There are worst places to be stuck
11 June 2012 | Daniel's Bay, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas Islands
We’re stuck in paradise, but we can’t think of anywhere in the world we would rather be, so it doesn’t really suck. The morning after our arrival in Daniel’s Bay, Monica was taking a shower and ran out of water! After some higher math calculations (number of days/gallons used) we discovered we use about 3.6 gal per day. This includes laundry, dishes, cooking, coffee, toilet and showers. We laugh thinking about the amount of water we used when land based versus now. We had estimated we were only using 2 gallons/day so we were off by several days. We had moved to this bay for three reasons: the increased remoteness, the lack of swells coming into the bay so we could go up the mast for our repairs, and there is clean fresh water available. So running out of water wasn’t anticipated to create an issue.
Getting water isn’t as easy as it used to be when we were marina hopping. In marinas, you hook the hose up and fill your tank. Here in paradise, we grab our two 5 gallon jerry cans and motor to the connected bay and make a beach landing, between waves. Then we carry the dingy up the beach, beyond the surf line, so it’s where we left it when we return. Then grab the cans and go to the shack next to the river (a large stream/creek), and fill up. Then reverse the process. All of this is relatively easy as long as two critical components are well cared for, the dingy and the motor on the dingy.
On the very first trip ashore to retrieve water, the trip in was uneventful, and we took care to note the shallow spots and surf lines on the way in. We filled our cans and re-launched. On the way out of the surf line, a swell came in that was a bit larger than the rest, so we both focused on it, trying not to get swamped and flipped. As the swell got closer, the water was pulled towards it and out from underneath us meaning the prop hit the bottom. I immediately pulled the motor into its up position trying to stop the rocks from shattering our prop but I was not fast enough. Out came the oars and an hour of rowing back to the mother ship ensued. Upon pulling the motor out of the water and putting it in the v-berth to repair, we discovered the drive pin and prop were both destroyed. A quick call by satellite phone to the parents and these parts are on order.
But until we have the parts for the motor, we still need water, thus every day is now centered around rowing back and forth for water with every container we can find, to minimize the total number of trips. As I said above, we could be fighting traffic on the way to work, or rowing through one of the most scenic bays in the world, so it’s a matter of perspective as we are learning. And as an added bonus, the exercise regiment is making a certain tummy much smaller (not to mention the lack of beer intake).
Some other items of note while we have been in this location:
We go to a beach in our bay that’s only a few minute row away and shell hunt, look at reef fish including baby coral reef black tip sharks, stripped trigger fish, many other varieties. Also we enjoy looking at the tide pools as they empty and fill, these are harbors for the small fry and various crabs and other life. We rock hunt through the awesome volcanic layers, of which there are many that have cooled in different fashions. Also we just meander up and down the beach in awe of the view.
We swim a little, but not as much as we would like. Two reasons, first the water is a little cloudy, not very, just not crystal clear. Secondly, our arms are fatigued from rowing a dingy that’s not meant for rowing.
We have a coral reef that’s 30 feet from where we are anchored so we see turtles all day long, and adult sharks feeding from time to time (these are not a type known to attack humans). While rowing one day, we were followed by a 6-8’ shark for a few seconds but it saw we weren’t food and moved on.
A bummer, we have a nest of wasp living in our mast! The other day we saw some wasp’s trying to get OUT of our bug screens. Upon further investigation, we found they were coming out of the bottom of the mast. After plugging the holes, we now see them enter and leave the top of the mast all day. Not really sure how to get them out, other than hoping they die off during our next voyage without food. We harvested three coconuts the other day and had fresh coconut milk with dinner. No, I did not climb a tree, we used rocks to knock the ripe ones off the tree then ran to avoid the falling nut. FYI, more people are killed every year by falling coconuts than by shark bites.
An Islander, known as “the lady by the phone booth”, approached Monica while she was filling our jerry cans with water and asked her if she wanted any fruit. Not expecting this, we had no money or items to trade (trade is just as good as money on the islands), so we went away empty handed. The next day we sought her out and bought a few mangos and papayas.
Posted via satellite phone.