Posted by: catamarantwooceans | June 13, 2009

Still in the Marquesas – and loving it!

3.06.09 – Wednesday – It rained all morning and we just passed the time on board reading and relaxing. In the afternoon we went visiting neighbours. First the yellow Brazilian catamaran called “Beduina” which we saw in San Cristobal, Galapagos, when we disembarked from our cruise on Millenium. The boat is a French design, 38 foot long and on board are Hugo and Jocelene and their daughter Thalita, whom I estimate as being about 12 years old.

Beduina

Beduina

They arrived just a few says after us but had a very different voyage. It took them 23 days and they had strong winds and steep, short seas. Amazing what a difference of conditions a few days can make.

Next we went to Mary and Mike on “Carpe Vita” a 43.5 foot, designed by John Shuttleworth of England. As we came into the cabin we saw Mike sitting there with a big bandage on his left foot and both his toes dressed too. He told us that he was trying to get from the dinghy to the high ship dock, fell down to the roicks below and was badly cut by the mussels on them. He will take at least three weeks to mend and in the meantime they will stay in Atuona. Bad luck!

Carpe Vita

Carpe Vita

They corrected the “Inherit the wind” story for me. It seems the owner had a crew member, a back-packer, who – after the ordeal of getting here – jumped ship and joined “Ishka”. “Inherit” just disappeared one day and nobody knows where she is…As we were going aft to disembark from Carpe Vita, we saw a snapper right on the aft skirt of the port hull, eating the algae that grew there. A nice size it was, so when we got back to our boat I put some bait on the hook and put it in the water. After a few minutes – a strike by something big – I reel it in and it’s a 45 cm shark. I took the hook out from between the jaws, small but sharp, and tried again. A few minutes passed and another, or was it the same stupid shark? This time he wound my line about thirty times around the anchor chain and it took some effort releasing him. After that I stopped fishing.

4.06.09 – Thursday – Joel came today. Joel was born in the U.S and emigrated to Israel 1970. He is a civil engineer and live in Jerusalem. No ocean there but he did go once with his sister and brother in law for a sailboat charter in the Virgin Islands. He is very tired after a long flight so we just stayed on board relaxing. One of the cables of the outboard’s throttle gave up so we have a tech job tomorrow.

Joel

Joel

5.06.09 – Friday – Cables day!  Truely it took almost all day to replace those darn cables. I think a trained mechanic would have done it in no more than an hour, but Zvi and I, with Joel giving advice from aside, worked for four hours, doing some little thing wrong and having to start from the beginning more than once. At 12 o’clock I announced an intermission, we had lunch and then took the outboard into the cockpit and finished the job in 45 minutes. I took Joel to the village in the afternoon, to get him to know the place and do some shopping. In the evening we went to eat out at Moehue, a family hotel and restaurant. The food is O.K but the prices… A pizza costs around 20$, we ended up paying more than 30$ each, but they had ICECREAM!

6.06.09 – Saturday – At 1000 John, Marie-jo’s husband came to take Zvi to the airport. It was great having him on board, his personality, sailing abilities and sense of humour made him the perfect partner for our voyage. I hope to see him aboard again in the future! Joel and I went out from Atuona to Hanamoenoe, in preparation for the leg to the northern islands of the Marquesas. I was sure I’ll catch a fish in the passage between Hiva Oa and Tahuata and sure enough we caught a big yellowfin tuna – 23 pounds, more than 10 kgs! Lots of meals for the crew.

23 lbs

23 lbs

7.06.09 – Sunday – The distance to our next island, Ua Pou, is 65 miles and since we want to get there in daylight we start our day at 0245. We chose to go to a place called Hakamaii, where the guide book said there were :”Dramatic hiking trails from the village”. The island terrain is certainly dramatic, with magnificent rocks and spires rising up steeply, their tops hiding in cloud.

Rocky

Rocky

Rocky 2

Rocky 2

 Hakamaii, though, was disappointing. A small open bay without a safe landing for the dinghy. There go the hiking trails… Never mind, we’ll find some in Nuku Hiva.

8.06.09 – Monday – Around the island we motored, stopping for snorkling in Aneo bay and on to Hakahau, on the north east tip. This is a bay protected by a breakwater and so it is vary calm. A few yachts were at anchor, including some that we met in the other islands. We took the dinghy ashore, tying her to the fishermen’s pier and made our way into the village. This is the third biggest settlement in the Marquesas, but just like Atuana, you get a feeling of walking in a well tended botanical garden. We were looking for a shop to replenish our stores and an elderly gentleman tried to give us directions in a very Anglo accented French. We soon moved to English and Keith, that was the man’s name, gave us a lot of information in a few sentences. He is an Australian, married to a local woman and they have this boutique further down the road. Back from the supermarket we stopped there because I saw grapefruit in a basket inside. Got two of those juicy, tasty “Pamplemousse” (perhaps they are pomelo?) and continued to the boat. I told Joel I had to get some mangoes. The thing is, you cannot buy them anywhere because everybody has at least one huge, multimangoed tree in their yard.  I went into one, approached the people sitting there and said I wanted to buy two mangoes. A lady had a plastic bag full of them and immediately offered it too me. I took two big ones and wanted to pay. They all started laughing and explained that it was a present. Good, warm folks!

9.06.09 – Tuesday – We decided to go looking for the enchanted valley we heard about. Walked the road up the mountain, asking direction from locals we met. At one point, a youth on bicycles stopped a small truck for us and said:”This couple lives there, they will take you”. We mounted the rear bed and started a jumpy, bone jarring ride through mountain and jungle. It soon became apparent that the ride was much more than we could safely walk back, so we decided to go to the final stop, walk around there and find some ride back. After more than half an hour, the truck stopped in a village with just a few houses.

 The family of the driver greeted us warmly and the lady of the house agreed to have her picture taken with the house Tikis.

Lady of the manor

Lady of the manor

The driver said he will go back to Hakahau around 3 pm, another one we met said he will go at 11am or 1pm. The time was 0830… We started walking out of the village, hoping somebody will pass earlier. On our way we found a wild mango tree and had a delicious snack. Just after 9am a Toyota double cabin truck showed up. “Are you going to Hakahau? Can we join you?” The man answered in the afirmative and we jumped in. On the way we started talking. His name was Piri and he was a sculptor. This island is famous for traditional carvings. There were 80 people in the village 15 of them are children. His wife was the school teacher.

We had a pleasant ride and as we reached Hakahau, we disembarked, thanked the man and turned to go. He stopped me:”Taxi,taxi!” So, the man has a commecial mind and wanted quite a sum – 3000 francs equaling 35$. Although he should have advised us at the start we agreed on 2000 and went back to the boat. Right then the sky over the high spires cleared so Joel took my picture with the fantastic view plus Two Oceans in the background.

Mik and spires

Mik and spires

It was only 1030 so why not go to Nuku Hiva, 26 miles away. Calm sea and light wind made for a pleasant sail. As we motored into the bay, the port engine alarm sounded – water temperature… Long time no see! Found out that the belt that I tightened just one week ago snapped. We’ll have work tomorrow…

10.06.09   Bad virus on computer! All this is done at a rediculously expensive internet cafe.  All is well, we hope to go to the Touamotus  on Sunday.

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