Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Mon 11 May 2015 06:03
Dear Family and Friends,
10th May 2015
Another Friday public holiday and 3 day closure for some services (like all the essential ones), just our luck to arrive in time for 2 of them on successive weekends. So the photo blogs are backing up as I cant send them over the satellite phone. Never mind hopefully tomorrow, after another walk into town, I will finally be lucky.
We have waited for our friends, Anne and Jonathan to recover, re fuel and provision and generally have some R and R and tomorrow after lunch we will set off together for Nuku Hiva as their mast is lashed together but not fixed. Their parts will be coming to that island at some point and there are boatyard facilities of some kind. Whilst relaxing, we came across a traditional dance and Polynesian music competition at the local school. This was about keeping the traditions alive within French Polynesia and not a tourist event, attended by mainly locals. Many of the women arrived with beautiful flower wreaths on their heads and even the some of the men had flowers had flowers behind their ears. The entertainment was both impressive and joyful, the school girls danced gracefully and I had no idea you move your hips so fluidly and fast, the young men danced warrior dances with a very convincing mock breaking neck scene which was electrifying! The traditional music was a fast tempo on guitars and ukuleles and their tall drums with intricately carved bases. One group even had an upturned plastic tub, a wooden shade handle, (could have been a paddle!) and a string between them, finely balanced on a flip flop! The winning group had gone the whole 9 yards with matching shirts and traditional head dresses, a fringe of palm fronds around their heads, with bark and flowers motif at the front. They could hardly see but the singing was enthusiastic, finishing with something that sounded like a huka. It was a privilege to have attended.
One of life’s ironies appeared in our food cupboard. After all the inspections we went through in the Galapagos so that we didn’t bring in any undesirable bugs, barnacles and so forth, some dried mushrooms which I had started in Puerto Ayora, and worse had used, was absolutely crawling with tiny bugs, uck! So everything had to be inspected and cleaned or thrown. We generally keep everything in plastic tubs, but I had slipped up here! And on the subject of bugs, there are big ginger wasp like insects that look as though they are crossed with crane flies, but these seem not to be biting, bees which seemed to be making a nest behind our instrument panel (soon stopped) and cockroaches 5 cm long, every yachtsman’s nightmare if they get on board.
All our best,
Lynne and Alan