Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dreams

For years I've read about the Pacific islands and always dreamt that one day I'd sail across the Pacific to arrive at one of the exotic destinations I'd imagined. Reality has lived up to the dream. The anchorage in Fatu Hiva is the most spectacular anchorage I've ever woken up in.

Ashore the trees appear overburdened with fruits - I've never seen such enormous or deliciously sweet grapefuits before. We exchanged two lipsticks for six grapefruit and a bunch of bananas.


The next day Andrew and Carolyn on Revision II arrived, followed in the evening by Will and Alyssa on Ragtime. Joan and Sandy on Zefferin invited us all around for a celebration supper, during which we nobly helped them make some inroads into the large wahoo they'd caught just before arriving.

There's no airport on Fatu Hiva, so the only tourists the locals see are passing yachts. It's a small habitation in a valley between vertiginous rocks all carpeted in lush vegetation and coconut palms.


We've taken a couple of hikes, firstly up a winding road to a hill overlooking the anchorage from there we spied a waterfall emerging from a dramatic cliff face in the distance and made our way through dense undergrowth to the pool under the fall.


All the time we had the place to ourselves and used the pool for our first bath for months, avoiding the small clawed shrimps who tried to give us the occasional nip.


The only downsides we can see so far, are the insects, we had a couple of hornets checking us out and the abundant vegetation comes at the price of occasional torrential downpours.

Yesterday was spent with the most pressing boat jobs - the tanks are full of fresh water again, the main sail is repaired and the hull clean after growing some almost edibly large goose-necked barnacles on the passage.

We set off at 8am this morning for Tahuata, a small island 45 miles NW of Fatu-Hiva. We plan to stay a day or two there before heading on to Ua-Pou, a port of entry, where we'll arrive officially.

The sailmail connection in the anchorages is almost impossible; the surrounding mountains shield our signal. On open water, getting a connection is a challenge as well; the coverage in the Pacific isn't great, our nearest station is Hawaii 2210 nautical miles away, or US based stations 3000+ nautical miles away. So our entries might become a little more sporadic from now on. We have lots of photos, just waiting for a fast internet connect to be able to upload them.

4 comments:

Brian Mac said...

Well done guys! It's sounds like you are being well rewarded for your epic passage. Any sign of a good local bar? You could offer live music (trumpet / harmonica / guitar?) in return for beer?

World cup hysteris here - England being a bit rubbish but hanging in there. Take care and have fun island hopping!

http://www.gourmetsailor.com/woodstock/Fatu_Hiva_Anchorage_3%5B1%5D.jpg has given me an idea of your morning view... slightly better than the mudflats of Essex?

Brian

HelenDowling said...

Hey Nick and Ellen,
I read that entry and I was THERE with you, oh how I wish. When oh when are they going to invent ZAP so I can pop over for drinks one afternoon. Nick, sorry I missed your birthday. A big birthday hug and kiss from us all. It was Eva's birthday over the weekend and we had 19 5 year olds cavorting around our house with handfuls of cake. Fun, but could do with some Pacific island peace now. Love to both of you and keep up the excellent writing. Helen xxx

HelenDowling said...

Hey Nick and Ellen,
I read that entry and I was THERE with you, oh how I wish. When oh when are they going to invent ZAP so I can pop over for drinks one afternoon. Nick, sorry I missed your birthday. A big birthday hug and kiss from us all. It was Eva's birthday over the weekend and we had 19 5 year olds cavorting around our house with handfuls of cake. Fun, but could do with some Pacific island peace now. Love to both of you and keep up the excellent writing. Helen & Tony xxxx

Simon B said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the photos!