Posted by: catamarantwooceans | June 4, 2017

In the Marquesas

24.5.17 – Wednesday – Once we thought we were securely anchored we took the dinghy ashore. People were greeting us warmly, many wanted to know whether we wanted fruit. A family in one of the houses succeeded in luring us into their yard and showed us the stuff they had. It turned out they were not interested in money but rather barter the goods for things we might have on the boat. We ended up giving them a fender and a fishing lure for some pamplemouse, bananas, a kind of local apple and some limes.

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Zulu was looking to buy a wood carving in fish shape; none of the few carvers we met was ready to supply one in a reasonable time frame and price but then we met Jacques the carver, who promised to have one ready by midday Friday for 4000 francs (about 40 U.S$) . We also bought some papayas from him.

25.5.17 – Thursday – In the morning we went ashore with the intention of trekking to the local famous waterfall. We met some men on the way to ask about the location of the trail to it. They pointed out to the cloudy sky and said that it was going to rain and that the way to the “cascade” would be slippery with possible mud and rock slides making it dangerous. Another option was going up a mountain to a point overlooking the bay. Zulu, who did that seven years ago, decided to pass. Danny and I started walking on the paved road, which was very steep indeed. The views were a great compensation for our effort.

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It took us about an hour and a half to get to the target, where an abandoned yellow tractor marked its location.

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The view from that point was marvelous, if you zoom in you can see Two Oceans on the lower right.

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                                                 (last 3 pics by Danny)

On the way back we met a family, parents, four kids and a crewman, who came the night before. Having seen our U.S flag they thought we were American; when we told them we were from Israel they told us that the people on the catamaran right behind us were also Israelis. That was a surprise! We dinghied over and met Michal, Laurent, their two lovely daughters and a friend. It turned out they heard about Two Oceans from Arturo Romero, the Marine Warehouse rep in Panama City.

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                                      S/V Maia – a Lavezzi 40

In the late afternoon the sky darkened. Rain started falling and strong gusts, one over 30 knots, hit the bay. I felt secure having our two anchors and 40 meters of chain and when I looked around the change in our situation took a long time to register. Laurent came by with his dinghy to see whether we needed help; we were dragging our anchors! The crew jumped into action, we took the anchors up and motored closer to shore, to anchor at 6.5 meters, putting out 50 meters of chain.

The wind continued gusting but our boat held position firmly; still we decided to keep an anchor watch during the night. Just before midnight a yacht came in and anchored to our port a bit forward and too close for comfort.

26.5.17 – Friday – I woke up at 0215 and heard from Danny about our new neighbor. I wanted to cancel the anchor watches as the wind abated considerably, but the proximity of that yacht was disquieting so I decided to continue, taking on the watch from 0245 until morning. I used the time to repair one of the safety webbings which was chafed by the anchor chain during one of our anchoring maneuvers.

After breakfast we went ashore with the firm decision to do the waterfall trek. We had to wait under a copra shed to wait out a shower and then went on, through a muddy trail, crossing the river jumping between boulders. The trail became narrower, passing inside rain forest, mounds of stones placed on the side of the trial confirmed that we were on the right track.

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We kept on walking and after about 40 minutes arrived at the fall. It was so high I couldn’t get it all into a frame of 24mm lens.

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The water fall into a large and deep pool and we entered it for a refreshing dip.

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The way back was slightly easier; the whole trek took about three hours and was worth every minute. Tomorrow we will sail 45 miles to Hiva Oa, which would be the last point in this voyage.

27.5.17 – Saturday – Out of Fatu Hiva at 0610, we motored to get out of the island influence and found wind from the south east. Going with just the main and storm jib was not very fast and Zulu argued that if we opened the damaged jib we could get more speed. We did it and sailed wing and wing with a sorry looking jib on the pole. As we passed the island of Motane, grey rain clouds came threatening from our starboard. The wind was not strong but bit changed direction until we were close-hauled. At 6 miles to Hiva Oa we furled the jib, dropped down the storm jib and motored into the bay.

A lot of yachts were anchored outside since a sort of children’s pirogue race was on and part of the bay was closed; we, however, succeeded in sneaking in and finding a free space, anchoring fore and aft to keep the boat facing the swell, as is the norm in this bay. As we came in I saw the location of the haul-out facility where I was going to leave the boat for two months and do the needed repairs and when we were securely anchored I took the dinghy over there. I was lucky that Vincent, the owner of the place, just arrived and I could sit with him and have a few of my questions answered.

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Vincent said he would only be able to take the boat out on Wednesday. He will then diagnose the engine malfunction and we will make a plan for its repair. Only then I would be able to make my travel plan and go home.

One of the yachts anchoring outside was one that Zulu and I knew; it was Jipcho, belonging to David Warshawsky, nicknamed Dubi, whom we both met in Richard Bay, South Africa. When the race ended there was a stampede of yachts trying to find a place inside. Zulu went over to help Dubi anchor inside and later the guy came over for a drink, chat and dinner. 

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               Dubi Warshawsky

28.5.17 – Sunday – We rented a 4×4 Suzuki Jimmy and drove to the eastern part of the island. The views were beautiful; a big section of the road was not paved but the small car overcame the difficulty. There were guava trees on the side of the road and we picked and ate a lot of the yellow fruit. We reached Puamau where a Marai with some impressive tikis was located.

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The whole tour took about six hours

29.5.17 – Monday – Today Zulu left to go home. Zulu contributed a lot to the operation of the boat; his knowledge in all things nautical was invaluable, not to forget his cooking style! For Danny and me it was a day of rest; we were waiting for Wednesday and the haul-out.

30.5.17 – Tuesday – We went to Atuona and visited the cemetery, where Jacques  Brel and Gauguin are buried and the Paul Gauguin museum. Although all the paintings there are copies, it was still very colorful and impressive. Back to the boat it took 40 minutes of marching in the hot and humid midday to reach the bay. In the evening we invited Dubi for dinner and as usual we went to bed early.

31.5.17 – Wednesday – The big day has come. At 0900 we motored towards the boatyard; the tractor and trailer were in position, we advanced slowly to place the latter between the hulls and in a short while we were hauled out.

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Danny is flying home tomorrow; I will follow in a few days. Two Oceans will stay on the hard for a little over two months. During that time the starboard engine should be repaired as well its alternator, a new jib will be ordered and antifouling will be painted. I hope to come back in the middle of August to supervise the work and make sure the boat is in good condition to continue sailing French Polynesia.

Until then – Adios from Hiva Oa!

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