Moving on.

Sun 25 May 2014 22:19
10:51.4S 141:42.7W

Slipping comfortably into passage mode, we left the Marquesas yesterday. We are used now to this duality, time on anchor and time on passage, each with it's own routines, and we move easily from one to the other. Time slows down here at sea: we do things in a measured way, conserving energy as all tasks are harder when the boat's moving in the swell. But when the dolphins appear everything else goes on hold until they're gone, it was Pantropical Spotted again this time, with the tiniest baby I've yet seen - it must have been just a couple of feet long, keeping perfect pace with its mother.

It feels right to be moving on although it was good spending time ashore, especially being able to catch up with friends. We were lucky enough to catch a free concert the evening before we left, which started with the most wonderful traditional singing and dancing, the harmonies echoing the songs and dances we saw the children perform on our first night in the Marquesas. Seeing the elegant swaying of the women, the fearsome grunts and thigh slaps of the men, in perfect unison and accompanied by haunting singing, completed the picture, made sense of the childrens' performance, of what they were emulating and, more importantly, why they were doing so.

We spent quite a lot of time yesterday watching the dramatic skyline of the mountainous islands recede behind us, remembering how it was to see them for the first time, and now able to populate them in our mind's eye with the lush valleys, well kept villages, boulder strewn pathways and the smiling, welcoming, tattooed faces we've discovered here.

Day 1: seared tuna steak, pak choi, mashed sweet potatoes; lettuce, a local panama cheese that's rather like not very ripe brie, and smoked salmon sandwiches, followed by peanut butter, banana and jam sandwiches. (I'd made bread but it wasn't great. Yeast works better when you put it in the dough from the start instead of wondering why it wasn't rising and trying to add it later!) lynda flapjack for night watches.

Day 2: Banana fried in butter, lemon juice and honey with yoghurt; Corn on the cob, green beans, sweet potato mash with curried aubergine cooked with cherry tomatoes (thanks Sarah Fieldtrip!) and more of the brie type cheese; baked beans on toast.

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