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Tuesday May 15, 2007 - Preparations for Passage to Tuamotus
05/15/2007, Daniels Bay, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas

Today was an easy day, filling water tanks, picking some fruit, and resting for the 4-day passage to Raroia Island in the Tuamotus. The wind is forecast to be 10 knots from the east so it should be a beam reach all the way. I hope I don't have to motor but the fuel tank is full just in case. Departure is set for sometime during mid-morning tomorrow. The fishing tackle has been attended to and, with some luck, I may catch a wahoo. That will be a first for me. They are good fighters, have extremely sharp teeth, and do very well on the dinner table.

I did some hiking today and made the trip part way to the waterfall. Other hikers said the view up close was not any better than far away, but what a view!

All else is well and Sand Dollar is anxious to get moving again.

Sat. May 12, 2007 - Tour of the Island
05/12/2007, Taiohae Bay, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas

Susan and Elba on "Infinity", Terry on "Southwind III", and I rented a pickup truck to tour the island of Nuka Hiva. We spent about 10 hours driving at total of 80 miles, visiting several villages, archaeological ruins, and a vegetable farm where we stocked up on tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, pamplemoose, zucchini, and papayas. The mountain ridges had pine forests much like Eastern Washington and the leeward side of the island was much less vegetated than the windward side. It was a very rewarding trip and I would highly recommend it.

Sunday I will take care of boat chores and then on Monday sail to Daniel's Bay, made famous as a film site of the TV series "Survivor" of which I know very little. After a day of two at Daniels I begin the 450 mile passage to the island of Raroia in the Tuamotus. That passage will take 4-5 days.

All else is well. Happy Mothers Day.

Wednesday May 9, 2007 - Taiohai Bay, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas
05/09/2007, D'Hakahau Bay, Oa-Pou, Marquesas

The wind today was from the east-northeast at 8-12 knots which means the 28 mile sail from Oa-Pou was close-hauled on a starboard tack. I saw some birds working but caught no fish. Otherwise, it was a very pleasant passage.

The town of Taiohai Bay in Nuka Hiva is the largest settlement in the Marquesas with 1600 people and, believe it or not, there is wifi service in the anchorage! The speed is slow at 128 bps but the price is right, only US$6/hour. Tomorrow I will try to hook up to the wifi and also blow up the dinghy so I can go ashore and see the sights. There are 32 other boats in the anchorage but the bay is very large and could accommodate 200 boats. There is no swell so I expect a very calm night on the hook.

All else is well. I wish it were a bit cooler during the day.

Monday May 7, 2007 - Still in Hanamoenoa Bay
05/07/2007, Hanamoenoa Bay, Tahuata, Marquesas

I did not make it out of here today as planned. Instead I will leave sometime after midnight for the 67 mile trip to the island of Ua Pou, arriving early afternoon depending on the wind. Today I rigged a rainwater collection system and made some modifications to the solar panel battery charging setup. Some days I think I could collect a week's worth of water just from one squall.

All else is well. There are now 10 boats in this anchorage.

Sun. May 6, 2007 - Easy Day at Hanamoenoa Bay
05/06/2007, Hanamoenoa Bay, Tahuata, Marquesas

Today I went ashore and gathered some limes and pamplemoose (type of grapefruit). The mangoes were not ripe. I wanted to hike up a hill to take some photos but the growth was too thick and I could see no path. There was evidence of a hut near the beach but the place was uninhabited. Fortunately, there were no bugs.

The snorkeling was unremarkable although the visibility was perhaps 40 ft. Not much coral, mostly sand and rock. Tomorrow I will leave for Hanamenu Bay on the island of Hiva Oa, only about 12 miles away.

Sat. May 5, 2007 - Tahuata Island
05/05/2007, Hanamoenoa Bay, Tahuata, Marquesas

Sand Dollar finally got out of Hiva Oa. It was getting crowded with about 20 boats in a very small bay. A German guy in a Bavaria 36 settled right over my anchor unbeknownst to either of us. He was off running errands when I got ready to leave so, with the help of 3 other cruisers, we spent a good hour and a half setting another bow anchor, abandoning the first bow anchor and 270 ft of chain with a float tied to its end, setting a stern anchor, and then coming back to pick up the chain with the windlass. Moral of the story? Use an anchor float so everyone knows where your anchor is (this is rarely done), protect your anchoring circle at the risk of losing friends, and beware of the Europeans who are used to much more crowded conditions than the Americans, anchor extremely close to other boats, and use very little scope (anchor line).

The cruise to the next island was very short, only about 10 miles but the ice-cold Heinekin waiting for me was especially well deserved after the anchor recovery fiasco. In fact, I had two. A neighboring boat told me not to go ashore until morning as the bugs were horrendous in the evenings. I took their advice. Tomorrow morning I will go for a hike and take some photos of the bay. There is no one living nearby but there are abundant fruit trees. The snorkeling is reported to be excellent. I will let you know.

All else is well.

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Sand Dollar
Who: Don Pratten
Port: Beaux Arts, WA
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