Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marquesas, Hiva Oa, French Polynesia 2007

20/08/07 Monday Hiva Oa

(Atuona the village is about 4 kilometres from the harbour)

We went into town with Leigh and Jenny to clear in. The people are very friendly here and to get to town is a 25 minute walk but most of the time you do not have to walk, put your thumb out and a local will give you a lift. When we got to the Gendarmeries Office Leigh said you go in first and when they ask us when we got in we can say just before you and we won’t be telling lies. We went in and fortunately a young lady could speak English as the young male gendarme could not. She told us that we had to go to the bank and pay our bond of US$1,200 per person unless we had an airline ticket. We produced our return tickets that we had to have to travel to St Lucia and we did not have to pay the bond and clearing in was quite painless, we filled out a form they signed that and our passports and we were on our way, the only other thing we had to do was post a copy of the form to Tahiti at the Post Office. Leigh was not so lucky, he had to pay the bond, plus the other problem was that Jenny is South African and she has to have a Visa. They treat South Africans as aliens and this is the case for most places. She applied for the Visa for here in Panama but it was going to take months to come through. Leigh cannot clear in until Jenny is cleared because she is his crew.

After Leigh and Jenny did all they could to start the process of clearing in which is far from finished, Leigh took us on a guided tour of the town, we bumped into the crew off Creightons and also met another Aussie yachty, Cameron he hasn’t been back to Oz for eight years, he spent a lot of time in England and has a Scottish girlfriend with him along with her son. He is quite a character, he has not cleared in yet, and he has been here two weeks. He has to bludge a lift ashore from one of us because someone stole his dinghy in a previous port and he cannot buy one here.
(Creightons crew, Nick the skipper orange cap and on his right the skipper of Timella)

The township is not very big the population is around 1,500. Everything is expensive here and other than the shop owners and dockside workers I am not sure how people here earn a living. However, they all appear to have money they drive around in good vehicles and live in nice homes. There does appear to be quite a few flights in and out of here, two, or three per day, not large planes about the same size that go to Dubbo about 40 seats.

The internet is in the post office and as I mentioned prior that it is very slow, that  slow it is almost going backwards. We could not get it to work for us and we could not seem to get any assistance to make it any better. It is not that they do not want to help but I think this technology is a little beyond the lady that runs the post office. The other problem is that the internet there is a keyboard and screen; there is no way to connect the message stick or a disc to copy your info to or from. The lady at the post office told Leigh that the resort up the hill has Wifi. So we decided to go back on board have lunch then I could grab my laptop and we go up to the resort and see if we can use their Wifi. It was a long steep walk up to the top of the hill, more like a mountain and unfortunately all the vehicles that passed us were going the wrong way so we did not get a lift.

We got on to their Wifi, 500 francs per 15 mins which is about $8, it is slow in operation, but it works. We had a quick check of our emails and handed the computer over to Leigh and Jenny for them to sort out their problems so that they can clear in. We relaxed and had a few beers, you don’t have too many beers either at the price you pay, about $22 for four cans of beer.
(The resort 'Hanakee Pearl Lodge)
(This shows how high it is, the hill is a killer to walk)

We asked if we could come back tomorrow to use the Wifi and they said no worries, their meals are quite reasonably priced there so we may go and have lunch. So hopefully we will get our blogs up and running tomorrow.

The place is very beautiful, the backdrop being a mountain that is usually covered in cloud looks like it was a main volcano in the past, and when it erupted has blown out at one side. Our anchorage is also very nice, it has the swell coming in from the sea but with the stern anchor holding us bows in to the swell it is comfortable 99% of the time.
 (The mountain from the harbour)

We may travel down to the next island for a day and clean the bottom of the boat, they are dredging here, and that is stirring a bit of mud around and makes it hard to check the boats bottom. We will also have to start our chores the day after tomorrow Leigh is going to help me with the changing of the mainsail and repair to the old one, I will help him on his boat in return. There is a water tap shower and toilet ashore on the waterfront so each time we go ashore I take the four jerry cans and fill them with water and commenced filling our tanks.

We will also call in at a few of the islands between here and Tahiti, we are led to believe that some are more beautiful than here. I think we have also now come to the realization that we are not going to get the boat back to Oz before the end of the cyclone season. If we left here and went flat out we would make it prior to the season but by doing that we would not see some of these beautiful places. Leigh said to us tonight, it would be a shame to miss these places, you will never come back this way again because it is too difficult to sail against the trade winds. He said fly back to Oz to go to the wedding and christening and come back hold up in a cyclone sheltered area and finish the trip after cyclone season.

We will now have to research some of the places to find a safe cyclone shelter where we can hold up for the cyclone season and then plan our trip from that. This will also be the place that I do the major repairs to the starboard gearbox and any other items that need repair.

As I said to Nancy we don’t have to be anywhere other than those mentioned engagements so there is no rush to get the boat to Oz other than we want to sail around the Aussie coastline. So we will see what we come up with.

21/08/07 – Tuesday night

We were that beat last night Nancy was in bed by 2000 hours and I was not long after, I stayed up a little longer to charge the batteries and get the photos downsized for the blog. Trouble was by going to bed early I was awake ready to go on watch at the magical hour of 0130. Fortunately as I got up it poured down rain and I was able to rush round and close hatches, Nancy also woke up mainly because she had the large hatch open above our bed and the rain drops hit her. I was making a Milo so she thought she would have one too. She got on the computer and started updating the info for her blog. By 0330 hours I said we had better go back to bed.

We got out of bed around 0700 hours had breakfast then a shower and got ready to go shopping at 0830 hours. We hitched a ride into town, I say hitched we were walking and the person stopped to give us a lift, they know we are yachties. We went to see the lady in the ute that sells veggies, we bought a bit of gear and loaded up my bag, Leigh was still doing battle with the bank trying to access his money for his bond without a great deal of success, he now has to get his bank to wire the money across, I think the problem is that his card is only a credit card and not tied to a savings account even though he has $5,000. of his money on the card.

The lady that pulled up to give us a lift could not take all four so I said I would continue walking and let the others get the ride, well the lady was co-owner of the resort. I managed to get a lift by the next car, anyway the next time we went to the lodge she saw us and wnet and got me a beer on the house and she said I hope that makes up for not being ablr to give you a lift.

We went back on board with our groceries and another load of water. Every time we go ashore I take the four jerry cans to fill with water, we have nearly filled the starboard tank. I am also collecting the rain water and putting that into the tank.

We had early lunch then hiked up to the resort to use their internet Wifi to update our blogs. Nancy had trouble downloading hers and there are no pictures on hers as a result. The problem was that it was raining heavily and that cuts down the radio signal. She being the story teller has only completed half the text so there is more to come from her for the journey we have completed. The girls at the resort are very friendly and don’t mind these non resident yachties dropping in and using the facilities. We did buy drinks and a sandwich, plus pay the high price of the internet Wifi use.
 (The view from the resort)

 (Nancy and I with a friend that wood knot talk)
(Inside the resort)
(Leigh trying to sort out his and Jenny's problems)
 (The sign for the toilets, female, disabled and male)
(This little gecko came from the roof and splat on the floor, stayed there getting it's breath for a while before moving on) 

Computer and internet technology is not big here, shops do not have computers, and I have not seen anywhere that has computers for sale. The only place I have seen a computer is the bank the internet unit at the post office and the one at the Pearl Resort. The unit at the post office is out of order; the only option open is the resort.

We have received messages on the sat phone, thanks to those that have called; we are having a problem there, with the cloud cover the sat phone cuts out. I was going to try Skype today, we got all the way up the mountain to the resort, and yes DH John had forgotten the headset.

We will have better facilities when we get to Tahiti, I hope.

Well it was not an exciting day to tell you much, but we did enjoy the walk up the mountain we went a short cut that took us through areas of local residents, small one track roads. One thing that is amazing is the chooks, they run wild here, and they are everywhere, hens with chicks, and the cocks pouncing around

22/08/07 - Hiva Oa

Today was work day, first went ashore to get the laundry picked up get another four jerry cans of water and threw my back out a little so that gave me curry all day. Nancy started cleaning inside the boat and I started to do some repairs. I replaced the Genoa furling line, unfortunately the spare rope I had was too short so I had to join another ten metres to it. Then I removed the broken lazy jack line from inside the mast that had jammed when I tried to remove it earlier, it had been trapped with one of the halyards. Then the big job, Leigh came over with sewing machine and we removed the mainsail and commenced restitching the torn seams. Leigh said to me when we were pulling the mainsail down, “I can understand why you didn’t want to do this at sea”. It is not as easy as his monohull, this sail is huge. The repair to the sail was a three person job, rolling the sail as tight as possible to feed it through the sewing machine. We knocked off at 1730 hours and had a beer. We then moved anchorage, not sure if we were moving slightly on the anchor or not but we appeared to be getting closer to our stern anchor. Could have been imagination but it is best to be safe. Hate to wake up in the morning on the beach.
(Leigh and I repairing our mainsail on the foredeck)

Tonight we are going over to Creightons they have invited us over for dinner; we will pick Leigh and Jenny up on the way, save Leigh rowing. He rows everywhere, he does not own an outboard motor. He reckons the oars start first pull every time.
(Creightons anchored outside the protection of the harbour  because of the depth and the size of their keel)
Leigh is coming back in the morning he reckons that we may as well put some stitches in the other seams in case the problem was caused through UV weakening the stitching. He said to leave the new sail where it was, the mainsail might get a bit of flogging going downwind we might as well flog the old sail rather than the new one.

Well that’s it for today, we are off to dinner in our shorts and shirt and bare feet, that’s the yachties dress of the night and most other times. I’ll just grab a bottle of red and a couple of beers and we’ll be off.

23/08/07Hiva Oa – Working day.

Last night we had dinner on Creightons they had invited the other yachties over as well as ourselves, it was quite a good night, Nick cooked dinner with some assistance from Sam, and she served us Champagne on arriving. We left just after eleven o’clock I believe it kicked on to 0130 hours this morning. Needless to say Creightons did not sail today as planned.

The other Aussie here Cameron and Scottish partner Sharon and her son Lewis are leaving tomorrow, Sharon is quite nice she made donuts this afternoon and sent them around to all the yachts, she’s not bad on the optic nerve either, takes a bit of understanding when she gets excited with the Scottish accent. Cameron has been here for two weeks and has not cleared in I think it is because they have not got the funds to pay the bond. They could get into serious trouble if they got caught. It is totally surprising that the authorities have not said something to him, this place is not very big and he would be the biggest bloke on the island, he’s well over six foot tall.
(Leigh loaned Timella his dinghy so Lewis here is taking Jenny back to Mi Querida)

Most times when you clear in the authorities want to know where you have come from, when you left, and how long it has taken to get there. If you have extended time you have to explain why and they may check your log book. Cameron does have a slow boat so he may get away with it. It took them fifty three days to get here from Galapagos, under sail he travels around 2.5 knots, I was complaining when we were not getting 5 knots. No doubt at his speed we will see him again along the way.

Well today was another working day, Leigh came over and finished stitching our mainsail, gave all the seams that we could get to on his machine a re-stitch. We then put the sail back up. After lunch we went ashore and walked up the mountain again to use the Wifi at the resort. The internet at the post office has not worked since we have been here. We updated the blog and Leigh and Jenny had to use my laptop to chase their official stuff because they cannot clear in until Jenny has her paperwork in order. She has difficulty everywhere because being South African.

We had Leigh and Jenny over for dinner tonight which was most enjoyable, I think we were all tired, they left early and the light on their boat did not stay on for long, Nancy went to bed straight away, I have to stay up for a while to run the engine to top up the batteries so the fridge and freezer keeps going through the night.

All in all we had a big day and I think I may now shut down the diesel and turn in myself.

24/08/07 - Hiva Oa – Another work day

Leigh came over first thing this morning he had to do a sail repair for Cameron before they left so he picked up his sewing machine and gear that was still on our boat. He said he would come over and help me with replacing the lazy jack line that broke off inside the mast when the sail ripped open.

I transferred some water into our tanks then some fuel by the time I had finished that Leigh had come over for a coffee before we got into replacing the lazy jack. We got the fishing line with a small sinker, the bosun's chair and replacement rope for the lazy jack, untied the main topping line attached the bosun's chair and Leigh hoisted me to the top of the mast. It was a rough ride in places as the boat started rocking from side to side with the swell and with the addition of my weight up there increased the distance of rocking at one stage I was shaken loose from the mast and was swinging free bouncing into the shrouds. Finally I got in position and fed the fishing line in, we had sewn the fishing line to the replacement rope so as soon as Leigh was able to pull out the fishing line from the foot of the mast I fed the rope in, and all went quite well and easy to my surprise. So my new bosun's chair and I got christened going up the mast for the first time.
(Me going up the mast to replace the lazy jacks, French courtesy flag flying) 
(I hate going up here but it has to be done now and again)

After lunch young Dave from Creighton’s came over and loaded the copy of electronic charts on my laptop computer, so I have charts for most of the world.
After this we went into town to do a bit of sightseeing, we went to the cemetery to see the graves of Paul Gauguin the painter and Jacques Brel the composer. We were going to the Gauguin Museum but we were too late as it closed early on Fridays. We did a little shopping then headed back onboard for beer o’clock.

When we got back ‘Timella’ Cameron and Sharon’s boat was still there so we called by in our dinghy on the way to our boat and invited them over for a beer. They decided to stay as the weather was a little rough out at sea and they will get another report tomorrow to see if things are better. Their yacht is a tri-keel, ferro-cement hull and their speed through the water is about 2.5 knots, this is very slow. It took them fifty three days to get from Galapagos to here, we took twenty one days we were expecting anything up to twenty eight days, and fifty three days is a long time.

After beer o’clock Leigh and Jenny invited us over ‘Mi Querida’ for BBQ chicken dinner so we went over to there and got home quite tired at 2130 hours.

Tomorrow we are going on a hike to see some waterfall and pick some fresh fruit that grow wild in the bush.

25/08/07Hiva Oa - Social day

This morning I cut a CD for Sharon on ‘Timella’, Robin Williams doing the Scottish act of inventing golf, I had shown it to her last night, and she asked if I could get her a copy. After I did that I gave them our boats card and Sharon asked if we could email photos of Lewis (her son) that Nancy had taken. Cameron asked if I could send any photos of Hiva Oa as their camera had broken, so I went back and cut another disc for them. They are running to a tight budget at the moment, Cameron is going to return to Oz to get work, as he says to pay for his life style. That what I have mentioned before the yachties that are out cruising many have no permanent income they get work when and where they can to pay for the repairs, maintenance or the next leg of the trip. Anyway I took that over to them and they were very grateful. They did sail today and I was able to get some more photos of them that I will email to them. After that I returned some ropes to Leigh and had a coffee with him and we then all got ready for our hike.
(Timella crew, Sharon, Cameron and Lewis)

We packed our lunch and drinks (water and fruit juice), and set off. The track was muddy most of the way and slippery but we first reached the creek and then up to some rock carvings. We then doubled back to another turn off for the waterfall and came to a dam where it looks like they draw town water, not a very large one I might add. We went back to the creek crossing and after that took another track walk for a couple of kilometers and found another dead end. So we decided that we could not find the waterfall we would go back to the creek crossing and have a swim there and have lunch. After lunch and a relax we set off to come back on the way we picked giant grapefruit, one very large stalk of bananas that Leigh and I had to carry, lemons and guavas which is like a soft pomegranate. When we got back we were rather bushed, I jumped in the sea to refresh myself followed by a shower and a cup of tea. I was just about flaked on the lounge when the radio sounded, it was Leigh wanting to know if tomorrow was good for the tour and would I organise it, so we got him to take me ashore and phoned up to arrange it. Whilst we were discussing it on the radio another boat an American couple asked if they could do the tour with us, we agreed as this will cut the cost down for us all.

Tonight we are having a quiet night and I would say an early night.

26/08/07 - Hiva Oa – Tiki Tour

Last night was a bit of a shocker weather wise around 2300 hours we had a rain storm hit all the boats in the bay were doing a dance, close to the full moon we had spring tides and a large swell. I got up a number of times to check both anchors and at one time I noticed the whip aerial for the HF radio appeared to be loose where the two sections joined so around midnight I am pulling down the aerial so that I do not lose it over the side. It appears that during the rough seas we experienced the section worked lose and has flogged out the brass thread. So I repaired that this morning and put it back up.

I had time to have my shower and shave and it was time to go ashore for our tour across the other side of the island to see the Tiki, we left just before 1000 hours and we arrived at the village at 1215 hours, the trip was over the mountains through winding roads and dirt track. We did stop along the way to pick and eat fruit, take pictures and look at the scenery. We packed a lunch and had that before going to see the Tiki’s. Many tribes had their Tiki’s in the gone by days but most were destroyed by the missionaries. The main Tiki needed human sacrifice to give him mana, (power). The tribesmen would go hunting for someone from a neighbouring tribe for that sacrifice. The sacrifice was not pleasant, the victim had a large hook through under the jaw and was hung this way still alive then his stomach was cut open and the insides removed. These were the days of cannibalism.

The stone platforms in the photos had bamboo and palm leaf structures over them in their day. The one place was the Tattoo room, there is a dish like stone bowl left front of the picture that with water in it was the mirror, the stone bowl to the right had the ink for the tattoo.
 (Inside the Tiki village)
(This is the only Tiki village remaining, the christian s destroyed all the others) 

(This is where the remains of tribes were buried in the caves in the hill)

Then their is the meeting place where the tribe would discuss whether they go hunting for one of the other tribe or go fishing. If it was decided that they would go and do either, the men would go to the men’s hut, and the women would go to the women’s hut for seven days, then they would go off and do whatever and on their return they would go back to their women.

There is the funeral place where they lie the body of a dead tribes person, they are left there and they would be rubbed in coconut oil until the skin and the flesh was removed from the bones, they would then place the bones in the banyan tree on the hill or inside a cave for the final resting place.
 (This is the bay where the Tiki village is located)

(Many of the islands we have been to have chooks roaming the streets)

Joe our guide then picked a heap of fruit from the trees there for us to bring back, we got back a little bushed and came back on board had a coldie and sat here to type the notes for the blog. I don’t think we will be doing much more tonight.

27/08/07Hiva Oa

Another day that was spent doing a few jobs here and there. Leigh had given me some tips on rigging a preventer that would be kinder on ropes, the ones that I had used previous was total makeshift using the centre cleat as a block that was hard on the ropes. Leigh was able to give me a snatch block and two large single blocks and one small single block. I set up the snatch block on the foot of the mast to be used for the outhaul and both reefing lines. This snatch block can be easily and quickly removed for any other application. I used shock cord (bungee cord), to support the snatch block off the deck so it does not bang on the surface. I then installed a new preventer for the boom, run it to the mast for easy access, I then used a short piece of nylon rope sliced a large eye in one end to secure to the centre cleat and a small eye in the other to attach a single block installed onto the cleat and used shock cord to hang it on the guard rail. In future when I need to use the preventer on the boom I can grab the line from the mast run it through this single block at the centre cleat and back to the cockpit and operate it from one of the winches. This will make life a little easier.

I will be using the other single block in a similar way for the Genoa; this will hold the Genoa out further during tail winds as I did getting here but again will not fray the ropes as it did.

We then started the carting of fresh water which will have to continue tomorrow, the tanks are nearly full just a little way to go. We had to quit and have a bite to eat before climbing the mountain road to the resort to update our blog and Leigh and Jenny needed to check where their paperwork was up to through their emails. They have to use my laptop as Leigh has a desk top on his boat.

We had to be back before 1730 hours as we had been invited to sundowners on an American yacht belonging to Jerry and Sherry. We had an enjoyable time over there, Jerry is a retired doctor, an Urologist and became a Professor and was a lecturer in a university. They are heading to New Zealand for the cyclone season before going to Australia. We may have to do the same. We have studied a few books and there aren’t any real cyclone holes between here and New Zealand. The only hope was to haul out and tie down but Leigh informs us that the only places that does that he has been trying to book since March and he received an email yesterday stating that he was put on a waiting list, however, they make sure that their regular clients have preference. So we may have to fly back to Oz from wherever we get to near the end of October attend the wedding and christening that we are going to and then fly back and do a dash to NZ. Then after cyclone season head north to see some of the places we missed and bring the boat to Oz. Not all confirmed yet but it is one option we are looking at.

28/08/07 Moving from Hiva Oa to Tahuata Island

First thing this morning we started getting ready to move, we started by filling the water tanks from the three buckets of rain water that we collected, and then I went ashore and did the run back and forth filling jerry cans to fill the tanks. Once this was complete we got ready to go into town to do some shopping. We had rather a large shop and the shop owner asked if we had a car, I told him I was going to get a taxi, he then offered to run us back to the dock in his truck. Once back on board we stowed the groceries away had a bite of lunch then we walked up the mountain to the resort to check our emails. Went back on board lifted both anchors and sailed for Baie Hanamoenoa which is a bay on the lee side of Tahuata. It took just over an hour to get there. Once we had anchored a second time, the first we had difficulties, we went over to Leigh’s yacht for dinner, Cameron, Sharon and Lewis were also there and came to dinner. Cameron’s yacht has got flat batteries and there has not been any sun to charge them with the solar panels.

It is a bit calmer in this bay but there are very strong winds so I did get up a few times through the night to check the anchor was holding. The main reason for coming here is to give the boats bottom a bit of a clean before heading south to Tahiti, we will go back to Hiva Oa for one night, check emails update blog, final shop buy some fuel, top up again with water.

The sailing out of Hiva Oa was somewhat rough, we had to sail against the swell that we had experienced on the way in, and then when going between the two islands it was like being in a washing machine; it will be fun sailing back through it when we go back.

29/08/07 - Baie Hanamoenoa, Tahuata Island 

This bay is more comfortable than Hiva Oa although the winds are very strong and test the security of your anchoring, it is a very pretty place nice beach and has some coral for snorkeling and catching fish if you have a spear gun. I have not had the time to investigate these as yet I hope to get there after I have finished the chores.

(Alana Rose, Mi Querida and Timella)

The first thing on the agenda was to clean the cockpit area and the back of the boat and then the boats bottom, the tide was going out and the wind was very strong so I rigged a line from fore to aft and then attached another line with a bowline that I could hang onto in the water and stop myself from being dragged by the wind and tide, this was not so easy on the inside of the hulls but I started at the front and had to work very fast as the tide was carry me from fore to aft. The bottom was not as bad as I thought; it was only around the tops of the rudders that had the barnacles. Once that was done I did some rope work I made up a couple of spare slings for the snatch block and preventer in case we should need them in a hurry, this involved back splicing two eyes in each length of rope. We had lunch and then Nancy went to the beach with Jenny and Sharon, after dropping Nancy at the beach in the dinghy I went over to see how Cameron was going pulling his batteries. He said before he pulled the batteries out is there anyway of testing the starter as he feels there is enough life in the batteries to kick the engine over. I went back to get my multi meter tested the starter and found that the batteries were OK the starter was not. So I helped pull the starter motor, we left Cameron with one bolt to come out and when he got that out he found that the earth strap on the motor was broken through so it is not as bad as it could have been.

(The beautiful beach)

We had invited everyone over for dinner and Nancy had been working most the afternoon in preparing a nice dinner and desert. I picked Cameron, Sharon and Lewis up from their boat as they do not have a dinghy as it was stolen and Leigh and Jenny rowed their dinghy over and we had a very nice dinner a few drinks and a few good laughs. I took them back to their boat and we turned in for a good night sleep.

30/08/07 - Baie Hanamoenoa, Tahuata Island

Today was more of a relax day, checked on “Timella” the starter motor has been repaired and all is well after a couple of other little problems, so Cameron, Sharon and Lewis will be sailing tomorrow for the Cook Islands. I went for a swim and checked and cleaned some of the under water fittings, they had barnacles growing inside of them. We had smoko and Sharon and Jenny came for coffee. When Sharon was going back she stepped in the dinghy and slipped and may have broken her toe, she was in much pain and out of action for the rest of the day.


In the afternoon we went into the beach for a swim came back on board and just relaxed, we took some food over to Leigh’s and had dinner on his yacht. Came home about 2130 hours and went straight to bed. Tomorrow we head back to Hiva Oa, top up with water again do the last of the shopping, check the emails and then decide when and where we go to next. Leigh wants to go to Futa Hiva which would mean beating against the wind and waves, we are not that keen to do that, but will see. We have sent some emails to a couple of places to keep the boat whilst we fly to Oz in October so everything will depend on their answers if we have them tomorrow.

01/09/07 – Back at Hiva Oa

We had an interesting day today with a morning of stuff-ups. With this anchorage I often wake up a number of times during the night and check that stern and main anchor are holding and through the night all appeared well. When I woke up around 0530 hours I looked out the port hole in our cabin and I was looking at the wrong side of the harbour. I shot up on deck to find the neighborouring yacht and ourselves had turned around. I went to the stern anchor rope, I could see the float was still in the same position so I started to pull the anchor rope in and found that the shackle had let go. So in a mad rush to get the stern anchor secure again and still being half asleep I lowered the dinghy into the water got in to unhook  it from the davit and as I unhooked the second fastening a wave rolled in sending the dinghy away from the stern of the boat and with me sitting on the boat side of the davit slammed me into the davit tossing me overboard. Unfortunately as I went backwards into the water my glasses came off I tried to grab them but missed and they went to the bottom. When I got back onboard I grabbed the dinghy anchor attached a plastic bottle to the line and  dropped it over the side where I thought the glasses would be. Fortunately I had brought my old pair of glasses as I always do when I travel anywhere just in case something did happen.

Leigh rowed over to see why the boat was facing the other way and I told him about my mishap, he said he would bring his dive gear over after breakfast and see if he could retrieve my glasses. I said I thought there would be little hope with the surge of the water and the tide flow. But he said we will give it a try.

I then went a retrieved the stern anchor by lifting it by the float line, I was pleased I had put that float on otherwise I would have to dive for that. I connected the rope and reset the stern anchor, I was hoping that when my stern anchor let go that I had not taken the other yachts stern anchor out when we swung around. After checking I could see his stern anchor float right along side the opposite side of his boat so I knew then that I hadn’t. Talking to the owner later he said that he had a sleepless night worried about his stern anchor because it is very small and he was a little shocked when he got up to see that he had dragged his stern anchor.

Leigh came over with his compressor and diving gear a systematically swept the bottom in search of my glasses but after 3 hours we said it was not going to happen. He said that he was disappointed because he hates to fail. I offered him payment for his time he looked at me and said no I am doing this for a mate. He said that I had helped him with the use of the laptop climbing the hill with him and helping with the internet. I told him that I thought with all that he has done for me I think I am well in front. As he would not take payment I invited them to have dinner with us at the resort, it would be a nice way to finish the day. We could give them a ring and ask for them to send the courtesy car and pick us up at 1700 hours, go and have pre-dinner drinks check emails then have dinner. We did this and it was a very enjoyable evening. Leigh kept saying I am sorry I did not get your glasses mate. He said he may try again, I told him not to bother they are long gone. I can survive with the spare pair. I may add I got into trouble from Nancy for not having my glasses secured on my head with the straps that she bought. The bloody things are annoying, but I had better get used to them I think.

We spent the afternoon carting water for Leigh and myself and topped the water tanks up on each yacht, we will top them up again before we leave on Monday or Tuesday. Leigh is going to head for Fatu Hiva an island that is south-east of here, we will head for Tahiti via Tuamotu atolls. We would like to go to Fatu Hiva but neither of us are that keen to beat against the south-east swell and wind to get there. We will meet up with Leigh in Tahiti again hopefully, if not there Raiatea. Leigh is hauling out and flying back to Oz for the cyclone season at Raiatea, We will carry on to Bora Bora and then make up our minds where we will put the boat before we fly home for the wedding. The choice may be a dash to NZ, fly home from there, have a month in Oz and fly back and sail around NZ for the hurricane/cyclone season and head back to the islands of Tonga or Fiji after that season and complete the journey seeing more places on the way. Decisions, decisions. The beauty of it all is that we do not have a time limit other than get out the hurricane/cyclone areas before they become active. I think I like retirement.

03/09/07 - Last night in Hiva Oa

We spent the final day doing last minute shopping for supplies, carting more water, getting the boat ready for another leg of the trip and as you know going up the mountain to the resort to update the blog and to say farewell to the staff who have been very good to us. One of the staff that has been very friendly, Nuccia gave Nancy and Jenny a necklace a couple of days earlier and Nancy reciprocated by giving her a necklace from San Blass, she had a large box of fruit from her garden for us to take with us. We said our goodbyes and went back on board. Leigh asked us over again for dinner for our last night.  We had a fare few laughs and said our goodbyes as Leigh and Jenny was heading to Fatu Hiva and then some of the atolls on the eastern side of Tuamotus, we were heading straight for Rangiroa the western side of the Tuamotus. I said I was sure he would catch us up on the way to Tahiti or Bora Bora. We have become good friends and long term friends I am sure. Leigh is a very nice bloke he is very helpful to anyone that needs a hand. He said he likes helping us because we return the favours where we can but mostly because we are doing what we are doing. We have jumped in feet first and learning on the way and that was the way he started and he had to ask for help then and learn from more experienced sailors so he feels that he is returning the favors that he had received from others at that time.
(Two of the staff with Jenny and Nancy, the young lady on the right is the one that gave Nancy the necklace and the box of fruit from her garden)

Leigh is a big practical joker and gives Jenny his crew a hard time. Jenny early one morning at Tahuata went for a skinny dip, she placed a towel and her cloths by the ladder on the side of the yacht, when she finished her swim the cloths, and the ladder had gone. He takes every opportunity to stir her and Jenny just laughs after going crook at him. Jenny has to find another yacht after Raiatea as Leigh will be hauling his boat out on the hard for the cyclone season and flying back to South Oz. She has told Leigh that she will be available if he wants crew when he returns next year. They are both good people.

Whilst we were having dinner another catamaran arrived and anchored behind us, they were also Aussies, to blokes, had bought the cat in the States, and were taking her home, one being the crew member had to return to Oz next weekend so the skipper/owner was looking for crew. The cat was an Admiral 38, “Blue Nowhere” another South African built boat with the same designers as our “Alana Rose”. We did not get chance to catch up with them before we left because they had headed into town early.

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