We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.
We write this on our last 300nm leg into Tahiti from the Tuamotu Archipelago. We would have stayed there longer than 3 weeks but we have run out of fresh food and tinned supply is getting low. I guess we are not as hardy as we should be and live off ships biscuits and salted meat. The waterline is improving as the dry stores from Mexico are consumed. We were glad to have really stocked up their as variety, price and availability was so much better. Thanks to “Pelagic” we were able to fill up our water tanks with an extra 100L to see us through comfortably. We only visited two atolls and although spent most of the time exploring, did pluck away at the few little boat projects that keep getting added to the list. The most serious being pulling the gear shift/throttle control out to remove corrosion build up that was making for a stiff control. We were a little apprehensive about the entry, navigation within and anchoring about coral in the atolls. The tide predictor another cruiser has made worked well and given quiet conditions the passes were fine. We were glad to have made ratlines up the shrouds (not having mast steps) to get a little extra height and this became Heidi’s favorite “hang out” as we crossed the lagoons laying a track down with GPS navigation as we went and plotting the spotted coral heads. A handy tool for retracing our steps in less than ideal conditions. We visited Raroia and Tahanea and made for the lee shore (easterly side) most of our time. Tucked in behind motus (islands surrounding the atoll) we had flat seas in 20+ knots. We had all sorts of plans to trade for pearls to make our riches and lighten the boat, but this was not to be and instead loaded up on coconuts after husking them on the beaches first. We learnt here that if you leave a husked coconut in the sun it will heat up and crack, so with the help of “Blue Moon” we have added to our knowledge in more ways to eat the “nut”.
Calm anchorages are a rarity here in the Marquesas, but even in 20 knot winds, AnahoBay on the north side of Nuku Hiva was not rolly.So we enjoyed a week catching up on boat projects – nothing serious, just maintenance (like oil changes, touch up stitching on the jib, etc).Interspersed with swimming, the snorkeling was great, huge coral formations and still more new fish.Hiking to a wind swept, crab and coconut strewn beach and in the other direction over a pass to the small village of Hatihue, then further on up the cross-island road to some huge archeological remains, superb views and saw two of the island’s endemic birds.Then mangoes!!!A friendly local went on about the virtues of mangoes and laughed at the visitors he sees coming down the trail dripping with yellow ooze.Given peak mango season and high winds the ground was piled with rotting and freshly dropped fruit.There was no holding back and we have devoured close on a hundred by now!Returning to the main village to resupply and head for the Tuamotus our enthusiasm for departing was quelled by a large approaching weather system.So we acted on prudence and waited for a more favourable looking window of weather; probably a good thing as the only vegetables we could buy on our planned departure morning was tomatoes and zucchini and we were wanting a months worth of goodies.The Saturday market proved a little better as did the forecast and we departed in a pleasant 12kn easterly.