Monday, July 30, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Photos from the Marquesas

Le Champion.  Biggest rooster in town, he was old and stringy but we ate him.

One of the many fresh Tuna meals.


Me picking mangoes with our friend Simon in Nuku Hiva

The score
North end of Tahuata, Marquesas

A gift, the first of many.

Sylvie's new best friends.

Prepping to hunt chicken. 

Ua Pou Island, Marquesas

Fruit harvesting at an archaeological site, or was that architectural, or agricultural??

Our first umu (underground bbq).  We speared our own fish.
The best beach in the Marquesas, Tahuata.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The 550 miles that took us 10 days to travel

We left the Marquesas in a real rush. We briefly met a Swiss sailor who gave us a weather forecast and it seemed that we should leave that night or risk being stuck in dead wind for the following week.  So, we dropped the unwashed loads of laundry back on the boat, tore through the boat like a hurricane picking up anything we could trade for some fruit, and quickly said goodbye to all the boats we met while at anchor at Daniel’s Bay on Nuka Hiva. In our rush, we grabbed terrible things to trade- a small bit of rope, a tin of corned beef and a small jar of rum. We luckily were still able to get a stalk of bananas, a few papayas the size of our heads and small unripe pamplemousse.

We managed to set sail before dark and started off with a nice breeze that slowly slowly trickled down to small puffs. As we slowly passed the southern Marquesan islands, we contemplated turning around and waiting for some wind, but we decided that was foolish and should truck on. Truck on we did…at about 2 miles an hour. Eventually, the wind completely died and we ended up drifting for about 3 days not going anywhere in particular. 

We did what most sailors would do while they are waiting for the wind- opened a bottle of wine, played chess, read books, ate all our fruit and watched the stars reflecting on the perfectly glassy water. We were surrounded by stars- it was breathtakingly beautiful!

Although we had very little wind and averaged about 55 miles per day, it was, to date, our favorite passage.  We are sailing in the South Pacific to find small paradises and sometimes forget that the water in between is often the most remote and beautiful part of the world.

Daniel's Bay- a.k.a Danger Bay

Daniel’s Bay in Nuka Hiva was our last anchorage in the lovely Marquesan Islands. We arrived and saw 7 boats already anchored, 5 of which were Canadian. Although we see a fair amount of Canadian boats just about everywhere, it has never felt like a Canadian bacon invasion before.  Felt as though we were anchored off one of the Gulf Islands outside of Vancouver.

The bay is beautiful and the water inviting so we dropped the anchor and swam over to our neighboring boat who we had met before. After climbing aboard, we were told that they had just recently watched a hammerhead shark banging up against their inflatable dinghy. Eeks. The swim back was a quick one…

We enjoyed everything the bay had to offer. Small fun waves that were surfable, a delicious meal hosted by a local family, hiking and, of course- fruit picking.

We soon discovered that the bay is famous for a few things. Firstly, one of the tallest waterfalls is a short hike away and it is the place where a German tourist was murdered a few years ago.  It was hard to imagine a crime like that happening in such a pristine serene place.  

Forgetting about the creepy crawly stuff, we set off for the waterfall, which sounded spectacular. And spectacular it was!  The 1 hourish hike to get there was beautiful and we followed a path that weaved in and out of the trees and through rivers- some deeper than others. Before we arrived to the waterfall, we are greeted with a sign: “Beware of falling rocks” and a bag of helmets.  The waterfall is at the end of a deep gorge that has stunningly high rock walls surrounding you as you approach. You are rewarded by a crisply fresh swim in the pool beneath which we did in the rain. It was spectacular.
As we dried ourselves off and started reminiscing about the swim we just had, we heard a big loud splash in the pool about 10 feet from where we were standing.  We quietly looked at the ripples in the water then slowly craned our heads up to the see the top of the massive cliffs looming over us. Time to pack up and wear the helmets.

We survived the walk and the only injury we suffered was a sore neck from constantly craning our necks upward to spot any loose looking rocks or cocos.