Sunday January 10, we departed Nuku Hiva this morning, went 25 miles south to the island of Ua Pou. This island is the most populated and has the highest mountains in all of the Marquesas. We are anchored by the town of Hakahau. There are three other boats here.
Monday January 11, *Sourdough Notes* baked a Belle loaf this morning, no banana bread, they are all still green.
In the afternoon we walked around the town here, had lunch at a small outdoor seating restaurant, later had pizza for dinner at the other restaurant in town.
Tuesday January 12, went in town early today to go the bakery for breakfast. Walked around some more.
A supply ship arrived today, took all day to unload. A tank truck came by several times to to filled up, a new car came off, bicycles too. Many people arrived today with their own pickup trucks taking boxes and crates from dock.
For dinner I sautéed zucchini with a green pepper, half a red onion, scallions, some chopped cabbage in Wegmans basting oil. Tossed in rice, topped off with diced fresh tomatoes.
Wednesday January 6, What a day for the history books!
We returned to Taiohae Bay this morning. Went ashore had lunch with John and Bev on s/v Dandelion, our new friends who are from South Africa. They gave us good Atlantic Ocean crossing advice, hopefully places will be open a year from now.
The afternoon was spent updating the blog with slow internet. Also stopped at the farmers market to pick up a few vegetables.
Thursday January 7, our friend John, who dives, replaced the zincs on the bottom of our boat this morning.
Boat inside cleaning day, as well as updating the canned food inventory.
Friday January 8, we provisioned a little today mostly produce, found a canned ham to try, and bottled water.
Heading out to dinner tonight with friends, going to the local food truck. Also known as the take out. All the food is served in plastic to go containers.
Saturday January 9, we are preparing to leave Nuku Hiva tomorrow, going to the island Ua-Pou. We went ashore this afternoon to update our maps, stronger internet.
Saturday December 26, first stop the fuel dock to fill up with duty free diesel. This was an interesting process. You back the boat up to this cement wall, drop an anchor, throw two stern lines to attendant who ties them off on the same cleat, keep the engine running. We throw him a third line he attaches the fuel nozzle to, we bring it aboard to fill the tank. Using a small wet bag with a credit card inside, tied to a rope, we pass that over to pay for the diesel.
The first anchorage, Hooumi Bay, it’s a finger off of Controller Bay. There are three other boats anchored here. We did not go ashore here, on our land tour we stopped here.
Sunday December 27, *Sourdough Notes* mixed the dough for overnight Belle. This is another method where you mix the ingredients, put in fridge to slowly bulk ferment. My dough has been very billowy lately, possibly from the warm temperatures, maybe this method will be better here. I may be able to bake it this evening. Also baked banana bread in the morning.
Dan replaced the the outhaul again as it continued to chafe. He did find the source and fixed that too. Also switched the outhaul sheet with the staysail boom line. Then checked the rig tension, making a few minor adjustments.
Monday December 28, anchor up by 8am. It was a pleasant sail with 15knots of wind, speed over ground 5.4.
We anchored in Anaho Bay, today there are 19 other sailboats here. There is a small village, one restaurant, no stores. There is a hostel…
Washed laundry in the sink.
Tuesday December 29, this morning we’re giving the halyards a 15000 mile check up. Dropped the Genoa, sure enough there was a little bit of chafing. Dan cut the end off and retied it. He also checked the forestay tension. We’ll raise it back up when the wind calms. The Staysail halyard looked good, a little chafing on the sheet, which was cut off, shortening the line. Still need to check the Main halyard, and Cody, when the wind is less.
After lunch we took a walk to find the farm. It was 3.5 miles round trip, along the beach, over hills, grass, sand, rocks and dirt, we had flip flops on, not a good choice. At the farm we purchased tomatoes, limes, cucumbers and a watermelon. The farm is 10 acres.
Wednesday December 30, late morning we set off on another hike. This time up and over the mountain, about 1000ft elevation, 6.6 miles round trip, on a winding dirt covered path. On the other side is Hatiheau. We had lunch, then walked back over the hill.
Thursday December 31, New Years Eve. *Sourdough Notes* baked a Belle loaf this morning. I wasn’t pleased with the previous method I tried, so this time I put the dough in the fridge during the first hour of bulk fermentation to slow the process down. This worked very well. Also baked a banana bread.
Codey was dropped, then raised, to check the halyard, all is good.
We designed and made halyard bags. It helps prevent sun deterioration and keeps them organized, at the mast. I used old North Sails sail bags, and vinyl mesh for air and water drainage on the bottom.
Dinner was at Louise. A small beach front restaurant with 7 tables, outdoor seating. There was no menu, they just brought food to your table. There were three different plates. One was egg salad on French bread garnished with tomato or dill pickles, a quiche like, and pizza like squares on another plate, the third was kabobs of marinated grilled yellowtail tuna with onion and pineapple. So good!
Friday January 1, 2021 New Years Day!
Completed sewing projects today.
First was a bag with Velcro, attached to the boat in he cockpit, kind of a catch all bag, with a vinyl mesh bottom for drainage. The second, Dan wanted this piece of fabric to go across the back near the helmsman seat, to direct water from waves to bypass going into the cockpit and getting the helmsman seat wet.
We are left Anaho Bay by 11:00am going to another anchorage, Hakaehu Bay, working our way around the island. We are the only boat here.
Saturday January 2, we left our cozy anchorage in the morning, traveling about 2 hours to Haaopu Bay. Again we are the only boat in the anchorage.
Dan worked on the water maker most of the day. We had previously purchased chemicals to clean the membrane, it was a several hour process, ready to make more water.
Sunday January 3, we decided not to go ashore as the waves are a bit rough, didn’t want to beat ourselves up trying.
Departed Haaopu Bay for Baie Marquisienne, we decided not to stop as it was pretty wavy in there. Going to Daniel’s Bay, Baie De Taioa. Known to many cruisers as Daniel’s Bay from a local man who used to greet yachts and offer some services. Daniel passed away a few years ago. Dropped anchor around 2pm. Nice quiet, calm anchorage, there is one other boat here. The village is Hakaui.
Monday January 4, We hiked 6.6 miles round trip, took us more than 4 hours, over a very rocky, slightly hilly trail to find the waterfalls. I wore long sleeve shirt and tights, as the last hike we did in the woods I got bit a lot, even with bug repellent on. Along the trail there were 2 streams to cross, 1 had rocks to walk on, the water was about 2 ft deep in the middle. We used walking sticks to balance. The biggest creek, to cross, you walk across a tree that had fallen, holding on to another branch, there was quite a current in the water, it was about 4ft deep. You could of course just walk through the water. There are vertical walls of rock that rise to nearly 800 meters along the path. Vaipo Waterfalls, the highest in French Polynesia, it is 350 meters high that plummets into a natural swimming pool. The waterfall was just a trickle, it’s been pretty dry here.
On our way back an elderly couple who didn’t speak English, wanted to sell us fruit, we stopped sat on their patio for awhile as they they listen to music on the radio, Hotel California (in English) was playing. We gave them money for bananas, even though they didn’t want to be paid. A little ways down we had lunch at Teiki Et Koa. The menu of the day was grilled beef, bread fruit, and a fruit salad of shredded mango, papaya and pineapple. Also a pure juice drink of orange, mango, pineapple, star fruit and maybe more. We also purchased a pineapple from her. It was an exhausting day!
Tuesday January 5, *Sourdough Notes* baking a Belle loaf, as well as a banana bread.
In the afternoon, we went ashore to the beach.
Tomorrow, returning to Taiohae Bay to complete trip around the island.
Wednesday December 23, we took an all day guided tour around the eastern and northern parts of the island. Richard was our guide. The island is very mountainous. The roads are narrow with several 180degree switchbacks.
Both churches we visited were being decorated for Christmas. People were busy creating nativity scenes using fresh greenery’s.
Monday December 21, I was finally able to upload two blog post! The WiFi here is quite slow. Afterwards we stopped by the local farmers market, purchased some fruits and vegetables.
More laundry washed in the sink, there are limited places to hang clothes inside. We don’t want to hang our laundry from the lifelines.
Dan changed the oil in boat engine then we dropped off the used oil at the recycling center.
Tuesday December 22, this morning at anchor, we see this Island Packet 380 coming towards us. It was s/v Fleur. He dropped anchor next to us, (that’s what Island Packet owners do) Nick from the UK, we met him at Shelter Bay Marina in Panama. Dan had helped him install new solar panels on his boat there. Fleur transited the canal a week before we did. He’s been sailing solo around the islands of French Polynesia for the past year. Nick mentioned his birthday is this weekend, he’ll be 70 years young.
This afternoon we drove the dinghy to the other side of the bay, beached it on sand. We walked up to the Le Nuku Hiva hotel on the hill, had afternoon cocktails outside by the pool.
Also on that side of the bay stands a memorial to author Herman Melville for the book Typee he wrote about French Polynesia. It looked like the plaques had been removed.
Early to bed, Dan signed us up to take a private all day tour of island tomorrow from a local guy.
Friday December 18, we checked in with the Gendarmerie, passports stamped.
Nuku Hiva is the largest island in French Polynesia. In 1843, the Marquesas Islands were taken over by the French and still ruled in part by France as well a local government.
We walked around for awhile, but being at sea for 21 days we found it hard to walk in straight line, stopped a few times to rest in the shade.
Upon this hill used to sit Fort Madison, named after President James Madison. It was the first naval base the US had in the Pacific. Built in 1813 to protect the village from the British. Only attacked once, the fort was abandoned in 1814. Later renamed Fort Collet by France. In 2013 it was returned to the local authorities. In 2016 they voted to erect a modern monument expressing Marquesan culture, Tiki Tuhiva. The woman tiki stands 40ft high, the warrior is 26ft tall.
Throughout the village of Taiohae, there are several native rock sculptures depicting gods, chiefs and animals.
Saturday we got caught up on media, FaceTimed with the kids, did some laundry, kitchen sink style, had lunch at local restaurant, went to bed early.
Sunday we walked along the water front, then up the hill to Notre Dame Cathedral.
Soon after the island became under French rule, Catholic missionaries started spreading their faith. In the late 19th century, the cathedral was built. All that remains of the original building are the two bell towers, which stand at the entrance of the compound. The new church was completed in 1977. The pulpit and stations of the cross we carved from whole Tamanu trees.
*Sourdough Notes* finally able to bake a loaf yesterday!
Sailing 5.5 knots 50 miles south of the big island December 1, 7:30am 131.7 nautical miles traveled from Honokohau, HI.
Wednesday December 2, 269.6 nautical miles traveled, the forecast for the next 24 hours will be partly cloudy, in 20 knots of wind with 6-8 ft seas. Traveling at 6.6 knots speed over ground with a reefed main and Genoa. By afternoon the wind had dropped to 14knots, went with a full Genoa and main plus the staysail. Sailing at 7.6 knots close reach.
For dinner we made Turkey, stuffing, mashed potato and gravy bowls utilizing all the leftovers from Thanksgiving.
The Milky Way and a sky full of stars so visible till the moon rose.
Thursday December 3, 422.3 nautical miles traveled
3 Rain squalls this morning
It was a very windy day, winds in the high teens, low twenties.
Dinner was ground pork sausage with onion, pepper and celery tossed in pasta with olive oil and shredded Parmesan cheese.
At night around 11:30pm boat time, we were hit by a wave that separated the dodgers windshield plastic from the canvas piece at the bottom. Not really “broken” just separated. The wave also forced open the zipper on the adjacent panel. The water quickly drained from the cockpit.
Friday December 4, 571.1 nautical miles traveled.
Cloudy sky this morning, 14 knots of wind we’re going 7.2knots speed over ground with a full main, staysail and a reefed main (that helps keep the boat flatter), close reached. The wind all day 16-20 knots, 6-10ft waves.
Our watch shifts are, I’m on 6pm-12am, Dan 12am to 7am. Dan will nap most of the morning, I’ll catch a few hours in the afternoon. Repeat.
So what’s it like at night? Life jackets are always on, and we are tethered to the boat, it’s now 9:20 pm, it’s pitch dark outside except for the stars I can see through the cockpit enclosure and the glow of the instrument panels. The enclosure sides are all down for protection from water and waves. With a reefed Main and Genoa, the wind is steady, howling 17-22knots and our speed over ground is around 7knots. It’s like being tossed on an amusement park ride in the dark, except this ride last hours. Periodically we check the screen for other vessels we may see on AIS (automated identification system). Since leaving Hawaii, there have been 3. One fishing boat and two cargo ships heading to China, they probably just came through the Panama Canal based on their position and course heading. Also, we’ll turn the radar on for awhile. I used to listen music at night till I got a new phone and haven’t re-downloaded much of my music yet. I did download several podcasts before leaving Hawaii, we’ve both been listening to them. A variety of topics from TED talks to Dolly Parton’s America, The Lincoln Project, This American Life, and even a few crime stories. It sure helps pass time during a 6 hour watch. It’s now 9:46pm, the moon is starting to rise, the deep darkness of night will be a little bit brighter.
Saturday December 5, 741.6 nautical miles traveled. 9.10N 150.27W this morning, party cloudy, 20-23 knots of wind , swells 6-10 ft. speed over ground 7 knots, double reefed Main and Genoa. The wind stayed that intense all day.
Sunday December 6, 849.7 nautical miles traveled. We’re in the doldrums! This is an area just north of the equator where the air rises up, as a result there is lighter shifty winds at the surface of the water. Also the air is humid, creating scattered rain showers. We will be motor sailing for awhile with the Main and Staysail.
After 7 days on port tack, we tacked to starboard. Then an hour later we were back on port.
The rain continued on and off all day, gray skies and cloudy, sometimes with big winds, the most we saw was 25knots. There was a stretch of calm winds and seas.
Taking advantage of the light winds and seas, we both took showers today! Feels so good!
Monday December 7, 954 nautical miles traveled, cloudy sky’s this morning, wind at 9-12 knots but from the wrong direction, it’s on the nose, motor sailing again till the shift comes, scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Rain. Then the wind shifted, in the right direction! Sailing a beam reach 18-20knots, 6-8ft waves, still raining, sailing 8knots speed over ground.
Tuesday December 8, 4.56N 147.16W 1064 miles traveled, cloudy skies this morning with a few patches of blue, waves 3-6 ft, winds 13knots, on the nose, it is predicted to shift by midday. Motor sailing with a full Main and Staysail. So good to be out of the rain!
Wednesday December 9, 3.31N 146.47W, 1159 nautical miles traveled, cloudy skies with a few patches of blue. Winds are around 10-12knots, motor sailing with the Main and Staysail still waiting for that shift. According to PredictWind it was supposed to happen yesterday, now it says today. That will be great if it does happen, this has been like bashing up the California coast.
Our view is 360 degrees of water.
I baked banana bread. On this trip I have been wrapping all my breads as well as using it to cover bowls, in Bees Wrap. It’s a washable, reusable waxed cloth. Keeps the breads very fresh. One wrap last about a year, better alternative to plastic wrap. There are several brands available.
For dinner we made loaded baked potatoes.
We crossed paths late afternoon with s/v Wanderer Surf, a Vagabond 39, that has 3 people onboard, they are heading to Honolulu, from Tahiti. Dan spoke with them for a bit on the radio.
Oh my, the stars, Incredible!! Then there it was, The Crux or The Southern Cross! We found it with help from the Star Walk App I have on my phone.
Thursday December 10, 2.11N 146.23W 1252 nautical miles traveled, the morning started with blue skies then quickly turned gray. We reefed the sails and turned on the engine. We looked at in on radar, then that squall took us to starboard without a drop of rain, engine off, sails out. Sailing 6knots close hulled with 16knots true wind, 1knot of current against us.
For dinner, a baked sweet potato topped with a black bean, corn, tomato sauce mixture with a tsp. Of Cumin added. Both days the potatoes were “baked” using a stove top pressure cooker.
Oh my, the stars!
Friday December 11, 0.10N 146.04W 1384 nautical miles traveled, sunny and blue skies wind is 15knots sailing 6.2knots, no more adverse current, 3-6 ft waves, close hulled.
It was a New Years Eve countdown event, crossing the Equator! 10:39am UTC-09.30.
Today, is the Great Reasoner Cookie Bake. A bit different from previous years, it will be more of a cookie exchange but baking together on Zoom. Before we left on this journey, I made a photo book for each Beth, Danielle, Rachael and Mecca. My sister Linda baked with us one year, she received a book too. It contains the recipes with photos of the cookies I’ve traditionally baked for the Christmas holiday. We would all gather and bake all day together, dividing up the goods at the end. Oh and there was usually a little bit of alcohol consumption too.
Dinner was rice with chicken, leftover black bean mix from yesterday plus a little salsa and shredded cheddar cheese.
Oh my, the stars!
Saturday December 12, 1.47S 145.13N 1513 nautical miles traveled, cloudy skies this morning with only 7knots of wind. We are motor sailing 6knots, heading more East towards the destination of Nuku-Hiva. The afternoon was sunny, light winds continued, by early evening the winds were up to 11knots, engine off, all sails flying, with a 50 degree wind shift.
For dinner Dan made mashed potatoes with sausage, onions and peppers.
Oh my, the stars!
Sunday December 13, 3.10S 144.22W, 1615 nautical miles traveled, what a difference calmer seas make. This morning it’s sunny, wind 12knots, sailing 6knots speed sailing over ground, close hulled, seas 1-2feet.
Dan washed windows today. Then it rained.
For dinner we cooked pasta, a 17oz bag (Costco) added diced ham, 2 celery ribs, 1 green pepper, 3/4 red onion, tossed in olive oil with Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and cherry tomato halves. This will be dinner for a few nights.
Oh my, the stars!
Monday December 14, 4.35S 143.38W, 1727 nautical miles traveled, cloudy skies 16knots of wind, the outhaul breaks. An outhaul is the rope attached to the Main sail and the end of the boom, allowing you to pull the Main out or roll it in. MacGyver Dan fixed it.
Tuesday December 15, 6.15S 143.89W 1834 nautical miles traveled, crazy wind morning, 19-21knots true wind, with 6-8ft waves. We are only moving at 4.5-5knots speed over ground, with a reefed Main and Genoa, because of the waves and swells, 1knot of adverse current, heeling 20+ degrees. Sailing close hulled. It’s like a washing machine out there.
Wednesday December 16, 6.38S 142.11W , 1947 nautical miles traveled, 21knots of wind, 6-10ft waves. For 14 hours starting last night, we tacked on to starboard. When we tacked back onto port, speed over ground is 6.3knots with 20knots true, waves still high, sailing close hulled. With a Reefed Main and Genoa, the rail frequently kissing the water. As night falls the winds are 16-19knots, speed over ground 5.5-6knots. Reefed Main and full Genoa.
Thursday December 17, 8.31S 141.25W 2079 nautical miles traveled, winds are moderate this morning around 15knots, with a full Main and Genoa we sailing at 5.5knots speed over ground, sunny, mostly cloudy skies. Waves 3-6ft, we’re hobby horsing along.
By early afternoon, the wind had dropped to 12knots, may be a shadow from the island, the waves significantly less. Still sailing 5knots speed over ground. Almost there!
Late afternoon, we started motor sailing, in a more favorable direction.
Friday December 18, Land Ho! Nuku Hiva, The Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia!
2168 miles traveled from Honokohau, Hawaii
Average speed 5.1 knots
15665 total miles traveled since November 20, 2019
19.45N 156.51W I baked a loaf of bread, “Bread on the Ocean”
Sunday November 29, we felt we were having an issue with propeller or transmission, so we headed back to the Big Island and went to the state marina in Honokohau, arrived late afternoon. Being Sunday, nothing was open so we spent the night tied to the dock, did not get off the boat due to COVID restrictions.
Monday November 30, Jason the mechanic came aboard in the morning. The propeller rotation was measured in relation to rpm’s of the engine, all seem normal. Yesterday Dan did go in water and rotated the prop forward and backwards, in hindsight there may have been something on the prop and this action solved the problem. Anyway we’re off and on our way!
One year ago we set off on this journey. Hard to believe how fast time flies. We’ve missed a few important family events, Ben and Rachael’s birth of Cora, our new granddaughter, the engagement of our son Luke to Mecca, major surgery our daughter Danielle had, Friday’s with Beth and Kevin’s, Max and Dylan. Then COVID-19 hit worldwide slowing the adventure. We are staying safe and following all local rules. It has had some really great advantages, getting into Glacier Bay and Anan Bay in Alaska. Seeing the USS Arizona in Hawaii with only two other people there. Wherever we’ve been we try to support local businesses, ordering takeout at restaurants or buying souvenirs, some shipped back home, some for us. Not to mention all the wonderful people we’ve met along the way! Looking forward to the continuing the journey!