Tuesday, July 31, 2007

To the Society Islands

Tuesday 17th July 2007


We set out from our anchorage in Kauehi (Tuomotus) at about 07:30 and had a real breeze going through the pass out between the reefs. Soon, we were headed towards the Fakarava pass and onwards to Tahiti at a good 7 knots on a broad reach.

After about two hours we were joined by two Sei Whales that were a good 50 feet in length. They checked us out at a distance and then closed in to about 20 feet away, one of them actually dived underneath Nadezhda and we looked nervously at each other and held on tight. The whales stayed with us for about 2 hours until we started down the Fakarava Pass, at which point they wandered off to find more interesting things to do. The whales kept us fully entertained and we shot off numerous shots on the camera that simply came out as patches of wave and sea.

The Head of a Sei Whale

Some of the body

I have been practicing my astral navigation with a sextant and taking sun sights to plot our position. I practiced a bit more astro-nav on this passage and seem to be getting the hang of it now that my spreadsheet works and does not make the calculation errors that I do. Today, my calculated position line from 3 sightings was: 5.8, 0.2 and 2.7 miles away from our actual position! When plotting my sightings on a plotting chart using DR and running fixes, I kept us within 6 miles of our actual position even though the log is a bit fast. I also tried star sights for a position fix but waited a bit long for dawn, at which point, the clouds came and the stars that I had picked were difficult to see. Something is wrong with either the stars that I picked or with my star calculations since the result was very spurious - I shall persevere.

Wednesday 18th July

Not much to report today. The wind died at 22:00 and we resorted to the engine to make sure we have an easy landfall tomorrow.

Thursday 19th July 2007


I am celebrating this morning my first passage by astral navigation. Using position lines from sun sights and then plotting running fixes, my Calculated position yesterday afternoon was only 6 miles adrift of the GPS position. In the early hours of this morning, I used the benefit of a running engine to start-up the laptop and enter the Star Sight calculations into my spreadsheet. As dawn broke and the horizon became clear, I picked 5 stars and did two readings on all of them. I must have mis-took one of the stars for something else since the readings were many degrees out but plotted the position lines of the other four from the brought forward DR position. The common area (triangle) where the lines crossed was tiny and I placed my mark and read-off the Lat/Long. The Lat/Long that Fliss recorded from the GPS at the time of reading the sextant was 17 degrees 19.8 South, 149 degrees 08.4 West. My Lat/Long taken from the plotting chart was 17 degrees 19 South, 149 degrees 05 West. About 2-3 miles adrift.

I am going to celebrate tonight and have my plotting chart framed.

Landfall at Tahiti

We entered behind the fringing reef at Papeete and motored around the inside channel to Taina where we met up with Mariah III and Nomad Life before having a nap and chilling out for the evening.

Friday 20th July to Friday 27th July

It's party time central here.... Friday we had drinks with Graham & Judit (Nomad Life), Saturday night drinks here with Nancy, Steve, Lilly and Rob. Sunday we had a BBQ on Graham's boat and Lilly & Rob cooked a Thai curry for us on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, during the day we have been very busy. I went to the chandlery and bought some new filters and then headed to the engineers to get a service done. They informed me that a professional service is not required beyond the second service and that I can do the service myself and still retain the guarantee. So, the next day, I went back to the chandlers and got some more filters and oil and have now done the engine service.

The local floating bar

Failed (Sawn-through) sheave.

I went up the mast and photographed a failed sheave as the rigger had asked me to. I then went back to the riggers and showed him the photos. At this point, he said that he did not have a rivet gun and was much too busy to do anything. Anyway, he was very polite and spent half an hour saying that we could use the spinnaker halyard and its sheave but that we needed a dyneema halyard that would not chew through the sheave. He did not have any dyneema but we managed to find 10mm dyneema at Taina marina and the new halyard is now in place. Taina marina did a nice job of splicing the shackle on the end and everything looks ok now it is all fixed. I noticed that the headsail had a tiny tear where it attached at the top of the furler and have also stitched webbing to each side and so that is also in order.

We went back into Papeete on Friday to check out of French Polynesia. This still allows us to go to the other islands but we have the necessary paperwork in advance. We were thinking of going on Saturday to Moorea but need to check the forecast since other yachties have said there is "weather" expected for the weekend. Unfortunately, the grib subscription ran out and I have not had time to renew. We shall see.

We have not had time to see Tahiti but Papeete is not a great place. There are really only two reasons to come here......Customs and Carrefour. Once you find the time when the customs place is actually open, the paperwork is negligible and the only form with any detail on it was the duty free form that allows tax free re-fuelling. We took advantage of this the other day and filled our empty tank and our two DRY water tanks. We were having to ferry water in jerry cans.
Mariah III have re-installed their gearbox and now have a working engine. They brought back the solar panel and said that they really could not have done without it. We are glad to be of assistance but also glad to have the extra charging power again.

Mariah III


I was a little disappointed in Tahiti as I imagined lovely promenades with a rich and colourful café culture. To find this it is a good 50 minutes run from the anchorage by bus and it comes at a hefty price.

I haven’t bought a souvenir at all! All they sell is expensive nasty Chinese imports of local Tikka’s and coffee mugs at £10.

I need a new bikini as they wear our so quickly here but in Papette the price was £50, the material was thin and on the boat it wouldn’t last 5 minutes. As luck had it Carrefour had a lovely one which was only £9.

Saturday 28th July 2007


We left Tahiti today since the wind did not really materialise into what was predicted. We decided to take the inside channel back to Papeete since other boats were motoring into the swell on the outside of the reef. We thought that this would give a better wind angle to Moorea but found ourselves close hauled with little wind until about half way across when we got onto a dead run. The waves were coming from all directions, steep and breaking and we motor-sailed most of the way just to keep ourselves pointed in the right direction. A real pig of a sail and we were glad when we turned into the pass into Cooks Bay.
Cooks Bay

We spent the night in Cooks Bay in a very quiet anchorage with a full moon.

Sunday 29th July 2007


This morning, I wound-out all our anchor chain since it was getting twisted and getting fouled in the chute to the windlass. I then cleaned it all as I brought it back in and then had to wash the decks down to get the grime and rust off. We just finished these minor jobs when Nomad Life called and said that we should join them near Opunohu Bay just a few miles West where they were going snorkelling with Rays. We upped the anchor and ran by headsail around the reef and are now tucked inside the reef to the West of Opunoha just a few yards from them. There are just three boats here in this tiny patch between the inner and outer reefs.

After half an hour anchor-watch, we took the dinghy West-bound down a tiny channel to the next inlet - racing to catch up with Graham and Judit. The waters here are brilliant bright blue, the reefs are a mottled brown and the hills rise steeply from the shoreline in big folds.

It was quite a long dinghy ride but we eventually came to a shallow sandy area about chest deep just off the main boat channel where you could see the Sting-Rays silhouetted in the water with their tails dragging behind them. We donned our snorkel and fins and went in with them. They were not scared of us at all - in fact people come here to hand-feed them. The reef sharks were also not afraid of us! It gave me the willies when three of them started swimming slowly towards us with those steely expressionless unblinking eyes. However, they swerved effortlessly and glided away. We were accompanied by about 20 Sting-Rays and, once we had seen them enough, we went to the edge of the channel to watch the sharks that tend to prefer the deeper water. They were about four to six feet in length and quite awesome even though I retain a real respect - especially when they come within a few feet of you.

Fliss and Pete with a stingray

A few other small boats and dinghies arrived. This included a chap with a bucket full of chopped fish. The rays swarmed around and were eating from his hand. Of course, the food attracted a host of beautiful coloured fish of the like we have not seen before and the humans, rays and fish were all circled closely by the reef sharks - utterly, utterly magical.
Unfortunately the pictures all look a bit blue since the colour is bleached underwater. I have played a bit to try and get colour back in but have only been half-successful.

All underwater pictures courtesy of Graham on Nomad Life.

The water does eventually start feeling cold and the wind had whipped-up to create a fresh chill and so we eventually retired back to Naz but I think that we will go back tomorrow for another thrilling experience.

Sundowner Time


It was THE most amazing experience ever. When I 1st got in the water Judit said “do you see the shark right behind you” I laughed as all I could hear was Judit laughing nervously.

I was always worried about them but I’m now glad that I have gotten over my fear of reef sharks as it was a truly memorable time.

Pete & I had a very close encounters with the stingrays as they promptly positioned themselves on your chest looking for food, they are so soft to touch and such gentle creatures God knows what Steve Irwin did to provoke the attack that killed him.

We had a 4 foot Barracuda sitting next to the boat one morning and with the water been so clear we could see his long pointed teeth. According to our French neighbour he was friendly but Pete and I decided that we didn’t want to push our luck and we’ll leave Barracudas for another time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tuomotus - The Danger Islands

Monday 9th July 2007


Grib file downloaded and all is looking good so we’re off to the Tuomotus! The forecast is for light winds today and tomorrow but the winds will return on Wednesday, knowing our luck they will be too strong and we won’t be able to visit the Atolls. Pete and I are in total agreement that if the conditions are not near perfect then we will by-pass them and head for Tahiti. They are also known as the Dangerous Islands and many boats have been lost on them.
Our friends Graham & Judy visited Aritika (the atoll we are planning on visiting) and had a bit of a fun time when their anchor chain got wrapped around a coral head it took them a whole dive tank to free the anchor. We have a map that Roy drew us showing exactly where to anchor, which is opposite the village shop.

Anchor up at 08:30am and we motored past our friends to say goodbye. Do-It are also leaving today and will shortly be following us out.

Pete …………

The route out of the anchorage took us directly into the breeze and we got the mainsail up. Having borne-away around the headland, we decided to get the cruising chute up and so all the lines and halyards were made ready and I hoisted in inside its snuffing sock. The top of the sail was twisted and the sock would not rise to let the sail fly and so I let the sail back down and re-arranged. On the second hoist, the snap-shackle that attaches the halyard to the sail caught on the rigging and unsnapped it. The sail fell neatly on my head and the halyard went straight to the top of the mast. So, another trip to the top of the mast for me that had to be done up the front of the mast since we already had the mainsail set. This involved excruciating contortions around radar, radar-reflector and jumper-stays before I eventually reached the loose halyard and retrieved it. Finally, we had the chute up and flying nicely and we whipped along at 7-8 knots. Later, DoIt called us and I mentioned my escapades. They said “Oh, yes. It has happened to us. We are going to make little leather boots for our shackles to stop it happening. We will make extra for you guys”.

The wind eventually died at dusk and we decided to make life easy and charge the batteries so we motored overnight.

Tuesday 10th July 07


At 7am the winds returned so we shook the reefs out of the main and pulled out the jib at the moment we are sailing along at around 5 knots.

Last night I heard a desperate squalk, I think it was a sea bird which was bobbing on the sea and had been grabbed by a shark, my money was on the shark!.

Just heard from Rob & Lilly they are having a nightmare journey due to lack of wind and are being towed at the moment. Over the last 48 hours they have only managed 120 miles. Our heart really does go out to this lovely couple.

Thursday 12th July 2007

We have had a good passage so far with only a little rain and squally weather yesterday evening for a couple of hours. Today is back to bright sunshine and 6+ knots. We listen to DoIT and Promesa on SSB at 8am each morning and measure DoIt at 90 miles behind us - not bad work considering that they left only an hour after us!

We have decided to give Aratika a miss and go to Kauehi instead. The reason for this is the page in Charlies Charts that states that the pass is tricky and has only 2m depth at low water, (Nadezhda draws 2 metres). We would expect to arrive tomorrow morning at low water and - of course - it's Spring tides. Also, Charlie states that the pass should only be attempted by those with previous experience of atoll passes. We would be going in against the sun as well and so we thought it not wise to attempt it this time around.

Kauehi is supposed to be much easier and so we will go there instead. It is also a bit further and so we will not have to wait around so long for slack(ish) water.

Friday 13th July 2007

We have just arrived at Kauehi (15 degrees, 57 South, 145 degrees 10 West).

As dawn broke, the atoll appeared as a line palm trees about 4 miles away. The radar proved invaluable since the response back from the low lying land was a picture that looked exactly like the chart. This was very comforting and allowed us to steer confidently during the night with both vision and range finder.

We planned to get to the pass at about 08:30LT since we think that this is an hour before low water and we wanted to have a little current against us rather than flushing us headlong into the atoll. We hit the time almost exactly after a good 6-7 knot run overnight. We based our tidal calculations on WXTide measurements for Rangiroa (minus 10 minutes) and learned today on SSB that other people are basing their assumptions on somewhere else in the Tuomotus - a name that I keep on missing and would not be able to spell anyway. Brian & Judy on Ursa Minor are in the vicinity - we thought they had already arrived. They are planning on coming through the pass at 11:00 with a little tidal flow with them.

What we actually found was that we arrived when there was a distinct outflow but we decided to have a crack at the entrance anyway. The Northern side of the channel was a boiling mass of white water and the Southern side was calm so we stayed just South of the centreline. The compass was useless as the currents were taking us this way and that and Fliss was reading GPS headings to me as I tried to keep to the 45 degrees (T) line of entry. We made quite slow progress against the 5 knot current until the bottom shelved off to 20 metres again and we were
through our first atoll pass.

We're through!!!

The pass from the safe side!

We have had a very good passage overall with calm seas and a breeze to keep us moving along at a good clip without being too strong. Absolutely wonderful and the first views of the atoll are stunning with lots of marine life around Naz.

We decided to anchor just South of the pass and have a nosy around before making way for the village across the other side later today.

1000 metres to zero - "The Dangerous Islands"

Ursa Minor came through the pass about 2 hours after us and reported only a knot against them and no ruffled water. They stopped by us for a rest and breakfast whilst we went off for a walk on the Motu. The seaward side has shallows extending for about 200 metres and then a vertical drop to 1 kilometre depth. One of the reasons that these are called the dangerous archipelago.

At 12:30 we headed off for the village and went past the entrance channel again in order to pick up the rear transit on the South side of the pass. Ursa Minor upped anchor 10 minutes behind and followed us across. The village on the other side is impossible to spot until really quite close and a few houses on a motu inside the atoll look as if they should be the place to head for. Ursa Minor called up on VHF asking if we knew where we were going and why we were heading on a compass course 10-15 degrees above the one stated in the pilot book. We told them about the rear bearing and also noted that the GPS bearing was dead-on since the current was pushing us NW. We have not told them that we also had the chart plotter on and were simply following the line on the map! I think we might have earned some salty sea-dog navigation points!

The village has not a lot apart from a shop that claimed to be open all hours and was well and truly shut. The surroundings are extremely beautiful with cyan waters bordering the soft white sand on the shore. Above this are the ubiquitous coconut palms and other broad leaved flowering shrubs.

We went to introduce ourselves to "Happy Monster" owned by a Dutch couple (Hans and Dorie) who bought their boat 5 years ago to go cruising - same time as us. They have been popular people in other anchorages and we thought we would say hello. They invited us on board and were very pleasant. Hans pointed-out that these atolls are volcanic cones that are absolutely vertical from the sea-bed 1.5 kilometres below. The thought is quite amazing that we are sitting on the top of one in a boat - and.... there are lots of these mountains in the Tuomotus Archipelago!

Saturday 14th July 2007

We listened to DoIt.... and Promesa on the SSB this morning. Both of them are due to get to the pass at midday and so Promesa have also managed to gain a day on DoIt....'s passage time. Both expressed concern at entering the pass and were comparing notes on the time when they thought low water was. We called Promesa on the VHF and gave them "local knowledge" about the fact that, regardless of how much tide they have behind them, there is a great expanse of 30m depth and nothing to hit on the far side. We also told them that the disturbed water on the inside at 12:30 yesterday was fairly insignificant and that they could probably make it in with no issue until at least 13:30 today.

We are now looking forward to meeting DoIt... and ribbing them gently about their passage time. I will suggest that they have a lever in their bilges that is otherwise known as a hand-brake - they must let it off before setting sail. We will point out that Promesa made time a day faster than them and, once everyone has arrived here at the anchorage, Fliss will be awarding rosettes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. I will receive 1st place from Fliss on behalf of Nadezhda (Aka Na-HUKA-dezhda) and the Booby prize will go to DoIt... in the form of a set of Go-Faster Stripes and a bunch of over-ripe bananas (as donated by Ursa Minor).
We will keep picking the scab of DoIt...'s performance until we are well and truly hated.

The worst part for poor Angus and Ruth on DoIt…. Was that they came through the pass at the same time as Promesa and were then left eating wake as Promesa stormed across the lagoon ahead of them.

We went into town and bought some bread n stuff and Fliss asked the shopkeeper whether she wanted the spare limes that we are unable to deliver (given to us by Roy). We took them over and the shop was closed but another local took us to the shopkeepers house. She invited us in and we spent the afternoon drinking coffee and also fresh coconut milk from coconuts that she had asked a friend to get. With our Sprfranglias, we understand that she is now retired (at 51) and came here from Tahiti with her husband. Her husband owns the local Black Pearl farm and was away on business in Tahiti - she runs the local shop as this appears to be the centre of village life and obviously the local gossip centre and position of authority. They own four houses that they rent in Tahiti, 2 lorries in Tahiti, a large van parked on the drive of their immaculate home and are therefore not short of a penny. It seems that they regularly commute to Tahiti and Raitea (where her family come from) by plane for a modest £165 a throw. The village were throwing a Bastille party in the evening and she told us that all the yachties were invited.

We all congregated at about 18:00 and it was not long before we were invited to join the village at the local school where trestle tables were set-out. 4 large pigs had been smoked and roasted on spits all day and other foods included rice, a pink potato salad, a traditional fish-dish and a can of soft drink. We queued-up canteen style after the women and children had been served and the food was very tasty. Afterwards, plates of cake were passed round the tables. All the time, Nicole, the shopkeeper/matriarch, made sure that we were all ok and sat and chatted with us.

Kauehi Village......

We were told that the dancing would begin after the meal and we made our way to the outside disco. Well, none of the locals appeared to be up for late-night frivolities but our group of yachties sat on a bench and nattered for a couple of hours before slowly trying to negotiate around the coral-heads back to the boats in the dark.
Sunday 15h July 2007

This morning, Brian and Judy (Ursa Minor) came over and we nagged for a while over tea. Brian wanted to pick my brains about his Iridium e-mail that wasn't working and we messed with computers whilst Fliss & Judy went snorkelling on the reef. Brian and I had some luck and managed to get his computer talking to the phone but it now seems that he needs to talk to GMN since the remote computer does not want to talk to him. Fliss came back very enthusiastic about the marine life here and the quality of the coral and so we will go again tomorrow morning.
We keep getting invited to either join people for evening snifters, pot-luck dinghy raft-up or moving to other anchorages here in the atoll. It is making things difficult for us to leave.


We spent a lovely evening with Brian & Judy relaxing and drinking gin & grapefruit juice (with ice!) in the spacious cockpit. Judy was a tax attorney in the British Virgin Islands and Brian I believe a Charter Captain. (Judy is also a qualified Captain) They gave me a huge polished shell to add to my collection, very nice couple and we hope to meet up again with them in Tahiti.

Monday 17th July 2007

Well, we decided that we really did need to move today over to the anchorage near the pass to be ready to catch slack-water at high tide. A real shame as we have had the most memorable time, great company, welcoming friendly islanders and the scenery was mind blowing stuff! It really was the most beautiful place we have seen. The snorkelling was wonderful, tiny electric blue fish, fish the same colour as the water (baby blue) yellow fish with pointy black noses, all of them very delicate and whilst swimming they are all around and not all concerned. The clams imbedded into the coral had colourful purple-latticed lips, amazing!

Brian, Judy, Blanca, Leo, Hans, Dori and Pete and I went for a snorkel before we left at midday, the water was much colder than yesterday so we were only in the water an hour or so.

Nadezhda packed up, we lifted the anchor to find we had lifted a huge lump of coral, had we been sitting on this or had we scooped it up when lifting the anchor?

We arrived at the anchorage around 4pm and we couldn’t see a thing as the sun was too low and it had started to cloud over.

To be honest we should have arrived earlier when the sun was in the right position to see the reefs and coral heads. We weren’t really happy as we didn’t really know what was around us (we had a rough idea as it was close to where we had anchored when we arrived) and the wind was picking up and we were on a lee shore.

Before we left the anchorage we popped over to buy some bread and say goodbye to Nicol. Whilst digging out some frozen loafs she asked if we wanted some fish as a gift. We tried to decline but she was adamant that they were delicious and we should try them, four fishes later and a fond farewell we headed back to Nadezhda. We fried them in garlic, butter and mixed herbs and she was right they were really tasty!.

Nicole nee Hunter.......


Brian & Judy had lent us “Borat the movie” to watch so after we had washed up we settled down and thoroughly enjoyed a politically incorrect film.

Pete wasn’t too happy with where we were so he decided to sleep in the cockpit and I retired into the saloon to keep a listen out for our anchor watch alarm which was at it’s lowest setting.
Knowing Pete as I do once he falls asleep he doesn’t hear a thing so I put myself on anchor watch for the night, I will be very happy when dawn comes and we can head off out through the pass.

Pete and I have had a truly wonderful time and are sad to be leaving but onwards and upwards, Tahiti here we come!.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Marquesas

Thursday 7th June 2007


Pete and I spent the morning putting Nadezhda back to normal, it’s a novelty when you put something down and it doesn’t move.

It has rained quite a lot during the morning but we decided we really had to go see the local police and check in.

It’s a long walk to the village and takes around an hour but the walk is really pleasant, the flowers are really fragrant and exotic and the little colourful birds really are lovely.
The houses are triangles sitting above the ground on legs, the locals really do look after their surroundings as everywhere is really clean and well tended.

The village itself is quite small with just a few shops and just sitting and watching the world go by is fascinating. The Polynesian women have flowers in the hair and the men are stocky and heavily tattooed, even on their faces, my brother Stewart would not looked out of place as he looks Polynesian.

A kiwi guy we met in Galapagos said that looking at the local ladies was like looking at a Paul Gauguin painting, we both nodded knowledgably and ummed and ahhed in the right places. We both thought that Paul Gauguin was an author!.

We were too late for the Police so decided to pick up some provisions. It is very expensive!! £2.50 for 12 eggs! Thank god we have a fully provisioned boat, otherwise it would be rice all the way.

Friday 8th June 2007

When it rains it really rains!!! The great thing about the Marquesas is that if you stick your thumb out you can hitch a ride into town, the locals are happy to stop you just jump into the back of the truck and they drop you in the village and don’t ask for any money. I had terrible blisters on my feet that hitching was a welcome relief.

The Police are really lazy and said come back at 11am, we turned up at 11am and then they said maybe 2pm.

We finally checked in at 2pm, being Brit’s we didn’t have to put a bond down and were automatically given 3 months, the Kiwi’s & Ozzies had to put a $1000 dollars each and only given a month.

Tomorrow we’ll head off for Tahuata only a short hop of 12 miles, my kind of sailing!

Saturday 9th June 2007


We let out more anchor chain at the front and pulled-in on the stern anchor and it eventually let go of the bottom and we got it aboard with half of Hiva Oa attached as black sticky gunk. We then spent about twenty minutes getting the goop out of the anchor mechanism and cleaning the deck (again) before raising the primary anchor and setting off. The sail was only about 10 miles and we unfurled the headsail only and had a pleasant little sail to Hana Moe Noa Bay where there were three other yachts anchored. The bay has a very soft sand beach, rocky headlands and clear water and we took the dinghy to the rocks and went snorkelling in the afternoon. Otherwise, the day was spent drying and stowing the spare headsail, putting sail covers back on and tidying and re-cleaning the decks.

In the evening, the rains came again with a vengeance and I opened the stopper on the water tank and created a dam with a wet towel to re-fill our supplies. We must have almost re-filled them and I am glad that we keep the decks clean for just such occasions.


“Young at Heart” came in (Boyd the skipper fixed the rudder on Cameron’s boat in Panama) and we had a chat and he said “Waves in the Pacific they weren’t waves wait till you head off for New Zealand” the usual horror stories were proffered. Pete and I have decided that next time we will say that we have done the New Zealand run a few times before…. It saves me worrying for the next 5 months.

Sunday 10th June 2007


Chill out day today. We landed the dinghy on the beach and pottered around. Unfortunately, there are no footpaths here and the vegetation is scrubby and thick and so we did not have the opportunity to stretch our legs too much.


The sand is so soft and thick it makes it difficult to walk.

The dinghy is much heavier than the Avon, thank god we didn’t buy the Caribe as we would have really struggled pulling it up the beach. We wandered down the beach & found two green coconuts of which we would take back to the boat. Pete then glanced back & saw the boat being picked up by the waves and washed out to sea. He sprinted down the beach and retrieved it, by the time I gently sauntered back carrying both coconuts he was out of breath, could it be the cigs & rum to blame or the extreme heat and thick sand?.

Monday 11th June 2007


We moved just a couple of miles South into Vaitahu Bay where there is a small village. The only way of getting ashore without getting crunched by breaking swell was via a small concrete dock in the corner of the bay. After a few attempts, we eventually got the hang of mooring the dinghy there. We went back to the boat and got more rope and I then put Fliss ashore before going further out and dropping the dinghy anchor. Fliss then pulled me in using the rope and we tied it to a lamppost. This allowed the dinghy to be held-off the rough concrete and rocks by the anchor at the back – another first for us.

A guy in a Landrover greeted us. They speak French here and my old schoolboy French that I haven't used for 30 years is a bit rusty - I keep saying Spanish words mixed in with English & French - no-one understands me - not even Fliss.

Anyway, he told us that he would get some fruit for us in exchange for music and we agreed to meet him later on after we had a walk around the village. I had told Fliss that the village looked very small on the chart and we would probably not fare well with re-stocking provisions but we found a very well stocked little shop where we got tea-bags, tomatoes and 4 French baguettes.


I picked-up our new friend after lunch and he was armed with a sack-load of fruit. Bananas on
the stalk, papaya, mangoes, limes, vanilla, cured bananas, and other fruits that we don’t even recognise. In return, Fliss copied music onto a handful of CDs for him – he runs the local Disco and was happy to have anything on offer – his own collection seemed to be late seventies and early eighties. We chatted for hours whilst he demolished our rum supplies. Fliss was very impressed with my SprAnglias and we chatted away for hours about.........well, I'm not really sure!

Eventually, I poured him back into the dinghy and hoisted him back ashore where he wandered off to find a comfortable ditch for the night.


A bit of a half story going on here! Our new friend (about 30ish) sat in the cockpit and I offered tea/coffee, Pete being the “Host with the Most” suggested rum, of course the later was the preferred option. I said to Pete “Don’t get him drunk as their not used to drinking alcohol” well, I sat back and watched the two of them get pye-eyed and when the declarations of love arrived I told Pete off to take him back to shore, luckily for Pete there was some locals who helped the poor bugger out of the dinghy.

Pete came back & promptly feel asleep in the cockpit, I had fun dressing him up as Carmen Miranda using the fruit as a headdress, he never woke up and I have the photographic evidence.
The village by the way was stunning everywhere you looked were fruit trees, you had to walk in the middle of the road to avoid being knocked out by a falling mango, tall, peaky, rugged mountains falling in pleats to the sea. Lush vegetation, the flowers are beautiful & the sea is brimming with dolphins, it really is paradise!

Tuesday 12th June 2007

We had agreed to meet our new friend at 6am for a tour of the island, but after last nights shenanigans I thought the chance of him being well enough or remembering where highly unlikely. We kept a watch from the boat and did motor to the shore but he was nowhere to be seen. Poor thing must have been nursing a monumental hangover.

As it was still early we decided to set off for Fatu Hiva (Hanavave Bay). The sail took us along the coast of Tahuatu from our previous anchorage off Vaitahu. We sailed past Hapatani bay and then altered course for our destination just after we went around Cape Te Hope O Te Keho. Get your tongue around that lot! We cleared the Southern point of the island and could clearly see Fatu Hiva 38 miles away, the sea had a long gentle swell on it but otherwise it was calm and we motored all the way - this suited us as we would generally have had to beat against the prevailing wind to get there.

The anchorage at Fatu Hiva is quite small since it is really just a small crevice between towering mountains and jutting rock pinnacles that look like the stone statues of Easter Island. Somewhere just between 50 metres depth and the shore is a band of depth where we can reach the bottom with our anchor and, luckily, a boat had left a bit earlier giving us a space to drop the hook. Palm trees line the shore, jutting out from the large volcanic conglomerate boulders, and the mountains rise steeply, ridge upon ridge enveloped in lush greenery. Beneath the rocky sentinels at the head of the bay lies a small village with a tiny church that we will explore later today and we might even try the mountain track over to main village on the island if we can summon up the energy in the heat.

Wednesday 13th June to Sunday 17th June 2007

Rather than give a day-by-day account of what we got up to in Fatu Hiva we thought we would give you the highlights!

It was without a doubt a stunning island and the sailors that broke the rules and made it their 1st landfall must have thought they had arrived in paradise! Pete and I being British had played by the rules and had already checked in at Hiva Oa. Every boat that came in had the standard goose barnacles beard on the stern (amazing how these things manage to establish themselves!) and a filthy water line. The two questions you are asked when meeting up with new arrivals is 1: How long did it take you? 2: Did you break anything?

Our friends Rob & Lilly on Mariah III arrived in Fatu Hiva a day after us and had had a nightmare trip. The unlucky couple lost their Wind Vane rudder and had no idea how come, they burnt out their autopilot and then had to hand steer for 1500 miles which resulted in a ripped main sail after Rob fell sleep three times on watch and crash jibed it. The walk through the village was beautiful and wouldn’t have been out of place in a Disney movie. The village was very small and was split in two by a river. Little wooden shacks (houses) surrounded by colourful and fragrant flowers. Chickens just roam free.

The locals use skinny dogs to catch wild pigs and you could see the domesticated pigs tethered to posts with a length of line allowing them to walk from one side of the garden to the other.
One little local boy had a pet rooster and we couldn’t help but laugh watching him walking down the road with the rooster either under his arm or on a leash beside him, so funny!
One day we went for a long walk to a waterfall with Rob & Lily from "Mariah III"
The distance to the waterfall was not far but we covered half of the island trying to find it. It was a lovely setting but we seemed to arrive when everyone else in the anchorage (and their kids) also arrived. It was the only decent days weather that we have had since we arrived and so I think everyone else must have had the same idea and taken the opportunity to stretch their legs.

We all donned our swimming costumes and swam in the plunge pool, surprisingly it wasn’t that cold.

As the sun sets in the anchorage it lights up the stone rocks all around us, these rocks could have been carved by hand as they really did have faces.

According to Rob & Lilly’s guide book the bay was originally called the Bay Of Penises but the missionaries felt that it was un-god like so they changed it to the Bay of Virgins by an addition of an I in the word…. Looking at the rocks around the anchorage Pete and I both felt that the former would have been more accurate.

The locals like to trade rather than take money, and the main things they are after is perfume & rum.

We found a chap that sold bread and for three French baguettes he wanted perfume. This was to prove interesting as I don’t have much perfume, only a small amount of Chanel No5 bath oil and a virtually new glass container of Chanel No5 body crème. There was no way that I was trading a new container of perfume for three sticks of bread (I think Pete thought I was mean) so I suggested to Pete that he offered the guy one of his bottles of rum, Pete wasn’t willing to part with his bounty… anyway to cut a long story short we offered him the bath oil and a beaded necklace for his wife as a gift and he was more than happy.

Another wonderful experience we had was when the village threw a father’s day party. The word was that everyone was welcome and there would food & drink for all.
The party kicked off at 09:30am with the local school children performing a traditional Polynesian dance, they were delightful to watch! The little girls with flowers in their hair and garlands around their necks wiggling their hips and arms in time to the music, the boys dancing was in the same vain as the Haka. It was magical!And the best bit was that it wasn’t for our benefit we just happened to be there at the right time.

The buffet was mainly cakes and soft drinks but as the minutes ticked by the hard stuff came out, wine, beer & rum for the adults. The local men took full advantage of the booze and were soon falling all over the place. Dutch courage soon prevailed making Lilly are I dance partners for them.

Lilly is a French Canadian (and therefore speaks fluent French) and told us that a local lady had said that the local artisan’s contribute 10% of their earnings which they put in a fund so that they can throw a party for the village. This year they had enough money two throw a Mothers day party and a Fathers day party but it would be unlikely to happen next year. Usually it’s only 1 party a year, see how privileged we have been.

One slight problem in the village is that they marry their cousins and you can see some in-breeding in the children, Lilly’s friend had refused to marry her cousin and fled to another island in search of a husband.

So far all we have said is how amazing Fatu Hiva is - well it does have some negatives.
The anchorage as already said is in the middle of a deep valley with tall rocks and cliffs around you, this causes violent gusts that has Nadezhda veering hard over and pulling at her anchor, it is very un-nerving and makes leaving the boat a stressful decision. Leo and Blanca on “Promesca” later told us that they had recorded 37 knots of wind one evening.
When it rains it pours! Probably out of the 5 days we were there it rained for 4 of them for around 65% of the day.

When trying to find a spot to put the anchor down the depths go from 50 metres down to 10 within only a couple of yards, this means that all boats try to anchor as close in as possible, given the violent gusts it really adds to the stress factor.

One night, we got up to the sound of anchor chain from a catamaran in front of us. This was followed by shouting and the catamaran was weaving in and out of two French boats adjacent to us. He must have dragged and had some difficulty controlling his boat in the gusts, being in a deep crevice with vertical cliffs they must have been very concerned since the rocks could not be seen in the dark. It kept us entertained at 04:00 for nearly an hour. The gossip was that a boat had been hit and it was us but I think it was one of the French boats as one of them upped and left early in the morning.

The rainy days were not all bad. We had washed and scrubbed the decks and then dammed-up the gunnels so that the fresh water ran into our open water-fillers. It was not long before I found water in the bilges as our tanks overflowed via the breather pipes. We have now stopped rationing our showers. Also, we took the opportunity to start renovating the kitchen area and we had a reasonable portion sanded and started varnishing. We shall eventually get the whole lot done piece-by-piece but it is very difficult to live around wet varnish since it is the most used (and most tatty) part of the interior.

Monday 18th June 2007

We set off for Hiva Oa at 06:00 this morning and poked our nose out from behind the island to find a large squall. We had expected more wind outside the lee of the island and already had 2 reefs in the mainsail and so it was not too bad on a close reach. After an hour, we decided that the swell was too big and too Easterly to chance the anchorage in NE Hiva Oa and, if this was the case, we would be too close to darkness to have much other option (the pilot book warns of Easterly swells making the anchorage impossible). We therefore headed back to Tahuata.
As we rounded the bottom of Tahuata and headed for the anchorage there, we were hit by ferocious wind acceleration that had us doing over 8 knots with just the double-reefed mainsail. The wind veered by almost 90 degrees and, luckily, we had our jibe preventer on as the wind caught around the back of the sail. Since the wind was now heading us towards the cliffs, we started the engine and did a "Chicken-jibe" by using the motor to tack.

After anchoring at Baia Hanatefau, we got the headsail down and flipped the port-side sheet end-to-end since we have chafe from the spinnaker pole end near the clew-knot. Also, the port-side winch could not wait until NZ for servicing and so we had that out on the cockpit floor in pieces. The ratchets (pawls) were showing signs of seizure but a bit of cleaning and oiling has sorted that problem out.

Tuesday 19th June 2007

We went into the local village for bread and eggs in the morning. All the villages we have seen have been beautifully kept with obvious pride and no signs of litter or other rubbish. The tiny church was built of rocks from the shoreline and had a tin roof but its simplicity added to its charm.

We decided that, since there were obvious wind acceleration points around the islands, we would head for the NW point of Hiva Oa and anchor there for a night before heading towards Oa Pou. The alternative was to leave Baia Hanatefau in the dark and we did not like the idea of squally winds coming from all directions at night. We were right. We unrolled less than half the headsail out and the gusts were running us along heeled hard over at over 7 knots. As we rounded the tip of Hiva Oa, the wind and waves headed us and we motored hard into them but only managing about 2 knots against the elements. We were worried about the amount of shelter in the anchorage but need not have been alarmed since Baia Hanamenu was relatively calm.

Thursday 21st June 2007

After a quite night we upped anchor at midnight for our 70mile crossing to Oa Pou, no wind at all as we headed out of the bay.

Not sure what happened but Charlie’s wiring came out of the socket so Pete went down below to fix it and I helmed Nadezhda out of the anchorage.

Cliffs loomed all around us and it was pitch black. I was told to hold a course of 340 degrees to keep us of the rocks. With the cabin lights on my night vision was effected but I concentrated on the Autopilots compass which was lit up, Pete in his infinite wisdom then turned the compass off, luckily we were well clear of land!.

Luckily he managed to fix Charlie as the thought of hand steering to Oa Pou in light winds didn’t appeal.

During the early hours I spotted a dark bank of clouds heading our way! Great just what you want at 4am, squalls!.

First came the torrential downpour and then came the wind, in it’s self it’s no great problem but we were starting to close in on land.

As we approached our intended anchorage another squall came through and the visibility was really poor so we decided to carry on until the weather cleared and the seas calmed down.
Once the weather had clamed down again we decided to go slightly closer to check out the anchorage. It was packed! new arrivals had been forced to anchor outside of the breakwater and they were pitching and rolling like mad, we really didn’t fancy this so we carried on for another 5 miles to Bahia Hakahetua, the pilot book said that it had excellent shelter in all conditions and good holding.

It was certainly the right call as the anchorage was absolutely stunning! There are five basaltic lava volcano cores rising like vertical columns to thousands of feet surrounding what I would expect to be the old caldera of the volcano. Really spectacular and we hope to get out on our pins and see if we cannot reach the base of one of them. The people in the anchorage are very friendly, we met a yankie trio yesterday and a brit couple this morning and they have agreed to change some money (Local Francs for Dollars) and have lent us "Charlies Charts" that has a good write-up of the Tuamoutus. We will probably stay here for a few more days and see how far we get on foot.

Local Waterfall
Sunday 24th June 2007


The Islanders are very friendly here and we do not know how they make their living. Some
people do carving of wood and stone but there is no real tourist industry here so I assume that they sell their goods in Tahiti. The largest export is the Noni Fruit which is pretty inedible on its own but is known locally for its healing properties. With the expansion of the alternative medicine market, the Americans have got the monopoly on the fruit and import it by the sack-load. Also, exports include copra (Dried Coconut) and other tropical fruits. However, when you see the supply ships coming and delivering loads of goodies, tools, foods, fuel, vehicles etc in return for a few small bags of fruit you realise that there is some form of trade imbalance here.

The locals all live in nice houses, run shiny 4-wheel drive pick-ups and pay the same extortionate prices for food that we also have to pay. I think that the whole thing is subsidised by thee and me via taxes through the EU.

We had a lazy day yesterday after the fellow yachties deserted us in search of the Tuomotus and we were left on our lonesome. We took the dinghy ashore but the local kids started playing with it (it was Saturday) and we decided that they would not listen to us even if we could speak French and so retreated back to the boat where we did some snorkelling and I did a bit if outdoor varnishing.


It really is stunning and to the left of us are small caves that you can snorkel into, the water is aqua marine and the sun is shining it really is paradise.

Pete and I did snorkel but when a local out rigger came passed and said something to us and we got nervous, were they warning us about sharks???? The fish were beautiful but enough said, we got out of water and back to the boat. To be honest I really don’t think we had anything to worry about but Charlies charts do warn of sharks in the area.

We had a lovely surprise as our mates Graham and Judy from “Nomad life” sailed into the anchorage, so we spent the evening having a BBQ onboard their boat, luckily I still had pork chops from Panama and Pete made a coleslaw, great evening!

Monday 25th June 2007

Today we had to say goodbye to Graham & Judy as we are heading for Nuka Hiva, it’s only a short hop of 26 miles.

Their plan is to head off for the Tuomotus - looking at the GRIB files they have the perfect weather window. The winds are a good force 4 and dying off by Thursday, if the GRIB files are correct they will have a good sail down and the wind will die just as they arrive, perfect.
A bit of a shame we couldn’t leave with them but we really wanted to see Nuka Hiva and we have hardly any cooking gas left, it certainly wouldn’t last till Tahiti.

Pete and I still have to pinch ourselves when we look at our next destinations and still marvel at where we are in the world! Tuomotus, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, etc it still seems surreal and amazing to us.

So at 09:00am we upped anchor. The Gendarmes came over in a small launch and asked us where we were going, Nuka Hiva we replied , “no problem” the official said & then headed towards Graham & Judy.

I think we messed up their exit plan as they weren’t going to check out, we motored past and told them the weather and wished them a safe passage, with the official onboard they then had to come clean.

Another English boat called “Do-it” left the anchorage about an hour before us and we heard them being called up on the VHF. “Do It, Do It what is your destination” (said in a personality-less French accent) Ruth onboard responded “The station calling Do It our destination is Nuka Hiva” the response was “Ok, Bye”…. It was so funny! We can only assume that it was the Gendarmes checking up on them, well I think you know what’s coming!!!! Thirty minutes later Pete called them up in a bland personality-less French accent copied the original call, they must have wondered what was going on. Pete and I being mature grown ups fell about in laughter and re-lived the call for the rest of the day, you might have had to be there to appreciate it but we recounted the story to our mates Rob & Lilly and they also thought it was hilarious, too long at sea maybe?

We had a stonking sail with 2 reefs, the staysail and half the jib at about 8 knots and pulled-up into Taiohai bay inches behind our "competitors". We could have unrolled a bit more headsail and completely trounced them but being good sportsman we didn’t want to totally humiliate them.

The anchorage is quite busy and some yachts have put out stern anchors this makes it difficult trying to find a spot as some boats will swing to the wind and others won’t.
We found a spot far enough away from a passenger ferry and settled down for the night.
Taiohae Bay is attractive and surrounded by tall mountains you can see waterfalls between the mountain ridges. It has a small township where you can buy the basics. It’s a nice place but nothing special.

Charlies Charts states that this bay has dangerous sharks (white sharks & tiger sharks) so we won’t be taking a dip here.

Tuesday 26th June 2007

Happy Birthday Stewart!

We spent today handing-in washing and gas bottles to the Yacht Services place here by the dinghy dock and going for a walk along the bay. The afternoon consisted of taking the outboard apart and putting it back together to encourage it to start and then cleaning the green off the topsides again (The grime is very difficult to budge). At about 15:00, we had to move since we were getting too close and personal with an inter-island passenger ferry. We seem to be nicely settled here now but half the boats have stern anchors and so working-out swinging room is interesting. They have put out stern anchors to hold themselves into the swell - we will put up with the rolling since a stern anchor has the possibility of catching on the Aries windvane and damaging it.

Taiohai Waterfront
At 16:30, the word was out that everyone was meeting at the far end of the bay for Happy Hour. We went along with a chap whose name we have both forgotten (on "Minerva") and I would imagine that everyone in the bay was present. We were greeted by "Hello Nadezhda" from Brian and Judy from "Ursa Minor" who we last met in Panama and we met a lot of new faces too - about 50 people turned up in all.

We left them all to it quite early since we could not afford the food there and retreated back to Chez Naz for Burger, Egg and Chips.

Friday 29th June 2007


Apparently there is a festival taking place today to celebrate “Half way to liberation day” so Pete and I were in two minds whether or not to leave. The decision was quickly reached when we awoke to Country & Western music being blared out from the shore.
We upped our anchor at 09:30am and bid farewell to our chums Rob & Lilly.
There’s a party onboard a Canadian boat to celebrate Canada Day on Sunday so we we’ll attempt to get back.

Our plan is to head for Anaho Bay on the North Eastern tip of Nuka Hiva just a small sail of 20 miles.

We really are pioneers, as a lot of yachties won’t head this way as you have head winds but being British we’re used to close-hauled sailing so 20 miles is no great shake.
It really is magical here! As we motored out of the anchorage hundreds of dolphins followed us out, I saw one baby one swimming so close to its mother she must have been teaching the infant how to play with the boats wake. The dolphins kept lifting their heads out of the water and slapping back into the waves, we have never seen them do this before and wondered what they were up to.

It was a long slow slog but eventually we arrived at Baia Anaho.

Very eerie coastline! vertical peaks shrouded in dark thunderous clouds, it was quite difficult to find the entrance to the bay.

It really was worth the beat up here!

The bay is gorgeous! White sandy beaches, coconut trees and coral reefs very close to the shore.

As we arrived we saw four other yachts and Pete had to weave his way through them (missing the reefs) to find a spot.

The bay is totally sheltered by the tall mountains and really is lovely to look at.

Saturday 30th June 2007

Three of the boats left this morning and, as we were making our way to shore, we stopped to say goodbye to an American boat that was preparing to leave, they had to leave for the Tuomotus as they had friends flying in.

So at the moment it’s just us and a naked French man on the boat behind us.
The beaches are a pleasure and a pain as they have nasty biting sand flies. We bought some oil that the locals use and smothered ourselves from head to foot, we’ll find out later if it works!
Whilst we walked along the rocks Pete spotted a fin in the water we think it was the resident reef shark (the lady on the American boat swam with one that was 4 foot) rumour has it that they are friendly and only mildly curious and if they get to close just clap your hands and they’ll move away.

We thought we would go for a snorkel later but eventually decided that swimming with sharks was dodgy. Most people do not seem to mind – we must get over our phobias!

Sunday 1st July 2007


The day was spent lazing and I started the job of scraping back the blisters of varnish on the cap-rails, sanding down and re-varnishing.

I did a rigging check and found that the sheave for the headsail halyard is almost worn through again and I need a replacement. This will have to wait until Papeete where I hope to buy a slack handful with a rivet gun so I can make the replacements when necessary.


I had an un-nerving experience, our French yachtie neighbour just turned up to invite us to a local lunch tomorrow, usually he's naked on deck but to visit us he was wearing a pair of pants, I have no idea what was going on inside them but the elastic was having a hard time. Nightmares are made of this type of thing.

I got eaten alive by biting things last night and I must have 41 bites that itch like mad.

Monday 2nd July 2007


We decided against lunch as we couldn’t bear the thought of sitting in a shack being bitten by sand flies, a real shame.


We decided to head back to Taiohai Bay today. The wind was very light to begin with and we had to motor-sail for the first couple of hours. Eventually, we had a really good broad reach back after we rounded the South Eastern tip of Huku Hiva.

Tuesday 3rd July 2007

Mariah III (Rob & Lily) had their engine seize on them yesterday. I had a look and the thing is jammed rock-solid. Apparently it made a short squealing noise before dying. A couple of other mechanical minded people have scratched their heads over it and pronounced it dead. I think they plan to sail to Papeete and get it looked at there and we have offered them our flexible solar panel to help keep their batteries charged on the trip.


Rob & Lilly have really been in the wars! They capsized their dinghy and landed on sea urchins which left them with nasty bruises, rashes and spikes in their legs, Lilly has a nasty fungal skin infection so she has itchy raised blotches and to cap it all 8 cans of beer exploded in the front cabin leaving a horrible soggy mess, they have decided it is time to leave before anything else happens.

We spent the day doing small jobs and provisioning in readiness for our trip to the Tuomotus and then went off to Happy Hour where we met up with a solo sailor called Roy. He eventually asked if we would like to stop over on his boat for dinner and, of course, we excepted,.
He was a university post-grad research professor until the government upset funding and he and others decided to quit. The others found work overseas and he cashed-in his pension fund and went to work with steel and cement and built his boat. He set sail in 1978 and has been sailing since. He showed us video footage of Aratika (in the Tuomotus) and it looks lovely. His boat has very little in terms of luxury, no fridge and nothing in the way of electronics except that he does have a gps jury-rigged inside. His chart table is a large unit with 4 deep drawers all bursting with charts. It is unusual being in a boat that has no bulkheads and the effect is an open and airy feel. He keeps himself going by making jewellery and artefacts and sells "Authentic" Marquesian artefacts through the shops here and in Tahiti. He also picks up goods where they are cheap and flogs them to locals where the prices are high. He cooked us dinner which was a sort of gruel (pots, onions & meat) and plied us with red wine.... he was good fun!

Wednesday 4th July 2007

Happy Birthday Fliss!!!!!


Lilly bless her soul, made me a birthday cake with candles and she had to make the cake by candle light since the battery's are low and they couldn't have lights on.... we've lent them our flexible solar panel which will really help with keeping the batteries charged up... we'll get it back in Tahiti.


Mariah got a tow out of the anchorage today from a German couple (and two young children). They really needed the tow since the bay is long, narrow and steep sided and the winds blow from every which way.

The Germans are also really sweet, they have offered to sail alongside Mariah all the way to Tahiti and then tow them into Papeete when they get there. The real problem is that there is no wind forecast and they are looking at a painfully slow passage.

I started cooking Fliss’ birthday meal of Steak & Chips but Roy turned-up so we went to a local restaurant instead where we met up with a posse of other cruisers. We both decided on steak and chips and the extortionately-priced meal was cold and chewy. However, the ambiance and the company more than made up for it and a good time was had by all.


I really did have a lovely day as Ursa Minor gave me a fake Polynesian tattoo, Roy gave me a rare polished shell and Maestro (we racked up with them in the Panama Canal) gave me a box of sweets.

It was a fun evening and Roy came back for a nightcap, knowing that we were heading off in the morning I left Pete and Roy to it.

Thursday 5th July 2007

Off to the Tuomotus!!

We packed the boat up and stowed the dinghy bright and early and prepared Naz for Ocean passage. We then downloaded another weather forecast and it showed that there was not a breath of wind and there would be none for the next few days so we simply motored around to "Daniels Bay" (about 5 miles West), dropped the hook, pumped up the dinghy and had a nosy round. I re-sanded the cap-rails ready for the last couple of coats of varnish.

"Promesca" and "DoIt" are here and we all congregated on "Promesca" in the evening for drinks and titbits - very pleasant.


Blanca was a fabulous hostess, she prepared green banana’s deep fried in batter with a typical Colombian salsa (onion, peppers, garlic & chilli sauce) bearing in mind it’s 35 degrees she must have been sweltering in the galley. Lovely cold vodka & tonic (with ice!) olives, peanuts & gherkins it really was a spread. Conversation just flowed and a great time was had by all.

Friday 6th July 2007

After varnishing the cap rails, we set off to shore and a walk to the local waterfall.
The walk was wonderful and not too steep. It was cloudy and that was good since it was not too hot. The scenery was akin to Dominica but the valley sides here rise vertically over a thousand feet in vertical bluffs like an open curtain. Half way up the path, you can see the waterfall coming straight from the top of the cliff. It is the highest in the Pacific Area - not sure how it rates in worlds highest. When we approached, the valley turned into a narrow gorge with the sides blotting out any sun that may have shone.
Unfortunately, the main waterfall was not visible from the bottom since we were blocked by a smaller waterfall (about 100-200 feet high) and the main one was around the corner of a sharp turn in the rocky crevice. At the bottom of the smaller waterfall was a murky plunge pool in which were huge 4 foot long eels that would have you arm for breakfast and so we did not swim. Fliss stood ankle deep in the water and one of these came right up to the waters edge - she soon stepped out again! We threw pebbles in the water and it came closer to take a look - apparently, the few tourists who make it here have been known to feed it bread.


It was huge! I walked into the water and turned around to say something to Pete and when I turned back around it had slinked out from the milky depths towards me, I stepped back quickly!

Not sure if we have mentioned in the past but every island is immaculacy kept, here the islanders have beautifully manicured gardens and with the tall cliffs encompassing them it really is a sight to behold, stunning. Everywhere you look are mango’s, grapefruits, limes and banana’s.

In order to prepare for the walk we had to protect ourselves from the no-no’s (nasty biting sand flies which cause red welts which last for a long time). Trousers, long shirts, local no-no repellent (consistency of cooking oil) and mozzie repellent. Luckily for us it was only 30 degrees otherwise we would have suffered on the walk from heat stroke.


Also, I have noted that the islanders drive glossy 4x4’s. The village had a single rough track running from the beach for about half a mile until it petered-out into the footpath to the waterfall. This was the only road and yet the village sported 4 off-road vehicles. There is no way by vehicle out of the village – why the need for cars????

Sunday 8th July 2007


Apart from collecting water today from the shore we just relaxed and had home-made lemonade onboard “Promesa” with the Angus and Ruth from “Do-It”.

Looking at the GRIB files it looks like the winds are returning so we are planning on leaving tomorrow for either Oa Pou or the Tuomotus.
Daniels Bay