Tending Hebe in The Marquesas

Sun 30 Mar 2014 08:45
29th March 2014

Ua Pou (pronounced Oowaa Pow)

Remind me next time to do this lark before the menopause…..it's 36 degrees here in the saloon as I write this at 9 o clock at night and my fingers keep slipping off the keys. Andrew seems to have developed an allergy to sunshine and Hebe has been behaving badly.

 "Sorry I haven't a clue" 
Here are Harry and Olly gazing at the water maker pump. Yes our precious water maker conked out for 3 days, some of the anchorages are in bays with river valleys and silty water which didn't help. Olly swam under the hull to check the intake pipes and found the head of a conger eel embedded in one…..the body having been ripped off the poor devil as he peered into the inviting hole.  Harry then discovered jellyfish and crabs in the filter…. Hours of work later and all's well. 
They've had a time of it with the generator not generating and the inverter not inverting. The great thing about sailing with others is there's always plenty of people willing to help, the boat has been positively heaving at times with men scratching their beards and fiddling with their spanners.  As it stands we can run most things all of the time but the air con fuses everything, we keep that as a treat switching all else off and repairing to our cabins to luxuriate in cool air.
These islands are ever more incredible. From Fatu Hiva  with its waterfall and lush flowers we headed over to Tahuata which has such massive mountains in a jagged wall along the centre it affects the climate according to which side you are. The first bay was wet and jungly with lots of jellyfish, bugs and dolphins beating the fish into the shallows.  Round the corner the bay had a permanent gale blowing from the descending air from the mountains we swung precariously at anchor that night creaking and groaning but loving all the breeze in bed Farther on we found a tranquil idyllic spot with white sands perfect swimming.  
Each bay has a community on shore, with as few as 200 people but all have a wonderful church,  super equipped school and shop or two. 


The cloisters, of this large airy church overlooking the bay. Andrew cannot work out where the money comes from, there's no poverty, the food just grows everywhere, you just have to gather it, chickens thrive as there are no predators, fish in the sea, the houses are well kept with gorgeous gardens and 4x4's parked outside. Yet there doesn't appear to be any income…… apparently the French government gives them all a state pension which clearly goes further than in Marseilles.  In fact all the benefits of good old socialist France.
Today we're in Oa Pou another extraordinary place with a bigger town (1000 inhabs) with 2 sports stadiums as well. I wonder if its the EU? 

 Oa Pou. You can almost see the dinosaurs.

Lord Lax feeling more himself having found a friendly doctor and lots of French pillules and unguents.