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Date: 15 Apr 2013 19:02:46
Title: Relaxing at last

Well not really. You can't ever fully relax on the boat even when at anchor.
Make sure the anchor is well set, keep the batteries charged, fix the
problems, make sure we have enough freshwater. After leaving our first
landfall...the 'Bay of Virgins' we sailed north for the day and anchored in
another wonderful setting on the uninhabited island of Tahuata, golden sand
and palms beneath towering mountains. Next day we went ashore in the dingy
where we could collect wild limes and coconuts. The limes are everywhere and
make a splendid refreshing drink, real 'limeade'. On the way back another
disaster. We pushed the dingy into the water, all calm, me getting the
engine ready and Sussanne about to climb in, and then suddenly from nowhere
a big wave towering over us. I just looked in horror, it crashed right onto
me, tumbelling the boat and engine end over end, my glasses (pair number 3)
washed away and me squished and ground into the sand. Eventually we got
reorganised, found the oars and shoes that were floating away, but the
engine wouldn't start so had to row back. When we eventually got back I took
the top off the outboard and it was just solid sand. We spent the rest of
the day, stripping it down and amazingly got it to work again. We are now in
Nika Huva, the main island of the Marquesas, which is on the edge of an
ancient crater, now flooded by the sea, so we are anchored in the crater,
and again surrounded by spectacular towering mountains. They don't get many
visitors here, and the whole town, 'went to town' in welcoming the group of
us, with traditional dancing, display of local carving and handicrafts and
in the evening a traditional feast. The town is neat and tidy with a lovely
market area where the local ladies come and sell their produce. Bananas by
the stalk, mangoes, papaya, coconuts and the most amazing grapefruit the
size of small footballs. We took a tour of the island yesterday in the
pick-up truck of a local guide. He was covered in tattoos in the local
style....definitely impressed Sussanne. On the way back he stopped to
collect some fruit for us from the roadside. We are now preparing to leave
for the Tuamoto islands, an archipelago 3 days sail away and what is classic
Polynesia, tiny atolls, coral reefs and white sand with swaying coconut palm
trees. The photos include the spectacular rugged mountains, local dancing,
Sussanne with her grapefruit and me opening a coconut.

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