09:01.75S 140:05.87W

Quatsino II
Lorna Saunders
Thu 2 Jun 2016 01:20
Dear Land lubbers and Seadogs
position 9 01’ 75S  140 05’ 87W
Course over ground (COG) 0
Speed over ground (SOG) 0
Departing Niku Hiva, Marqueses
Destination – Tuamotu Atolls
The time has come for us to leave the amazing Marqueses Islands and head onto the infamous Tuamotu atolls.
We have so enjoyed our nearly 4 weeks here on these green volcanic islands, with their high spectacular rock formations, stunning flowers, smells that I wish Herme`s could bottle, and the friendliest, kindest people we have ever met. They are immensely skilled people with their hands. Art work drawn on hammered out bark, using a piece of wood with cotton wrapped around the end. Carvings out of various kinds of wood and stone and fishing with either their hands, spears or line.
The islands are incredibly clean and well kept, with better roads (where they are laid) than the UK, plenty of new 4x4 pick ups and landrovers cruising around. Strange though George and I, well done them, but does exporting Copra really produce that much??? The only tourists are the grotty yachties (which I have to say are of a slightly different calibre to many we have met the other side of the Canal). Well of course it doesn’t. They get 12 billion euros a year from the EU, that’s 42000 eurors pp pa.
Hiva Oa (our arrival point) had the best stocked markets (which sadly didn’t realise till we got here). Tahuata had the clearest water I have ever seen. We could see the bottom in 9mtrs of water. Fatu Hiva and the Bay of Virgins was by far, the most memorable. We became friends with 3 of the locals. Desiree, who spoke a little English, her mad husband Jaques and his cousin Jean Paul. We ate in their house, Jean Paul designed a local tatoo and inked that on my back, they took George out one night lamping for lobsters, took us to an amazing cave hidden in the cliffs with a brackish water pool in, (George actually swam in the black water), gave us local carvings, etc etc. Instead of staying there for 3 nights, we stayed a week.
Now we are re stocked with fresh water and fuel, which all has to be done using billy cans and dinghy runs. All jolly good exercise. Main sail repaired and offending sharp trailing edges of the spreaders covered. A few fresh supplies, not forgetting the French bread, and ready to rock and roll again.
Not so far to go this time. It’s about 420nm to our first Atoll and not more than 800nm to Tahiti. So a short hop.
We appreciate that the Atolls are not the easiest of cruising grounds, so we will take our time, keep our ears and eyes open, and stick to the main Atolls. We don’t want to be like some others who ended up flying home a couple of weeks ago, whilst their boat is high and dry on a reef. We are well armed with the Hutches paper charts thankfully, so back to the old fashioned naving, which we love, plus we have made some new friends, so will tally with them (seeing as our old friends still haven’t arrived here).
So TTFN, enjoy the European spring and keep us posted with your news.
L and G