Bay Watching and Choir
05/05/2012, 10 27.8'S:138 40.0'W, Fatu Hiva - Bay of Virgins
We are sitting here at anchor in a very picturesque bay. Rumor has it the missionaries didn't like the original name so they renamed it. I will leave the two different names here for your own translation. Original was Baie des Verges renamed to Baie des Vierges (French).
Well we left the Isle Tahuata day before yesterday and tried for about three hours to catch a fish. No luck so headed towards Fatu Hiva. We arrived here around 1630 local and set our anchor with a nice firm hold. Unfortunately, there was a boat anchored behind us (they were here first), Just Jane and the gal was JUST JANE. She immediately came to her bow and informed us that she was not comfortable with how close were were to them (30 yards). So undoing our nice firm anchor we moved closer to shore and then it took us three more attempts to finally get a good hook. So as this story goes we were now out of shouting distance from Just Jane so last night around 9pm she calls the boat right behind her, friends of ours on The Rose, and tells them that she thought they were too close and when they set their anchor a couple days ago she thought she would see how it went and hadn't said anything, but now they were concened. The Rose was very nice and went to bed knowing their anchor wasn't going to crawl up under Just Jane. This moring about 0500, The Rose being nice weighed anchor and moved over about 75 yards. Shortly after The Rose got set, Just Jane weighs anchor and leaves. See what happens when you try to be nice to someone who doesn't trust thier own anchoring skills?
We are anchored here with four other friends we have met over the past months. The group excepting John on The Rose and myself went for a day hike yesterday to climb up to a 300 foot waterfall. Just as they were going ashore it started raining and pretty much never stopped all day. They forstalled the waterfall and went shopping. I got the sewing machine out, finished a sun awning for Orcinius and repaired a hoisting strap for John. After John left I pulled out the torn spinnaker and proceeded to make a repair. The tear was about 10 feet long so I figured I wouldn't be able to use the sticky backed nylon sail repair tape and proceeded to clean up the tear, burn the edges so it wouldn't frey and cut a ripstop nylon strip to sew in the gap. That took me the rest of the day but I am satisified with the repair and it should be good enough to get us to Tahiti in a month.
We decided to expand my culinary skills by making pizza for dinner. Sorry Susan, didn't use the no nead recipe, so took one out of a pizza cook book we have. Started the dough and had the pizza in the oven an hour and 30 minutes later. It was a double batch so we made two and have had some for breakfast. The pizza crust turned out great as well as the pizzas. Today will be some more culinary artisan work. Pat on The Rose gave us a packet of Yogurt starter so will give that an attempt and have it chilled on my cerial for breakfast tomorrow. I am going to give the sourdough starter another try later next week. Once I can get all this bacteria growing we can have a feast.
So we are here in this bay waiting for church tomorrow. It is reported that this little community of maybe 150 people (all of Fatu Hiva is 620) have a music session prior to church where they play ekeleles and sing songs so we will attend that and then see how the church session goes. It will probably all be in French or Marquesan so won't understand a thing. After that we will weigh anchor and move about 10 miles around the point for a night then pick up the trades the next morning on our way back Northwest towards Nuku Hiva.
John & Lisa
05/02/2012, 09 54.5'S:139 06.3'W, Tahuata, Hane Moe Noa Bay
We left Atuona, Hiva Oa yesterday to do a little island hopping. Plan on two nights here then on to Fatu Hiva which is a little Southeast of here by about 45 miles. We had to bypass it on the way in because we could only check into French Polynesia at Hiva Oa. Now we are going to do a little back tracking upwind.
If you like bananas this is he place to be. We bought a green stalk the other day and left them in our dinghy. By the time we got back to our dinghy that evening they were almost ripe. The stalk must have had fifty bananas on it. We ended up giving away 2/3rds of them and still can't eat them all. Making banana nut bread today. Another fruit that is very abundant and popular is the Pompalmoose. Like a giant grapefruit but a little sweeter. Grows on trees everywhere. And of course coconuts both green and ripe.
We have been having more and more problems with the Dinghy motor so I thought I would hire a local to fix it. He never showed so that afternoon I proceeded to pull the carberator off, over the water and got lucky because I never dropped anything into the water. Anyway, pulled it off and apart and the float bowl was completely dry. Cleaned it, put it back together and checked the fuel pump. Thought all was well and fired it up. Now the float was sticking open and raw gas was coming out of the intake port. We got to this Island by late afternoon and I proceeded to remove the carberator again. Quicker the second time. Pulled it apart and sure enough the float was stuck open, fixed it and put it back on the engine. Fired it up and it runs a little better than before the problems but I still think it was defective from the factory so will pursue a new carberator and fuel pump.
I repaired the clew of the symetrical spinnaker and will patch the holes today. Finally pulled the sewing machine out of its hiding place and now that it is out may attempt to repair the heavy spinnaker and sew an awning cover to reduce the afternoon heat.
Also today is scrub the hull day. We are anchored in 18 feet of water looking onto the shore. This is a picturesque, typical beach here in the Marqueses. Will go into the water (94 degrees) and get rid of some of the barnecles that grew on the bottom while crossing the Pacific. It is interesting because where the salt water splashed up on the hull above the waterline, we have green slime growing. You would think it would dry out and die but that hasn't happened. Another interesting thing is that barnecles can grow on a hull even though the water is rushing by. The visibility in the water is over 50 feet. I could see the anchor chain below the bow of the boat from the stern. Not quite crystal clear but very good visibility and I doubt we will get hypothermia.
All for now. Will update after we leave tomorrow and chase down weather.
John & Lisa
Hanging Out in Hiva Oa
04/30/2012, Atuona Hiva Oa Still
We have spent the last week enjoying Hiva Oa.
Friday night was the pig roast and it turned out great - over 30 people showed up! And the food was terrific. We tried Poisson Cru for the first time and it was very good. It is similar to ceviche - it is made by marinating fish in lime juice, but they also use coconut cream - very tasty! We are going to try and make it on the boat - if we ever happen to catch a fish.
We took a tour of the island yesterday. We visited a few archeological sites that were quite interesting. The Marquesans are known for being cannibals back in the day, and we saw a ceremonial site where they killed and devoured their enemies. Not sure if lime juice or coconut milk was also involved. From what we understand, the women were not allowed to partake though. Men can be such savages sometimes! We also saw another site with some large stone sculptures on the northeast side of the island. They are believed to be linked to tikis on both Easter Island and Necker island near Hawaii. The scenery along the way was outstanding. Check out the latest album. Luckily our guide, Mary Jo, had inside connections to most everyone on the island so we also scavangered for limes, pamplemousse, and breadfruit along the way. And we learned the differences between green and brown coconuts - and coconuts that have fallen from the tree and are beginning to sprout on the ground. The core of those fallen coconuts contain a white soft mass that is cooked eaten like a dessert - it is sweet but not over the top sweet. We also like the pamplemousse - they are like a large grapefruit - and are usually very sweet.
We expect to be here in Hiva Oa one more night, then onto a small island called Tahuata nearby. There is a tatoo artist there that is quite well known for his talent. Some of the other cruisers are going to seek him out and get a tatoo from him. John and I are on the fence about it - we'll let ya know....
Then onto Fatu Hiva - which many say is the most beautiful island in the Marquesas group, and the most remote. So we will probably be out of cell phone/wifi coverage for the next 10 days or so. But we can do some blog updates via sat phone.
Well Rested and Back into Repair Mode
04/27/2012, Hiva Oa
We have finally caught up on some well needed sleep and are doing great. We got settled into the anchorage just before dark (and inbetween some heavy squalls) on Monday night. Had an excellent steak dinner baked potatoes and Pina Coladas, in bed by 8pm, and didn't stir until around 6:30-7am the next morning. Ahhhhhh.
We headed into town Tuesday morning to check in with the officials - which was extemely painless! A single sheet of paper to fill out and we were on our way. We also picked up a few groceries while in town. I can see we will be eating lots of baguettes and brie while in French Polynesia - no complaints there! The walk into town is a couple of miles, which can be brutal during the heat of the day - we try to call a taxi when we can, but there is not always one available. Good thing I like to walk, but John - not so much....
Then began our assessment of the boat and what fixes we could do ourselves and which would need to wait until Papeete or even New Zealand. I will let John update y'all on the list in another blog as it is constantly changing!
We have also been enjoying catching up with other boaters that we met earlier this year and have made the crossing out of Puerto Vallarta Mexico. A bunch of us (21 people) are getting together for a pig roast tonight. Our taxi driver - John - and his wife Mary Jo are going to do the cooking at their home! They are preparing the traditional pig in the ground for a few hours - along with some local delicacies. I will take lots of pics to share!
We also caught a local dance performance/competition in town yesterday. School kids of all different ages participated in dancing, singing, and story telling in the park. I have posted some pics. We also get to watch the locals paddling their outriggers around the anchorage in the evening. Looks like they are preparing for the big competition that happens in Papeete Tahiti in late June.
See new album (Hiva Oa Arrival) with latest pics. All for now.
04/23/2012, 09 48'S:139 02'W, 21th Day out of Galapagos - Lots 'o miles under our belt, 0 to go!
We have arrived in Hiva Oa. First land sighting 23 Apr 12 at 1950 Z Landfall 0100 Z 24 Apr 12
We are safe for now and while we both endured, 21 days at sea is a long time. Especially when there are only two of you to take the shifts at night. I cannot immagine do this single handed. You could never get into rhem sleep and would always be tired after the second day.
We probably would have seen land much earlier this morning but there has been a cloud hanging over the islands since daybreak. Have some pictures but won't get to send until I have internet.
All for now got to go set an anchor, make dinner and go to bed. I hope it is in that order otherwised we are in trouble.
John & Lisa