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Catch up time---
05/02/2010, Hana Moe Noa Bay, Tahuata--French Polynesia

Well, we do not have internet service again, so I will not be able to post more photos for a while. But to catch up on where S/V Serenity and her crew are we can use sailmail. We left the Bay of Virgins (Hanavave to the Marquesans) on Fatu Hiva after a wonderful and magical visit. We headed out to the island of Tahuata--only 45 miles to the northwest. We had a great sail-- 10-25 knots wind, seas just aft of the beam. We averaged 6 knots with short sail for comfort, and were soon rounding cape Tehopeotekeho at the south tip of Tahuata. We then experienced gusts to over 30 knots, so we lowered sails and motored to Resolution Bay ( Vaitahu to the Marquesans), the main anchorage on Tahuata. Sherry and I took the dinghy over to the cement quay--NOTE to crusiers: There is an anchor line called a Anchor Buddy. It is a springy length of cord inside a woven length of polypropylene line. It lets you drop a stern anchor from the dinghy-- pull up to the nasty cement quay-- unload, then with a bow line in hand the dinghy springs back--staying off the cement quay. This is really nice and we have used it almost every time we have tied up to a town dock. We walked into town, bought some groceries, then visited the home of Fati which overlooks the bay. Fati (that is his nickname), Fii Felix (his French name), and Teiki--Heepokaieto his Marqusan name is the best tatoo artist in the Marqusas. Tatoos are an art form in the Marqusas, and I wanted one to comemorate our Pacific crossing and visit to French Polynesia. Fati is a gentle and kind Marquesan. I told him I wanted a traditional Marquesan tatoo and he said to return the next day and he would have the design in his head. We hiked up the hill at 8am the next morning and Fati drew his unique design on my arm with a fine tipped ink pen. Two hours later I had a work of art circling my left arm. It has the waves of the ocean, a harpoon, whale and dolphin eyes, the monkey cross (the symbol for the Marquesas), and the eyes of the tiki for protection. It ends on the inside of my arm with the symbol of the sun. Did it Hurt?--YES!! But, everyday I will remember our ocean crossing and the Marquesas. We left Resolution Bay and motored a couple of miles up to Hana Moe Noa Bay. There is no town there, but there is a beautiful white sand beach and crystal clear water. Some say that Hana Moe Noa is the prettiest bay in all French Polynesia. After two days of snorkeling and fun (sunburn, too), we left at 3am for the island of Ua Poa.

Cheese burger in paradise

And of course, what do sailors crave the most when they make landfall after a long voyage? A cheese burger in paradise, and an ice cold Hinano (Tahitian beer) at Snack Maki Maki in Atuona.

On land at last

We are on land at last, walking into atuona the main town.

At anchor in Tahuata harbor

This is Serenity and our friend's boat, Paikea Mist, at anchor in Tahuata Harbor at Hiva Oa.

Hiva Oa at last

After 22 days at sea we approahed Hiva Oa with the morning light. We could have made it at night on the 21 day, but we slowed down as we wanted to enter port in the daylight.

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Port: Ventura/Mammoth Lakes California
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