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Showing posts from May, 2015

Makemo

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The water here inside the lagoon at Makemo is so clear. We are anchored in 40-50 feet and can see the bottom!

We had a wonderful time in the village when we arrived. We placed a pastry order at the bakery and the next morning Malcolm went to collect croissants, pain chocolate, apple turnovers, twisted pain chocolate and baguettes. Not all for us! We took orders for the other boats, too!

We thought about going back for cheese as the stores here are surprisingly well stocked. After "breakfast" we couldn't move our pastry-filled bellies to go back into town to buy anything. Instead it was a good reading day.

The next day we motored 15 miles through part of the lagoon. Most of it is 40 to 60 feet deep, but there are coral heads scattered around. Malcolm hung out at the bow keeping watch. You need to look for the colour change and perhaps a funny wave pattern. We did just fine, although we had been quite nervous. We arrived at a much quieter anchorage. No town, just a lovely be…

Arrival in the Tuamotus

We had a great 3 1/2 day passage to the Tuamotus. The wind was a steady 20 knots on the beam. Swells were high at times, but far enough apart to make it fine. The wind dropped to 15 knots on the last day but we were still dumping wind to slow down and not arrive before sunrise.

The Tuamotus are all atolls, which are low lying ring shaped islands. Many of them have entrance channels to the interior lagoon where people can anchor and explore. Our tide information indicated slack tide was about an hour after sunrise which is when we got to the entrance. As our friends Jennifer and Campbell explained, the current in these channels is usually based on the wind and the tidal effects are negligible. It seems that the wind pushed water over the low lying portions of these atolls (sometimes basically at water level) and fills them up like a big bucket. If there has been much wind in the past few days the channels all have outbound currents. Sometimes a lot of current.

We got into the lagoon a…

Nuka Hiva - Marquesas

We left Ua Pou and sailed north for 5 hours to Nuka Hiva. We stopped in the main town of Taiohae and were shocked to count well over 40 sailboats at anchor! Taiohae is the administrative centre of the Marquesa Islands and it has the feel of a "city". The atmosphere was a little less welcoming. People seemed a bit less friendly or maybe just busier.

The town seemed to be alive between 4 and 7 am, or so we were told. We know that by 9 am the bakeries were closed for the day and the fruit and vegetable market had minimal items. We did get up early one morning and, with coffee in our travel mugs, dinghied to shore. We didn't go to shop but to see the shark feeding frenzy we had heard about from our early-riser friends. The fishermen return early in the morning and clean the huge fish they catch right at the dinghy dock. They pitch the heads and entrails into the water, right next to the dinghies, and the black-tip sharks go wild. We tied Tubby to the breakwater wall and cli…

Ua Pou

We sailed to the small island of Ua Poa that lies to the north west of Tahuata and south south west of Nuka Hiva. The island has beautiful volcanic spires and dramatic mountains. We anchored in the small harbour of Hakahau and enjoyed the lovely town with its well kept buildings and the houses with gardens full of fruit and flowers.

We met Xavier, a Frenchman who has lived in the Marquesas for 14-15 years. As a way to meet people, Xavier offered "island tours" to cruisers. With Lauri and Chuck from Free Spirit, we piled into Xavier's old SUV and drove through the mountains, across small rivers, down into valleys and to coves and beaches. We drove south 2/3rds along the east side of the island, as far as the road went, to the village of Hohoi. Then we turned west and went up and over the centre spine of the island. We were able to hike up along a ridge near one of the volcanic spires for excellent views of both the west and east sides of the island. We had a picnic lunc…

Photos from the Marquesas

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We are at a cafe in Tiaohae, on Nuka Hiva, with mediocre Internet access.  That means we can finally post some photos that we've taken since leaving Mexico.