(5/15-5/16) Spent two nights in Daniel's Bay - our last stop on Nuka Hiva. It was a nice anchorage with a hike to a waterfall.- 2000ft high, Very impressive! It was a pretty easy hike with a fresh water swim and shower at the waterfall. We had a little picnic with Doug and Carla then hiked back. For whatever reason, Josh and Francois did not wear swimsuits, so did not swim. When they got back to the beach Josh swam out to Calou to get their kayak, and he and Francois then paddled out to the boats. Thankfully it was an easy dinghy landing and launch, and we got back to the boats safe and sound. We did supply the local mosquitos and no-nos with a feast, and we are still itching.
5/17 - We were up and at em pretty early to leave for Ua Huka - about 24 miles from Daniel's Bay. We had a good sail, another less than stellar anchoring experience, but finally got settled in the Northeast anchorage. Sorry I can't remember the name, and probably can't spell it even if I could remember it, but it is the 3rd largest town in the Marquessa's. Nice place, lots of good places to provision. Wednesday we went in exploring, and to scope out the markets. At one of them I tried in my very bad French to ask a young girl if she knew anyone who would trade for fruit. After much confusion, the lady with the girls said that she had fruit, and we could come by her house the next morning. We bought some breadfruit and mangos from a house a little further down the street too. That night we ate pizza out - was really pretty good, and not too expensive. The next morning Doug and I trekked in at 0545 to get bread. We actually scored pretty well - baguettes and sandwich loafs. Then at the dock we were able to catch some fresh tuna (amazing what bites on a 500 franc note :) ). At 0800 we all went back in to get fruit. We weren't really sure where we were going, but figured we would see the lady, and she would recognize us. We got limes, starfruit (not my favorite) and pamplamouse and when we asked how much, she wouldn't take anything!!! Much to our dismay, we did not get her name, but on our way back thru this fall, we plan to stop by with a gift for her. Since we had accomplished all we set out to do, we (Evergreen and Moondance) decided to head out for the Tuomotus.
We left about 1030 am on Thursday, and by 1030 am on Friday we had gone 166 miles - a personal record for us. We were on a reasonably comfortable point of sail, and moving along. Josh took the 6p to 9p watch, and helped out a lot during the days. Friday and Saturday were pretty uneventful pretty fast, did another 160 miles during the second 24 hours. Saturday afternoon we started seeing squalls, so we ended up slowing down and we brought in the big jib. I had 2 squalls during the first 2 hours of my watch Saturday night, after that I could have put out the big jib, but decided not too as I would have had to wake someone up to help me furl it if another squall came through. Made it to Makemo late Sunday afternoon, was close. The pass into the lagoon looks huge until you are in it and realize that the channel is narrow, and even at slack tide the water is squirrely. Dennis did a great job steering through the crazy water - reminded us of the passes in the San Juan Islands. As we were coming through the pass into the lagoon, Calou hailed us on the VHF - they beat us by about 3 hours, having left just behind us on Thursday. The next surprise was that we were able to tie up to the wharf here. What a luxury to be at the dock! No power or water, but no big deal there - we make our own. But to be able to step off the boat onto land - Wow, we weren't expecting that until we hit Hawaii in November. Moondance did not make it in to the lagoon until the next morning. We saved them a place at the dock which is now quite cozy. 5 boats all tied up.
The kids are totally loving it, and this is the first time Josh has actually interacted with the local kids. This week is a school holiday, so there are kids on the dock all day. Josh is also loving the water here. it is just as we imagined it would be - clear and so pretty. It is like we are tied up in our own personal aquarium. You don't even need to snorkel to see all the fish. The water is so clear that it is disorienting it seems shallower than it is. Conning for coral heads is the next new skill on our checklist. We are also impressed with the provisions available here. The guidebooks led us to believe that there would really be nothing, but in reality the store here has some of the best selection we have seen to date, and not out of proportionately (sp?) expensive. Yesterday (Monday) I was able to get avacados and carrots, as well as italian andouille sausage and frozen chicken drumsticks ( a Josh all time favorite).
Monday morning there were 3 boats here at the dock (including us) one left, and then 4 came in. All boats we know (except one). So we were pretty busy getting everyone situated and tied up. The wind is such that it pushes you away from the wharf, so getting lines to the people on the dock was challenging, but we finally got everyone settled. As Carla from Moondance said - what is not to like, a dock (free), people on the dock to catch your lines, a free baguette, and free fish!! I am not sure who was handing out the baguettes, but the fish (marlin) came from s/v Charade (ginormous catamaran from France). Seems they landed a huge marlin Sunday, so we all shared in their bounty. Doug cheffed it up on our grill for dinner that night - YUM!
Tuesday 5/24 - Very windy and rainy today. Since we are tied up, we are trying to get as many projects done as possible. Sadly we rubbed a hole in the dinghy on the way here, so it needs repairing. Currently it is on the dock awaiting a dryer day so the patch can be applied. It also had a leak in the hard bottom (which probably contributed to the chafing) so the shell was full of water. After draining it, Dennis resealed it. I removed the dinghy cover to repair the chafe holes and to add leather patches for added protection. Then Dennis worked on the generator - switching out water pumps. We have such awful water pump karma - it just isn't right. So that turned into an all day project that will overflow into tomorrow. In the meantime, I repaired the protective leather cover that Roger made for the Hydrovane in Halfmoon Bay in September 2009. Then it was on to laundry. Laundry just happens to be my least favorite chore. I try not to let it pile up because it really is hard work. I would kill for a good old fashioned wringer! The highlight of the day though was the morning delivery of chocolate croissants. OMG some of the best we have ever had. The French Baker in Barra de Navidad is nothing compared to this lady. YUM! I have told you lately how it is all about the food????
Tomorrow's agenda is pretty full as well. We ordered loaf bread from the bakery which we will pick up around 0800. The dinghy will hopefully get its patch, the generator water pump will go back in (sans leak i hope), Josh needs to go up the mast to fix the windvane that the stupid booby broke on the crossing and I need to get the sewing machine out to fix the dinghy cover. In the midst of all that we have an appointment to look at pearls at 1300. The dock is great, but feels like work too. We think another couple of days here, then we will move to the NW side of the atoll (this atoll is 40 miles long) for a day or two then on to the next atoll - TBD.
Saturday 5/28. Still here, has been howling windy all week. Calming down today, hope to leave Monday. Projects are all done except for Josh's trip up the mast. Not the best thing to do in 30 knots of wind. More later. Happy Memorial Day!