango is a smart, funny, sensitive and totally unique wheaton/sheepdog. . He is my partner on this patently undoglike voyage but remains cheerful about the whole affair. [...]
David, the "Me" part of MangoandMe is awed by
Shearwater as it will always be a better boat than he a sailor-the way it should be. First stop, South America.
Shearwater is a 47 foot, very sleek and light catamaran.
She is part of a fleet of 11 that were built - its a sister ship of Shearwater that holds the unofficial speed record.
Of the this fleet, only one has flipped...so we are on the side of good odds!