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Thread: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

  1. #246
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    After a week or so, we decided to do a loop of the island and check out a few more bays.







    First stop was Hakatea Bay. Wow. Welcome to the Marquesas!



    We hiked up into the valley, this was a valley reserved for royalty in ancient times, and you can see why!



    Stone foundations like this are everywhere, they were used as the base for wood and thatch houses.


  2. #247
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Do you own a short piece of rope and a little stake? You have all the infrastructure required to own a horse! The horses are used for transport, 4x4 vehicles are becoming common but are a recent thing and there are many villages that can only be accessed by a long muddy trail- preferably on a horse. Dogs are everywhere and wild, though also very friendly.



    The farther up the valley we got the more epic it bacame.







    There are just a few families living where the river in the valley enters the sea. They have a little farm setup and provide a meal to hikers for a reasonable fee. We ate with them and had grilled tuna, breadfruit, and roasted bananas with lime/grapefruit juice. All products of their own efforts. After lunch they gave us a mountain of fruit including pompelmousse (grapefruit-ish) as big as a volleyball, limes, a rack of banannas, mangos, and some other mysterious fruits.




  3. #248
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The bay is two lobes, and when a rally of giant outremer cats left (just don't ever sail together in a rally, please....) we moved over to the other lobe of the bay. Just as beautiful and completely different.



    I thought of this as the Bob Ross valley. So perfectly scaled and concise, like it should be in a painting. A "happy little valley." With a perfect white sand beach at the head, we had a beach fire with some other boats and one of the locals brought a bag of the strangest roasted fruits. I believe it was the noni fruit. Kind of a savory/sweet thing like a yam.



    We set out on our lap of the island, of couse coming around the corner we were beating dead into the tradewinds and the south equatorial current.



    We tacked way out to sea, and then finally brought her around to make port. That was when we realized how bad the current was as we virtually retraced our outbound course. With darkness not far off and our selected anchorage still many miles to windward we tried motoring directly into the wind and current, barely able to maintain 2 kts and plunging the bow deep into each wave. There was another bay nearby, the guidebook mentioned it was a good anchorage but didn't even offer a sketch. The area is completely uncharted, as are many areas around here. The book advised watching carefully for unmarked reefs. Our choice was an uncharted bay in daylight or several more hours of slamming and then a charted anchorage in the dark.



    We slowly eased our way in to the closer bay, watching the surface of the water for unusual breakers and the depth sounder for anything sudden. We found a good sand bottom in 30 ft and set the hook for the night. We were the only boat there of course.




  4. #249
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Sunset from Hakaehu Bay



    The next day we continued along the coast. What an amazing, dramatic, green place.



    We came to Hatihe'u Bay, the favorite haunt of Robert Luis Stevensen apparently.



    I took a lot of pictures of these rocks....



    The next day was very blustery, but we rowed to shore anyway and braved landing at the wharf. The swell was rising and falling maybe 4 ft, even with the top of the wharf when high. I backed in when the swell peaked and offloaded Whit before scampering away. On another swell I came in and hopped out quickly, we grabbed the dinghy and lifted it onto the wharf as the swell dropped out from under it. We were the only boat here too, as all those other heavy RIBs with 10 hp motors could never have made the landing. Sometimes it pays to have a rowing boat.



    The village on shore is idyllic.


  5. #250
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia







    After a couple nights we headed just next door to Anaho. This bay doesn't have road access, horse is the main transport.





    How does this even happen, geologically speaking?


  6. #251
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We walked over the ridge to a little farm. It is kind of a you-pick type place, little veggie plots carved into the jungle. 2 men run it via horse and person power, it is completely off grid. We bought tomatoes and cucumbers and aubergine.





    We made it around the headland, finally putting the wind and current back behind us where they belong.



    Our goal was the famous Typee valley, where Hermen Melville lived with the natives while hiding from his ship. The inhabitants of this valley were reputed to be the most vicious of cannibals, but in reality they were probably much the same as any of the other valley groups. The US military did raid the valley once, after becoming embroiled in local rivalries. They burned all the huts in the village when they couldn't defeat the warriors in their fort.....






  7. #252
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    WOW! Thanks for taking us along! I love the carved posts on the hut in the last photo.

  8. #253
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    They Typee were a populous group, and many old home sites are found in the valley.



    It is a very dense and lush place. The background is continually humming due to the millions of insects, and birds are everywhere. When you look closely into the forest you realize that a huge number of the trees are laden with fruits. Giant mango, breadfruit, and coconut trees in particular, with an undergrowth of bananas, limes, and a dozen others I didn't recognize. The crashing sound in the woods is the continuous rain of coconuts and mangos falling to feed the animals. We have seen dogs eating fallen mangos in town.





    Continuing up the valley the we started to see some interesting tracks all around. I thought they were goat, big ones with little baby ones alongside. Then we came to a stream and a dozen little pigs and a big sow went squealing into the brush.



    The more we walked the more pigs we started to see. They were not very scared of us, the little babies would sometimes run toward us and I started to worry we were going to end up facing down a protective mama. We shouted and threw rocks when we saw them. Eventually we saw a large group of pigs coming directly down the path towards us, led by two huge adults one of which was a boar with tusks. Our hollering did not persuade them away at all, and so we reversed course. We kept looking back over our shoulders and they kept following us. I don't know if they are dangerous or not, but anything that is 400 lbs of muscle and teeth is more than I want to tangle with.



    The locals hunt them with .22 rifles, which seems very undersized but that is what they are allowed. Apparently they don't hunt them enough as I think I could have grabbed a coulple of the babies by hand and definitely gotten a few medium sized ones with a marquesan style spear. The macho local guys often wear a huge necklace made from the tusks of boars they have killed.

    I've been thinking about pork ever since.....

    This valley is reputed to have good water so we filled our jugs at a spigot near the beach. Water is a community good around here, public spigots are located everywhere they are convenient. We paid a small fee at the mayors office to use them and the community garbage bins. They even have full sorted recycling bins in public all places, which is better than you can say about much of California, let alone Mexico. There is also a great absense of plastic and litter, which was one of the saddest things about Mexico, mountains of plastic garbage was everywhere. It piled in every empty lot, drifted along the roadways, and washed up on the beaches. I'm pretty sure the plastic that is on the windward beaches here is coming from other countries, not from the Marquesan people.

    Anyway, we were walking back from our adventure and met a local man on the road. We said "bonjour" and he walked up and handed us the three mangos he had just picked from his tree. Maybe he could tell by looking that we did not own any mango trees and obviously felt sorry for us in our poverty. In fact- the people here that we have met have all been extremely friendly, I just wish we could communicate with them better.

    At first light tomorrow we are off to bash the 75 miles upwind to Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva has been great, and we are excited to see a new island!

  9. #254
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    WOW! Thanks for taking us along! I love the carved posts on the hut in the last photo.
    Yes the wood and stone carving here is amazing. Here is another view, you can see a stone tiki in the background. These tiki are everywhere, all different.






    Some tiki are excited to see you.



    The church has more... subdued.... carvings. Still impressive though, I loved the 3D relief of the fish in the net.


  10. #255
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Great pictures and stories. Thanks for taking us along.
    My ketch isn't at her best upwind against a steep sea, neither motoring nor sailing. Motorsailing works best for me in those conditions. She points higher than just sailing, and goes faster than just motoring.

  11. #256
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Very cool--I'm not saying much, but believe me, I'm enjoying seeing the Marquesas! This is the kind of trip that first got me interested in sailing, before small boats and coastal waters corrupted me away from the bluewater game before I ever joined it...

    I hope all continues to go well. Thanks for this thread,

    Tom
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  12. #257
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The odds of most of us getting to the Marquesas by sailing our own boats there is pretty low, so your sharing of your experience of doing so is a wonderful substitute. Thanks very much!
    Alex

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
    - Vincent van Gogh

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  13. #258
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    These stories and pictures pull hard on me. About 10 years ago my wife and I realized we were at a crossroads. On the one hand was the possibility of an adventure like yours: a very few more years of work and savings, a great deal of effort, and a chance to cast off and sail around the world. On the other hand was a house, kids, a great deal of effort, the full catastrophe. We chose domesticity and I'm sure it was the right call for us. Sure, that is, except when I read this thread. You're making the whole adventure travel to exotic south pacific locales thing look pretty good!
    I'm glad that someone is getting out there and living the dream, and grateful that you're bringing us along.

    - James

  14. #259
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    X2. That was part of my early dream, but the lady I fell in love with can't do offshore. She'll happily race and sail with me inshore, but goes all wobbly when we lose sight of land Thanks for the ride!

  15. #260
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    I also would cruise much farther and longer if my wife enjoyed it. I fulfill my wish as much as possible by coastal cruising a couple of weeks at a time and crewing on other people's boats.

  16. #261
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    To be fair to those partners who aren't really up for sailing a small boat halfway around the world, it is actually quite difficult much of the time. We do laundry in the same bucket we shower out of, being sleep deprived is normal, getting groceries can take a whole day, finding spare parts can take weeks or more, and at the end of it all, there is nowhere truly comfortable to just sit back and relax for a while! Of course we think it is all worth it, but for those who prefer luxuries like hot running water and a toilet you don't have to stir, perhaps you would like to see French Polynesia aboard the Aranui. This "mullet" of a boat is business in the front, party in the back. It is half cargo ship, half cruise ship. We keep crossing paths with them, and they seem to visit most of the good places. Being only half cruise ship means it is only half as immoral as being aboard a cruise ship.



    When we left off we were on Nuku Hiva. We went back to the capitol Taiohae for some supplies and caught the big soccer game. Nuku Hiva vs. Hiva Oa. Seemed like everybody from both islands was there.



    I think that is a pig tusk necklace on that fan.



    The home team won so life was good. We set out for the run to Hiva Oa the next day. This is about 75 miles dead upwind, and against a current as well. We sailed all day and seemed to barely leave Nuku Hiva behind.



    The trade winds were doing their thing, and we slammed into it. At the end of the first day patience started wearing a bit thin and we started the motor to help us punch through the boat stopping swell.




  17. #262
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The next day we started to get in close to Hiva Oa.



    We anchored up in the first bay we came to, Hanamenu. We bouyed the anchor in case of sunken palm logs and slept.



    After a day or two, we slogged 8 miles farther to windward, to the bay of Hananaipa. There is a lovely village here.



    So wierd to have the sunsets to the north.





    This village still uses outrigger canoes. They are plywood, and are extremely deep vee hulls. I wonder if that is left over from days when these canoes would sail.


  18. #263
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Everywere in the Marquesas, the villages feel like manicured gardens. The people have gardening in their blood. But this village more than any of the others was just amazing. There were only a few dozen modest homes (some might call them shacks) but all the yards and all the public areas were beautifully planted and continuously kept up.







    Coconuts stacked to be processed into copra.



    The tuna fishermen seem to favor these type of boats. They look like a generic ski-boat hull and seem in every way inferior to the Mexican Panga, though they serve an identical purpose. Most are partially decked and some even use an IB/OB setup. Maybe there is something about the local conditions or use that I don't understand, but compared to the panga they seem heavier, less fuel efficient, harder to beach, and higher maintenance.




  19. #264
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Wild goats are everywhere, and their combined efforts with the pigs as well as wild horses and cows (!) have been quite destructive to the landscape. They would be extremely easy to shoot, and the locals do that, but apparently not nearly enough.



    We pressed on, making more miles to windward along the coast of Hiva Oa, pushing through squalls.






    The "anchorage" at Puamau was rather advanced. We were the only boat there (we had not seen another boat since leaving Nuku Hiva) and the swell was massive rolling straight into the bay. We arrived at dusk of course, after taking rather too much of the day to punch our way the lousy 8 miles upwind. We went in as far as we dared, but no relief was found from the swell. Our choice was now to push on for an overnight sail to Fatu Hiva, or weave through the awash rocks to the poorly charted east basin which looked marginally more protected. We found our way in, staying outside the surging whitewater and eventually got the hook to set on a very rocky bottom. We bouyed the anchor and it was lucky we did as our chain seemed to become fouled just from maneuvering trying to set the anchor. There was white water breakers all around us, but the scenery was beautiful.

    The next morning we left early, it was clear we were not going to be able to make a landing to see the ancient ruins that are on shore.


    Having made all that easting to windward up the coast of Hiva Oa, we were finally able to ease the sheets just a touch and make the course to Fatu Hiva. The difference between close hauled tacking back and forth against a current, and just cracking off a touch on a close reach is massive. The latter felt like we were finally sailing again. We had a nice crossing to Fatu Hiva, something like 45 nautical miles. We were out of the lee of the land again and riding the open ocean swells.


  20. #265
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia





    We were very excited to reach Fatu Hiva. It was the place we always pictured when we dreamed of sailing to the south pacific. Fatu Hiva was emblematic of the Marquesas as a whole, kind of the pinnacle of the whole group. Due to the new requirements to land at Nuku Hiva first, it felt even more off the beaten track, all these miles to windward.


    The coastline is stunning.



    And we finally dropped the hook in the fabled Bay of Virgins. What a beautiful place!



    Legend is that the French first named it the Bay of Penises, (verges) but the missionaries showed up and changed it to Bay of Virgins (vierges). Proving once again that missionaries are no fun. Obviously we called it Penis bay the whole time we were there.

    The marquesans, we should acknowledge, call it Hanavave, and always have.

    We anchored in 90 ft of water, the deepest anchorage of our entire voyage. The bay is deep and the nice shelf in shallow is rocky and regularly sends boats drifting out to sea. The trades funnel over the island and down through the valley, sucking through the narrow bay like a venturi. We nearly chafed through our snubber, also a first for us. It is quite something to be laying over in strong gusts with 120 ft of water under your anchored boat.

    Rowing in against the wind provided some good excersise. But what amazing scenery! The bay was every bit as beautiful as we had imagined.

  21. #266
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    A proper tiki gaurds the boat basin.


    We wandered up the valley, just looking up at everything a bit awestruck.





    Walking through the village a local man waved us down and made it known that we could eat with his family that night if we wanted (for a reasonable fee). Of course we agreed. That night we walked up to their house after dark, and realized that all the people there were family and they were actively singing happy birthday to one of them! We lingered outside until somebody spotted us and waved us in. We got our own table at the birthday banquet, kiddie table style, and partook in their feast. And it was a feast, we were served poisson cru, which is raw tuna marinated in freshly made coconut milk, grilled mahi mahi, bbq pork, breadfruit, papaya salad, rice, and pompelmousse with mango for dessert. There was enough alloted to us for about 5 people and they insisted we take all the leftovers back with us.

    Partway through dinner our host went out to the garden and came back with a flower for whitney's hair. Then she went inside and got the birthday leis and presented them to us as well. We felt extremely honored. This was the chef and host, Paekaha. They are not messing around with the flowers, the women wear a fresh one every day. We have even seen a full head-dress of leaves if you are feeling fancy, like visiting the mayors office, or if you are the news announcer on tv.



    Last edited by J.Madison; 05-29-2022 at 03:45 AM.

  22. #267
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    During our wanderings we ended up going down a dead-end street in the village, and while trying to sort that out we were invited up onto another front porch where some women were making crafts. They had tapa cloth, which is the traditional cloth used for clothing as well as food storage and utility purposes. It is made from pounding the bark of various trees with water until it is very thin and matted. We ended up buying a small cloth with an octopus design drawn on it and arranged to trade for some fruit the following day. They wanted perfume, but I can't imagine that many cruisers are carrying perfume. Maybe the french boats are? We brought some scented oils and a bit of home depot rope I stashed for this exact purpose and asked how much fruit that might buy us.

    Turns out, what we had purchased was the ability to go up into the hills to the "farm" to select the fruit we wanted and harvest it. So much cooler! So we loaded up in the 4x4 with grandpa and his little grandson and a machete and headed up into the jungle.



    It seems that most families have plots of the jungle that they cultivate somewhat, which is why it seems that the jungle is made of bananas, coconuts, and mangos. This is why it is also bad to pick fruit without permission, even in the woods, as it all belongs to somebody.

    Papaya are some of the weirdest things, growing like little orbs directly on the trunk of the tree.



    We ended up filling a 40 lb sack of papayas.



    Off into the brush to cut down some banana trees. Banana trees are fun as they can be cut down with one swing of a machete. I guess they only produce one bunch and then they are done, as no effort was made to spare the tree.



    This is what a fruit farm looks like.


    We got quite a haul..... Not all of it was for us thankfully, but we did take back three full stalks of bananas.


    A dozen giant pompelmousse for us and we headed back down the mountain.

  23. #268
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    This is the main hiway on Fatu Hiva. This island is the only one without air service, so is the most off the grid and unspoiled. It is the only place they still make the tapa cloth, and has a very slow easy pace of life. It is hard to imagine living 800 miles from the nearest real hospital or grocery store, across an ocean with no air service or (obviously) roads. These people are truly very remote.





    Ruins litter the forests, a reminder that in the last 1.5 lifetimes 90 percent of these people were killed off by disease and attacks, at the same time that a whole new culture was being forcibly introduced with a new religeon and language as well. The people are friendly to outsiders by any standard, even more so when their recent history is considered. They aren't alone in this tragic history of course....



    Everywhere we walked the views were absolutely stunning. This is a place immune to hyperbole, and we felt we had found paradise around every corner.




  24. #269
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    More great stuff! Many, many thanks.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  25. #270
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Your trip just keeps getting better - thanks so much for bringing us along.

  26. #271
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Wonderful travelogue, Jon! Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us.

    Your picture of the coast of Fatu Hiva reminds me of the west coast of Kauai.

    Your observation about the remoteness of the island and the difficulty attendant on carrying out routine chores and lack of access to medical service reminds me of Thor Heyerdahl’s book, Fatu Hiva, about the year he and his first wife spent there in the late 1930’s. It’s been a long time since I read it but I recall that it seemed like paradise at first for them but the tropical diseases and the disconnect between the local, intensely clan-based culture and their European background eventually got to them so that they couldn’t wait to leave. But, looking at your pictures, I think it was one of those experiments that I’d like to try for myself.
    Alex

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  27. #272
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    To be fair to those partners who aren't really up for sailing a small boat halfway around the world, it is actually quite difficult much of the time. We do laundry in the same bucket we shower out of, being sleep deprived is normal, getting groceries can take a whole day, finding spare parts can take weeks or more, and at the end of it all, there is nowhere truly comfortable to just sit back and relax for a while!
    yes, the enormity of this, is enormous.

    thank you for kindly tempering the wistfulness, even just an iota. your whole project is a dream gone by me.

    next lifetime, i will have more nerve.

    thanks for making the extra effort to take us along.
    Last edited by L.W. Baxter; 05-29-2022 at 10:27 AM.

  28. #273
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Wow. Great cruise, great story
    -Dave

  29. #274
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Thank you so much for sharing with us dirtbound folk! I had to look up pompelmousse...sounds delicious!

  30. #275
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Thanks everyone. Yeah pompelmousse are like massive grapefruit that are a bit sweeter and make a full meal for two.

    From Hanavave we went a few miles down the coast to the other village on Fatu Hiva, Omoa. The anchorage at Omoa is not very good and it is not recommended to spend the night there, but we had flat calm conditions and decided to stay one night anyway.



    The stores, "magasins," tend to only carry preserved foods along with possibly some onions and potatoes. (Imported from Pasco, Washington.) No fresh produce is really available, I guess everybody grows their own or doesn't eat any. Fruit is everywhere, but not in the stores. Chickens are also everywhere, but eggs cannot generally be purchased either. We asked about eggs and were directed to a "snack" down the street. A snack is a casual resturant, best I can determine. Picture all communication with the locals as a sincere pantomime coupled with our few words of embarrasing french. Often they know a few words of english too. We get by.

    The snack was closed, but we asked the guy sitting inside for some eggs. (Des oeufs, pronounced dezoo, apologies to actual french speakers....) He had some, so I think what we actually did was buy eggs out of the pantry of the resturant. Maybe that is what everybody does I don't know.

    Walking farther down the street, we heard a loud tapping sound and saw an old woman under a shed beating tapa cloth against a rock. We asked if we could come watch and got a long explanation on all the finer points of the craft, including the appropriate use of 4 different mallets. Unfortunately I cannot relay all of it here.... Some large cloths were hanging to dry in an intermediate stage.



    They are eventually decorated with traditional patterns. We thought they were so cool and bought a couple to hang on our wall someday. The white is from the mulberry tree, the light brown cloth from the breadfuit tree, and the dark brown is from the banyan tree.



    Boatbuilding, Marquesan style. Note: not a panga.



    The tiki game was very strong here.




  31. #276
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Continuing our walk through the village we were waved over by this guy, wood carving in his shed.



    They were carving tikis, to sell to tourists. There were only a half dozen tourists in the entire town that day, but there is a large festival in July so maybe they are stocking up for that event. Unfortunately none of the tikis were finished yet, still needing their faces and details carved, but we did buy a serving tray carved from a slab of a banyan tree. They loaded us up with papaya, pompelmousse, and limes until we couldn't carry any more.



    Having done virtually all of our souvenier shopping since leaving Seattle in this one single day we headed back to the boat before we saw anything else that needed to be bought.

    Bananas at sunset:

  32. #277
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The next two days were absolutely flat calm. But we headed out for the crossing to Tahuata anyway, hoping the forecast wind would fill it. It never really did.





    Goodbye, Fatu Hiva!


    We hadn't seen water this glassy since Puget Sound, and we did something we have not done since our first day at sea off Cape Flatery, we took all the sails in and motored. Usually, even if there is no wind, the swell is quite sickening if there is no sail up to steady the roll, something we learned rather quickly that first day. But there was no need for any sail on this crossing, and we did almost the entire 40 miles under power.





    Tahuata is a fairly small island, with extremely jagged ends.


  33. #278
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We didn't beat the sunset, anchoring in the dark near a couple of our friends. It rained in the night, and in the morning the cliffs surrounding the anchorage had waterfalls everywhere.



    We rowed in to the village.



    Massive trees from pre-european times line the main pathway.





    Copra is the main economy, and frankly I don't think it's big business.



    A path switchbacked up the mountain, where a significant hazard was posed by windfall mangos that came cascading down with every puff of wind. We ate the fresh ones straight off the ground, peeling the skin back with our teeth.


  34. #279
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The next morning we were woken by the sound of dolphins that live in this bay. They are spinners, and did some interesting acrobatics as they wove around the boats. This is our friends Wild Rye, out of Saltspring Island. Hooray for young cruisers!



    Whit rowed out to make friends with the dolphins.



    After a few days we jumped the short hop over to the next bay, where a larger town is and where the supply ship was just leaving. We were hoping to get a bottle of cooking gas. Propane is unavailable, but butane is used by the locals and you can decant a butane tank into a propane tank using gravity. The ship must not have had gas, as the store would not sell us any. Bummer.



    I know this is a lot of pictures of churches, but they are pretty much the only building other than the few homes in every village. The missionaries hit this place pretty hard. The churches are very lovely though, and none of them have any windows, just openings that cannot be closed, under long roof overhangs. I believe this one was made from ballast stones from the trading schooners.



    There does not seem to be any objection to having the old gods gaurd the sanctuaries of the new. This guy's ponytail is epic.




  35. #280
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We popped up to the next bay, which has a rare white sand beach. There is not much coral in the Marquesas, no barrier reefs, just plunging cliffs of black lava underwater. But a few places have coral, and the white sand that comes with it.



    We lived off fruit and canned or dry goods mostly, we seem to have a limitless supply of them. (We bought 4 months worth of food in Mexico, and are only just making a dent in the collection.)



    We started doing the math and realized that we have lingered far too long in the Marquesas. Our 90 day visa seemed like a long time, but it is already half over and we still have to see the Tuomotus and the Society Islands. That will leave the Austral and Gambier archipelagos completly ignored, but you can't see everything in 90 days. So we rounded the corner into the narrow pass between Tahuata and Hiva Oa, heading to the larger town of Atuana to resupply for our crossing to the Tuamotus. The wind and waves are always higher in the channel and I surprised myself by getting fully seasick on this 8 mile leg by reading the anchorage instructions down below while we bashed along in a squall.



    When the squall eased we saw the south coast of Hiva Oa for the first time.





    The anchorage is extremely challenging. Most of the basin must be kept clear for the cargo ships, and the rest is very shallow. There were at least 2 dozen boats anchored when we arrived, in a basin that would be quite crowded with 10. We eased along, trying to find a spot. Most were anchored bow and stern, as there is no swinging room. We dropped the hook while nearly touching two catamarans, and backed down, 9 ft.... 8 ft.... 6 ft.... okay i think that was the bottom, and we still didn't have scope for the stern anchor. Checking the tide, it was only mid-tide so we hauled it all back in, kept the bowsprit out of the plate glass on the catamarans, and tried again.

    Three times more we dropped the hook, but could not get it to stick. I'm not about to short-scope it in a crowded anchorage when the anchor is obviously dragging. Finally at dusk we got brave enough to back down between a 54 ft Amel and the rocky shore to stern tie to a bouy. We used the dinghy to set a second bow anchor to keep us off our expensive neighbor.

    Here we are after the big Amel left, but before two new catamarans and a new ketch all wedged themselves into our circle.


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