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The Sailabout of Mauliola
Leaving to Hawaii
11/21/2012, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

Unfortunately the time to raise anchor has come. With sadness we are leaving the magnificent Marquesas Islands. We have been welcomed by its generous people who shared their history, culture, their land and its bounty with us. We are loaded with fruit and have Mauliola ready for the crossing to our Hawaii nei. Russell arrived a few days ago to sail with us up north. He has never sailed to Hawaii and he is excited about the passage. We are excited also, thinking and imagining what the seas will be, and what we will see and meet. It will be a 2,000 mile crossing to the Island of Hawaii. I will try to post via SSB radio our position every few days. Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Infelizmente a hora de levantar ancora chegou. Estamos tristes de deixar as majesticas Ilhas Marquesas. Nos fomos bem recebidos pelos seus generosos habitantes, que compartilharam conosco a sua historia, cultura, a sua terra e o seus frutos. Estamos com o barco cheio de frutas e Mauliola esta pronta para a viagem. Russell chegou para velejar conosco ate o Hawaii. Ele nunca velejou esse trecho e esta ancioso pela saida. Nos tambem estamos anciosos, pensando e imaginando como sera o mar, o que vamos encontrar e ver. Sera uma passagem de 2,000 milhas. Vou tentar enviar a nossa posicao via SSB radio algumas vezes. Beijos para todos.

C. Farias/beautiful day
11/15/2012, MARQUESAS

In the Land of Plenty
This is a good name for this Island, Nuku HIva, actually for the Marquesas. Here we have the riches of the land and sea. We spent a few days in Taiohae, the main town, where we had been five years ago. It is much cleaner and hospitable now. I didn't like it much then. The water is rich in phytoplankton and there is a lot of run off from the streams which clouds the water. There is no visibility. Here we enjoy the hikes and the villages. There are many valleys and secluded bays and we explored a few. At Taioa Bay, Anse Hakatea, there is a small village (pop. 20 except for the holidays) named Hakaui. There are no roads to get there but we have the boat and we like these pristine places. We went ashore to take a hike to a waterfall which we have been told it is the tallest in the world. I am not sure how tall it is, nor if it is the tallest (can't do a search in the "source of all knowledge" as we have no connection). As we walked thru the village we were greeted by Teiki and Kua, a young resident couple, who welcomed us, showed us the way to the fall and asked if we needed fruit. We placed an order of mangoes, oranges, star fruit, plampomousse, pineapples, papayas, breadfruit and avocados. They have all this and more around their house. Teiki is a hunter and has lot of pride in his heritage and traditions. He has beautiful tattoos in his face, arms, and torso. This was done by his uncle who used traditional tools made of bones, not the modern electrical tools. He was very funny using mimics to explain how painful it was and that he drunk rum to pass out during the procedure. The path to the waterfall was lined with fruit trees and often we could see the remains of the old settlement and near the waterfall there was a large marae or paepae. This is a place where their ceremonies were performed. Platforms were erected from huge boulders and so were the walls around it. Kua told us that the Marquesans were very strong people and that in the old times 100,000 people lived in this valley. Mostly of them died when the foreigners came and brought diseases. Isn't this a familiar story. On our return we stopped by and Kua came to me and shyly said that she had a proposal to make to me. She could make a meal for us for the price of which is the equivalent of $10/person. I immediately said yes, after she gave me the menu, which seemed to surprise her. The meal would be: goat in coconut milk (the goat that Teiki had hunted was hanging in their yard, fresh salad made with greens that she grows, bread fruit, bananas, shrimp from the river across their house, and poipoi which is a delicious puree made out of breadfruit with a hint of lime juice. We couldn't wait for next day to go back for our special meal. She baked fresh French bread for us and offered coconut water and a delicious lemonade made with coconut water. Everything we ate came from their land, except for the bread. I don't eat meat and the thought of eating goat would make my stomach go on strike, but I have to confess that I ate an enormous amount of the goat. It had a very mild flavor and it was very lean. The meal was one not to forget and added to that we had Teiki and Kua, so pleased to share their stories. Their son, 8 years old, goes to school by horse, in Taiohae. It takes him an hour each way. Teiki said that he didn't go to school but he wanted his son to study. They live a life completely independent from the outside, with plenty of food for their sustenance and enough to sell, which they do. They send fruit and coconuts to Taiohae every 2 weeks. The soil is very rich, there is plenty of fresh water all year around, an abundance of fish, goats, and pigs. I noticed that there were a few solar panels but other than that there is no power. I was jealous of their life but they seemed to be completely happy with what they have. I wandered if they ever get sick eating such a clean diet and being so active when I saw Kua light a cigarette. After the feast, we packaged our fruit and walked back (rather heavily) to the river where we had left our dinghy. We are going back for another meal in a few days when Russell arrives to sail with us.
From Hakaui we went to Taipivai, another small village, but one with a road to it. However, this didn't take away from their simplicity and welcoming. A group of the village children followed us everywhere. They were curious about us, these foreigners speaking English, which they all know a few words of, and were eager to speak them. 2 of the girls pointed out to us all the fruit trees and would say their names in French. Unfortunately they didn't seem to know the names in the Marquesas language.
We are now in Anaho Bay (the place in the photo), another isolated bay with just 20 people. I will write about these two another time. We are going to swim ashore and meet the people. My most endearing memories from the Marquesas are their people and the magnificent mountains, with its masterly carved peaks and fertile valleys. Kaoha to all and until next time.

11/02/2012, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

Kaoha. We just arrived in Nuku Hiva after a difficult 3 day crossing. The wind for the first 24 hours was in our face, the seas were rough, and to make matters worse, as we were raising the main sail the pull down rope got caught somehow in the sail creating a big rip on it and 2 other small ones. Next day James fixed the 2 small ones and we could raise the main but only up to the 3rd reef. The wind veered to our favor in the last 24 hours and we made good headway. Jerry did a superb job of navigating so we were ready to take advantage of every change in wind. He downloaded weather info every day. I had to do my share of watches which was a good experience for me. We tried to catch fish but only got a small tuna like fish and lost a nice lure to a big fish. He just took the whole thing away. We are now safely anchored in the lovely Taiohae bay under a much needed rain to wash all the salt from the boat. We are in need of a good night sleep but we are well. Aloha to all. Nos acabamos de chegar em Nuku Hiva depois de velejar 3 dias. O trajeto foi dificil pois o vento vinha direto na nossa proa e o mar bem agitado nas primeiras 24 horas. E para completar quando estamos levantado a vela uma corda enganchou na vela rasgando-a em 3 lugares. Um dos rasgos e bem grande e 2 pequenos que o James concertou. O vento mudou ao nosso favor nas ultimas 24 horas e a nossa situacao melhorou bastante. O Jerry navegou com excelencia e nos estavamos sempre prontos para tirar proveito de cada mudanca do vento. Todos os dias ele recebeu a previsao do vento via phone. Eu tive que dar varios plantoes o que foi uma boa experiencia para mim. Nos tentamos pescar mas so pegamos um pequeno atum e perdemos uma das nossas iscas favoritas. Um peixe mordeu-a e levou-a nos deixando so a linha. Nos estamos ancorados na bela Baia Taiohae sob uma chuva bem necessaria para lavar todo o sal do barco. Estamos precisando de uma boa noite de sono mas estamos bem. Tchau e beijos p/ todos.

10/26/2012, TOAU

We are in Toau, in a motu (islet) called Anse Amyot. Population: 8 wonderful people. We are very welcomed by them in true Polynesian way. Valentina speaks flluent English, which is great for Jerry and crew as they don't speak any French. Gaston, her husband, only speaks French but his smile says it all. We bought fresh fish from them and they gave us fresh coconut milk and a delicious fruit similar to lychee. The waters are of a sparkling turquoise color and rich in fish but no sharks. The wind has been blowing hard all day and night. A few rain squalls too. Aloha to all. Nos estamos em Toau, em um motu (ilhota) chamado Anse Amyot. Populacao: 8 pessoas maravilhosas. Nos somos muito bem recebidos, com a genuina hospitalidade Polynesia. Valentina fala ingles fluente o que otimo pois o Jerry e tripulacao nao fallam nada do Frances. Gaston, o marido, so fala Frances mas o seu sorriso diz tudo. Nos compramos peixe fresco e eles nos deram leite de coco fresco, tirado na hora, e uma fruta deliciosa da familia do lychee. A agua do mar e de uma cor turquesa cristalina e rica em peixes mas sem tubaroes. O vento tem soprado dia e noite e chuviscado de vez em quando. Estamos todos bem e nos preparando para sair daqui sabado. Beijos p/ todos e ate a proxima.

C. Farias/beautiful evening
10/22/2012, North Pass

Ia orana,
We have been in Fakarava, between the North and South Pass for a few weeks. Still having problems with the boat, some very serious, of course due to improper installation by our builder. We are trying to do a temporary fix, we call "jetinhos" in Brasil, so we can get to Hawaii safely. We can't stay in the French Polynesia because of cyclone season soon approaching. In the meantime, while we waited for parts which we had to get from the US, we had been getting Mauliola ready for the long crossing to Hawaii, and diving in the South Pass of Fakarava, which is divine. It is like being inside an aquarium without the glass. It is hard to describe the amount of fish that lives in the pass. There are "mountains" of fish, not schools of fish. In some dives we saw hundreds of grey sharks, calmly swimming by us who were pretty excited as we had never seen anything like this before. It was impossible to capture in photo what we saw, with my little camera, but I have a good video of a dive. Right under Mauliola, at our anchorage, we had at least 10 black tips, a large barracuda, and a good number of remoras, parrot fish, and many other reef fish. The sharks are a problem as it is difficult to land any fish. They are fast and take the fish out of your spear the same moment you shoot.
Tetamanu is a small village, I mean it, in the pass with a total population of 9. There is one small pensione and in another motu (islet) nearby there is another one. It doesn't have any stores, internet, nor sports bars. You have to be self sufficient to be there. And we are. Mauliola array of solar panels provides us with all the power we need while we are at anchor, except for cloudy days. And we have had very few of those. We have lots of food, make our own bread, from whole grains, to focaccia, to pizza. I thought I was going to be a fat sailor but I am glad to report that I was wrong. Mauliola crew is lean (but not mean).
Here in Rotoava, the village in the North pass, we can get provisioning, pretty good for dry goods but not so good for fresh veggies and fruit, nor for the other essentials like wine and chocolate. I have been practicing a new way of shopping, which I call it "if you see it, grab it and ask the price later" (and the prices are pretty steep). I guess this is common amongst cruisers to do this. In the atolls, where soil and water is scarce, you can't grow much. Supplies come from Tahiti once a week, and only once a month in other places. It is such a disparity with the Marquesas, where there is such an abundance of food, and fruit (mangoes, plumpomousse, lemons, bananas, papayas, tamarind) litters the ground in many places. We have met many of the local people, which are super friendly and helpful as it is typical of the Polynesians. Margaret, a lovely kiwi lady, who owns the bakery and one of the 2 stores is super. She bakes delicious French baguettes everyday but Sundays. The village is very clean, and every house has a small fragrant garden of tiare gardenia and plumerias of many lovely colors.
Soon we will be leaving this wonderful corner of paradise, heading to another one. We will be going to another atoll called Toau, just 25 miles from here. From there we will be sailing to the Marquesas and then home to our loved Hawaii. Aloha to you all

C.Farias/beautiful day

This is just a short note to post a photo of Teavaroa, Adriene's little boy.
Esta photo e de Teavaroa, o filhinho da Adriene.

C.Farias/beautiful day
10/06/2012, FAKARAVA

I wrote this weeks ago when we were still in Takaroa. Only now we have a decent conection so I can post here.
Well, we didn't find the school of sharks that we swam with 5 years ago when we came here with Russell, in his Free Spirit Cat but we found the reef still pristine. The hard coral shelf and the gorgeous tropical fishes are still abundant. Also as a perk we had a manta ray that came around every day and so did the whales. As to these, I have an experience to share and it is not a whale of a tale. I woke up in the middle of the night by the sound of Jerry's laugh. A whale was right by the side of our cabin and when she blew the water from the blow hole the spray fell all over Jerry, as he slept by the port light (side window). She stayed the rest of the night around the boat and just before day break she left. The crew didn't get much sleep either as the whale really hung on close to that side of Mauliola for hours.
I did find Adrienne, the girl that gave me the beatiful pearl necklace years ago, in her house by the lagoon where she was working taking the meet out of coconuts for copra. Nearby was Teavaroa, her 5 year old son. She was pregnant when I was here before. We had a lovely visit under the shade of a tree and she put me up to date on the whereabouts of Tereina and Chuk (her daughter and son. I know I am misspelling their names). We visited her again another time before we left and brought her a few gifts. She had also given me a few loose pearls. I had an earring made of a few of those pearls and gave it to her. It was sad to say au revoir after such a short visit but we had to move on. She will visit us in Hawaii one day when home will be on solid ground again. From Takaroa we are going to Fakarava, 100 mi from here.
Nos nao encontramos o cardume de tubaroes com quem nos nadamos 5 anos atras quando viemos aqui com o Russell no seu catamaran Free Spirit, mas enccontramos o arrecife ainda em condicoes pristinas. Os corais e os cardumes de peixes tropicais ainda existem em abundancia. De brinde ainda tivemos uma arraia enorme que veio ao redor do barco todos os dias e tambem as baleias. Uma noite eu acordei com o Jerry dando gargalhadas. Uma baleia estava tao perto do barco que quando ela respirou o spray de agua o molhou todo pois ele dorme do lado da janela. A baleia passou o resto da noite rondando Mauliola. A tripulacao quase nao dormiu porque a baleia ficou quase todo o tempo do lado da cabine deles.
Eu encontrei Adrienne na sua casa a beira da lagoa onde ela estava trabalhando tirando o coco da casca. Do seu lado estava Teavaroa, seu filho de 5 anos, de quem ela estava gravida quando aqui estive. Ela me deu noticias de Tereina e Chuk, sua filha e filho, que estao estudando fora pois Takaroa so tem escola primaria. A vida nesses atois isolados e desprovida de quase tudo que nos estamos acostumados no mundo que vivemos. Nos visitamos Adrienne outra vez e foi triste dizer au revoir pra ela no dock. Mas ela vai me visitar um dia when eu estiver na minha casa em terra firme. De Takaroa nos vamos para Fakarava. Ate entao. Beijos.

09/27/2012, FAKARAVA

We are still in the south pass of Fakarava. It is amazing how much life there is in the water. As soon as we anchored we had the welcoming committee circling the boat, there is a group of 10 black tip sharks. They are everywhere. I believe the reason for so much fish is because they are not being fished out by humans. There is ciguatera in the area and only 4 types of fish can be eaten safely. We are not fishing for sure. Parrot fish is supposed to be safe but they are so pretty and after swimming with them it would be hard to have them on the pan. We are all well, better now after a big slice of rich chocolate cake baked for Wil's birthday. Thank you all for your comments. Sending this via SSB radio. Can't post photos. Aloha Nos ainda estamos no sul de Fakarava. I incrivel a quantidade de peixes na agua. Logo que ancoramos, o comite de boas vindas cercou o barco, isto e, um grupo de 10 tubaroes. Eles sao presenca certa em todos os lugares. Eu acredito que a razao de ter tanto peixe e porque eles nao estao sendo pescados pois existe ciguatera na area. Somente 4 tipos de peixes se pode comer com seguranca. Um deles e o peixe papagaio mas depois de nadar com eles seria dificil de ve-los na panela. Nos nao estamos pescando. Estamos todos bem e melhor ainda agora depois de saborear um bolo rico de chocolate que fizemos p/ celebrar o aniversario de Wil. Beijos para todos. Enviado via SSB radio. Nao posso colocar photos.

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