24.05.2013 - 04.06.2013 MARQUESA & TUAMOTO ISLANDS

Fri 24 May 2013 06:50
Skimpy arrived in Fatu Hiva this morning wearing their tailored blazers,
ultra short shorts / speedos along with Judy, their blow up doll attached to
their bow! It was hilarious to see them arriving in the busy anchorage - it
took them an hour to anchor as their chain wasn't long enough. They
certainly made an impression!

We took a walk ashore to find a waterfall for a swim as the weather was so
much better. We followed the directions we were given but managed to get
completely lost by walking about two hours in the wrong direction and
getting bitten by dozens of mozzies, but when we eventually found it it was
worth it! The water was so refreshing. As we were making our back to the
anchorage we notices a lot of people who looked like they were off a cruise
ship which we thought was a bit strange as we were really off the beaten
track where we were!
When we reached the anchorage there were tonnes of tourists watching a
traditional Polynesian dance where we saw the Polynesian version of Steve

We arranged with the Skimpy crew for them to come over for Alessio to cook
us his Carbonara and have some drinks and general merryment! We had a great
evening full of booze and met another couple from another boat. He was
Croatian and she was Swedish. She was 7 months pregnant and had also just
travelled across the pacific preparing if for the baby was premature.
We gave him the Superhero name 'Anchorman' as he was telling us stories of
the previous evening when he was helping other boats in the anchorage with
anchoring so they wouldn't drag! Tony made him a T-Shirt and Paul gave him a
gold sequin mask for him to use as his 'costume'!

Paul stole Judy from Skimpy's boat as we sailed out of Fatu Hiva early in
the morning...

We made an early start to sail to one of the more main islands called Hiva
Oa to be able to go through immigration. We saw that we were sailing into a
squal so had to get the front sail down as it's not designed to cope with
heavy weather. It was hard work to reel in but after it was coiled, the wind
managed to catch it. Paul tried to stop the sail from blowing around too
much but the wind really got up and the sail was throwing him around the
deck like a ragdoll and he nearly went overboard. The sail was badly torn
and even though we did all we could at the time, unfortunately the wind was
too powerful for us to manage....we managed to get across the Pacific so why
it had to happen on a day sail we don't know!!!

When we arrived at the harbour, Hiva Oa, the anchorage was very cramped and,
due to the currents, all the boats had a stern anchor as well as the bow
anchor out. We managed to anchor but someone told us to move as the wind
would push us aground if we stayed in the same position...so we moved it,
then the guy behind us wanted us to move as we were too close to him. So
when we tried to move it the third time, the weather worsened as it does in
these situations, we drove over someones stern line and ended up getting it
stuck around our propellor....great! All was sorted in the end though.

We went on date in the afternoon, just the two of us :-)
We asked the taxi lady to take us to a romantic place for a drink so she took us up to a hotel high on the cliff. When we walked in we thought we were crashing a wedding! There was a Polynesian band playing, buffet laid out and it was packed with locals dancing and enjoying their Sunday afternoon! It was great to watch and there was a traditional Polynesian dance feature. It went on all afternoon and the Polynesians seem to like their alcohol!
We sat out on the terrace overlooking the bay and the towering green cliffs across the island.

After dinner we tied Judy to a chair and taped over her mouth and posed for a photo all dressed as terrorists to send to Skimpy's Facebook page. It was so funny!

Skimpy and the crew arrived late afternoon so we had a few drinks with them. Simon, the Captain asked if we had seen his life partner Judy. We kept to the story that we saw she was gone when we left Fatu Hiva but we didn't have her which they believed!!!! We probably won't see these guys again until mid-July which is sad but we will make sure Judy is returned safely to them.

Left Hiva Oa for 4 day sail to the Tuamotos Islands which are a large group of Atolls 150 miles from Tahiti. We stopped at a gorgeous bay for a swim in the nicest weather we have had for days! It has pretty much rained since we arrived in the Marquesas.

We made good time and arrived this morning at Manhini atoll which is very pretty and would describe it as being similar to the Maldives but not as touristy. Our main priority for the day was to find internet for Paul so he could check his results from his Civil Engineering exams he took in March with no success. We tried a hotel for internet but it had been abandoned which was strange - it was beautiful and looked nearly new with water bungalows and in an idyllic setting, such a shame.

The weather today was windy and rainy. Paul and Charlie tried to go diving but it was too dangerous. We went for a meal in the village in the evening. We all had BBQd steak and chips.....the biggest portion of chips and mayonnaise we have ever seen - no wonder all these Polynesians are quite weighty!

We left Manihini early this morning to make our way to Tahiti which is almost a 2 day sail away. We stopped at an atoll called Atuona for a snorkel which was truly one of the most stunning, unspoilt places we have ever seen. It was picture perfect paradise with palm trees and crystal clear sea! We went snorkelling and saw lots of sharks - black tip and grey reef sharks who were very curious as to who we were!
We carried on towards Tahiti and barged our way through the largest waves we have had to battle so far. They were coming over the bow and some were coming over the bridge so it was very noisy when trying to sleep and we all weren't feeling to great.
Lynsey cooked a roast in the evening and was getting thrown around the kitchen a bit - bruised hips-ouch!

The waves are still big today, the weather was nice but we couldn't sit outside as we would get hit by the waves. We arrived in Tahiti at around 4pm and walked into the main town which was about an hour from where we had anchored. The town looks nice but not much was open as it was a Monday. We knew Tahiti was going to be expensive but we thought we would have a couple of drinks....it was £3.50 for a coke and £6.00 for a bottle of the local beer - yikes!! Looking forward to exploring this beautiful island. It is a lot more built up from anywhere we have been since Panama but has a lot of character. The people are very friendly and it will be nice to be in civilisation for a while. Very excited to practice our French aswell and eat some lovely French food!!!