Froggy Polly

Rich Carey
Thu 10 May 2018 03:18
9:49.1636S 130:1.8703W

22 days, right on the money, although there were a couple of lulls that threatened otherwise. And I didn't use a drop, of my small swimming pool of spare diesel. But it'll be used - it's now my personal gas station out in the Pacific Islands where no item s availability is guaranteed.
Had some breakages, not many. Lost some sleep, not much. Saw lots of stuff, not so much! Out of 10, that'll be a 9, while the ARC (the actual crossing itself), was an 8. Both great, but this un, greater. As skipper owner on the ARC with strangers aboard, there's always stuff to do. I'd list, but it'd be long so just take my word for it. On your own, it's absolutely different - best description - laid back. There are quite a few, nervy moments, like doing stuff on the roof, or generally moving around the perifery of the boat (where a slip could be fatal), plus bigger squals that come in fast. The main thing in the ARC's favor, was my wonderful Norwegians - I did miss them a few times on this long hop.
So, some 'bests':
Best facility - Hydrovane, by a country mile. I don't know why we struggled with it on the ARC - this run I used it the whole way, and it tuned in first time every time, and didn't need to be thought of - it just got on with it.
Best food: Twix! I had 30 on departure, not so many on arrival!
Best moment: Up in the middle of the night (disturbed by constant squals), put the music on full blast and used one of the 55 gal diesel drums - as a drum - smacking the hell out of it to Shakira :-)
Worst moment - There wasn't one! If I have to note something, it might be finding the port bilge full of water, on my daily inspection. But that turns out to be a bit of a funny ... I'd been racking my brain as to why it happened only one isolated time ... And then my brain got it - I'd had a shower that day, while the boat was dancing along in some good wind. The shower base fills up to about 4 inches for an average shower, then you kick on the out pump, as you're toweling off. I'm pretty sure that the water, which was surging back and forth in the base, was slopping over an overflow and going to the bilge!
Best entertainment: The Wire - all 5 seasons.

So here I am, in French Polynesia, with froggy talk all around me. The people look Maori, and there's a very strong connection with New Zealand. Alas the anchorage, here at Hiva Oa, is a right royal pain in the ass. It's bow and stern anchors. I have a 'thing' with dragging anchors, and this place gave me a dragging stern one - totally my own fault. You need to put a bouy on the stern anchor, or you'll never get it out. The buoy ties to a part of the anchor, that 'trips' it, and then with much huffing and heaving, you can get it up. I tied a large round buoy to it, with not quite a long enough rope. The anchor is heavy, but the big buoy is unsinkable. When the tide came in, the bouy tripped the anchor, and it floated slowly past the boat! I must have sensed it, as I got up at 3 am and we'd swung 180 degrees, just missing two boats right next door (the anchorage is packed). I didn't realize the reason, and did it again today! Then I got it, so fingers crossed for tonight!

There are very few facilities in this bay, and town is half an hour walk. On my trip in today, to do the check-in, I got picked up both ways by passing drives - friendly people these Marquises folk.

So, no facilities, no arrival beer after all (I was sure there must be a bar here as there are always so many boats - but nope). This morning I was in town (one horse type), bright and early for the check-in, and as that was quick and painless, I thereafter diverted to the one and only town bar for a couple of well earned swifties, at 09:30 :-)

Tomorrow I need to do some repairs on the boom (fix the topping lift, and make changes to the  squeaky reefing), then I can head off. 'Repairs' reminds me of one I can't make until I have a new propeller - I broke my Torqueedo! There are some nasty rocks by the pathetically small dingy dock, and I clipped one - clunk - totally snapped off one of the two blades - blast. So now I have the 6hp stinker, back on the tender :-(

To where I go, I do not yet know. Normally it would be west, but there is another Marquises Island a  long day north east (86nm, so more likely an overnight), called 'Fatu Hiva' that might be worth a look. Probably not, but maybe - I haven't checked weather, which is important hereabouts (especially with regard to swell and direction of travel).

All's well on x86, floating anchors aside!

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