Last few days of the visit of Hannah and Mia

Tuesday, June 19 – Hakahetau, Ua Pou
It was a very rocky night and no one slept well. One of our
friends on another boat said it was the most uncomfortable night
they have had since they got to the Marquesas. I can’t say we
could give it the same bad rating, but it was definitely a
difficult night to sleep. Even Mia, who is normally a terrific
sleeper, had to get up and try sleeping in different places in
the boat because the noise from the waves slapping the boat in
the back, and the side to side motion, kept waking her up. Mark
and I left the girls on the boat in the morning and took the
dinghy to the dock of the village of Hakahetau to make sure our
arrangements with the taxi driver Maurice were all set for
Thursday. Since there seem to be very few taxis here and we
didn’t want to have anything go wrong when the girls leave for
the airport. Maurice was at his house, just a short walk from
the dock, and reconfirmed that we would be all set for Thursday.
Then Mark and I walked over the little “restaurant” we had eaten
at a few weeks ago run by Pierrot and his wife. We asked them
if they would prepare a meal for us and the girls the next day –
and they were happy to agree. One more stop at the tiny little
grocery store in the village then to get a baguette (frozen) and
a bag of carrots (the only vegies available). On the way back to
the boat we met a young Marquesan man named Atai who was very
friendly with us when we commented on his terrific mango tree.
He gave us a few mangoes and told us we could come by the next
day for more fruit and also invited us to dinner . We weren’t
sure what either we or the girls would want to do on their last
night so we told him we would come by the next day to discuss,
and we went back to get the girls. The seas had subsided quite
a bit by then and we decided to go for a snorkel. This is one
of the only places we have seen in the Marquesas where the water
is actually clear enough to snorkel. The other bays are clean,
but not very clear as there is usually sediment from run off
from mountain streams. We had a great time snorkeling – saw a
lot of fish and one large octopus just balled up on the bottom.
It was hard to tell the octopus from the surrounding rocks and
coral – it was so well hidden – but luckily we saw him move a
tentacle as we swam by so we watched him for a while. Another
boater was snorkeling in the vicinity with a spear gun,
apparently hunting langoustine (lobster) for dinner. We stayed
far away from him just in case he couldn’t tell us from a lobster.

The dinghy anchor got stuck on the coral when we tried to leave,
just as it did a few weeks ago when Mark and I were here, so
Mark had to dive down to get it. It was quite deep – 25-30 feet
– and he hurt his eardrum as he dove. We are going to have to
be more careful when we drop our dinghy anchor – it always seems
to get stuck when there is any coral around (which is often). In
the evening we had a great fish dinner on the boat. Our friend
Susan, from the boat “Infinity” came over to look at a weather
forecast that Mark had downloaded for her for her upcoming trip
to Tahiti. Mark and I visited with her while Mia and Hannah
watched “Finding Nemo”. Also of interest (to us at least) is
the fact that the boat “Roxi” just pulled into the harbor. The
people on Roxi are very good friends with Vera, and the two
boats were supposed to have been doing the circumnavigation
together. Roxi, however, kept slowing down for various reasons
and Vera kept on moving ahead (usually with us), and so the two
boats have not seen each other for at least 3 months. We were
glad to finally meet them.

Wednesday, June 20
We tried to pack a lot into the day as this was our last full
day with the girls. We started out by getting up early and going
to shore for a walk to the waterfall. Before starting the hike
we brought 3 empty diesel containers and 1 gas can to Maurice’s
so they would be ready to take with us in his truck on Thursday
when we took the girls to the airport. The only place to buy
fuel on the island is in the town of Hakehau which is several
miles past the airport. The hike to the waterfall is not very
far – only about a 35 minute walk. The path is mostly on a dirt
road which had gotten really muddy after the previous night’s
rain. As we got closer to the waterfall there were an
increasing number of mosquitoes, but nothing too bad as long as
you kept walking (and we were covered in Deet). We all jumped
into the pool at the foot of the waterfall which was nice and
cool, but despite the spray from the waterfall, and the
constantly flowing water, there were just too many mosquitoes
around to be comfortable, so we did not spend too much time
there. We quickly got dressed and sprinted back to the main path
and back to town.

We went straight to Chez Pierrot’s for lunch and washed off the
mud and grime in their outdoor spigot. We were the only ones
there for a while except Pierrot’s wife and his two beautiful
daughters and grandson. The “restaurant” is just two tables set
up on a terrace beside his kitchen, but the food is very good
and the people there are friendly. Just after we got served our
lunches the people from Roxi walked up. They were with 7 other
boaters, all hoping to have lunch there. It is not the kind of
place that can just accommodate walk-ins, as they have to plan
in advance and get their food from the next town (about 40
minutes away), but after a few minutes of negotiation the
proprietress said she could accommodate them all. I am not sure
she would have given us 2 huge fillets of fish each if she had
known so many people were coming, but by then we had been
served. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk to the people on
Roxi, but did have a chat with some of the other sailors at
their table. After lunch we got a large breadfruit from the tree
outside the restaurant and directions on how to cook it. As we
walked back to the boat we passed Atai’s house and he gave us a
few bags of fruit – mangoes, papayas and bananas – in exchange
for some sandals we promised him if he came to the boat later
that evening. Since he is out every evening in the bay with his
outrigger canoe, we figured it would be fun for him to come
over. We got back to the boat, and were all hot and tired, and
even though we wanted to go snorkeling again, none of us had the
energy to leave the boat again, so we just swam off of the boat
and cooled off for a while. Then Hannah gave both me and Mark
haircuts. We have been looking pretty funny with our long hair,
and have given up on finding a hairdresser for at least a few
more weeks, so we figured it was worth it to be Hannah’s first 2
haircut guinea pigs. She did a great job and we now look almost
civilized. After that Atai came by to collect his sandals. We
invited him on board for a drink and some snacks and we had a
good time learning some Marquesan words from him. We ended up
giving him a few extra things – a nice shirt for his wife and a
sailing hat – and he left the boat seeming quite happy. The
girls packed up their bags and we spend the last part of the
evening watching the stars on deck.

Thursday June 21
Up very early for our scheduled rendezvous with Maurice on the
dock. It poured half of the night but luckily it was not raining
when it was time to put everything into the dinghy and go
ashore. We got to the dock at 8:30, expecting Maurice any
minute, but when it was 9:00 and he had not shown up we started
to get anxious. The girls flight was not until noon, but
Maurice had told us we needed to leave before 9:00 in order to
take us to Hakehau to buy fuel and provisions and visit the ATM.
Also, after the problems Hannah and Mia had with their flights
out here, we did not want to be stuck at the dock without a
taxi. Luckily there was a working phone booth near the dock and
I called Maurice’s house, only to be told by his daughter that
he had had some kind of emergency in the morning and he had to
take 2 people to the hospital in the other town. She reassured
me that he would be at the dock by 10:00, but we had lost
confidence in him, and the girls were very worried about their
flight. We asked one of the local women at the dock if she knew
anyone else who could at least drive the girls to the airport
while we waited for Maurice. We thought it made sense for them
to wait safely at the airport rather than 12 miles away, hoping
that Maurice would come. Since practically everyone in the
village is a relative of each other, it did not take her long to
find a cousin of Maurice’s who lived next door with a nice truck
who was willing (for a price) to take them to the airport.
Within minutes we had to say goodbye and leave them with the
hope that before long Maurice would show up and bring us to the
airport for a proper send-off. After they left we were
surprised to see our fruit man , Atai, walking by with his wife
– wearing the new stuff we had given them – and he was clearly
peeved at us. Apparently he didn’t think he got a fair deal was
anxious to let us know. It was pretty uncomfortable, and the
first time we have had a negative kind of experience with a
local. Before too long Maurice showed up and we were on our way
to find the girls. There is a pretty beach outside the gate to
the airport, and when we drove by, we saw Hannah and Mia just
sitting by the beach, reading their books. There is only one
flight a day into Ua Pou and the plane only seats 10 people, so
there is no need for the airport to be open until 90 minutes
before that flight arrives. It then immediately returns to Nuku
Hiva. The girl’s driver was kind enough to park the car by the
beach and stay with them while they awaited either us or the
opening of the gates. We all switched to Maurice’s cab and sat
by the beach for another 20 minutes before the airport opened.
It was a couple of miles further down the airport road
paralleling the runway to the very tiny little airport terminal,
and we were the first ones there. With lots of kisses and hugs
we parted. The trip was altogether too short and Hannah hopes
to come back on our next leg of the journey for a much longer

The rest of the afternoon was spent with Maurice driving to
Hakehau to get fuel (only diesel, they had run out of gasoline),
and of course more groceries. We stopped for lunch at a
restaurant where Pierrot was working as a cook – not his own
restaurant in Hakahetau – but a bigger restaurant in Hakehau.
We invited Maurice to eat with us and were surprised to hear he
had never eaten there before. There are probably only 5
restaurants on the whole island and this one was not a
particularly expensive or fancy one, although it does service
the local College of Ua Pou. Once we finished up our errands
we returned to Hakahetau and Maurice stopped to get us bananas
from a woman at the side of the road and then took us to his
house where his daughters picked mangoes and pamplemousse for
us. We had a huge load of goods to load into the dinghy and he
helped us with that as well. Back on board we stowed
everything away, and put away the dinghy and engine for our
upcoming passage to the Tuomotos – a 3 day sail. There was
hardly time to do everything, but we were anxious to get going
as we had gotten very tired by the rolly anchorages of the
Marquesas. We checked in with Mia’s parents and got updated on
the girls status – and fortunately – everything went totally
smoothly on the way back to Providence. Hannah even managed to
pick up a checked bag that she had left in the Tahiti airport on
the way to visit us. It was filled with granola and almonds so
now she will have some goodies to bring with her to Boston when
she starts her summer biology program next week.


Safe Arrival of Sabbatical III in Toau

Safe Arrival of Sabbatical III in Toau

We pulled into Anse Amyot, Toau just after dawn this
morning. We are now tied up to a mooring owned by Valentina and
Gaston, the Tuamotan family that lives on the north side of this
small indent (“false lagoon”) on the northwest side of Toau.
The wind and seas never did abate as forecast. On the contrary,
winds were 25-30 knots all day yesterday and last night, and
seas rose to 9-12 feet with the occasional 15 footers. Some of
these bigger waves brought significant amounts of spray towards
the cockpit. The rain flaps that we installed kept us mostly
dry if we sat in the front half of the cockpit. The night was
squally with some downpours and wind gusts in excess of 30
knots. Nonetheless, Sabbatical III handled it all very well,
although it was tough to sleep with all of the waves knocking
the boat around. We had to slow the boat down for some hours
yesterday and last night in order to not arrive before sunrise.
We sailed without the mainsail, and with double reefs (and
occasionally triple reefs) in the genoa and mizzen. We never
saw another boat visually or on radar. I hooked two fish but
could not land either one of them. It is still fun to hear the
line unspool off of the reel after the fish bites and to fight
them for a while.

Michael and Britta of “Vera” came out in their dinghy to help
us tie up to the mooring, and then came aboard for coffee,
cereal, and fruit. They said that it has been blowing 25-35
knots continuously for the past two days. Nonetheless, Anse
Amyot is fully protected from the waves (but not the wind) by a
set of coral reefs and motus that extend in every direction
except for a small opening to the west. We are looking forward
to showers and sleep.

Our position is South 15 degrees 48.212 minutes, West 146
degrees 09.114 minutes.


passage to Taou- day 2

Since departing Ua Pou, about 35 hours ago, we have had the
fastest 1 and a half days of sailing since the 2003 Atlantic
crossing. It is 550 nm to Taou, the 450 nm noted in my previous
email is a typo. We have been doing 8.5 knots and above
consistently but we are now consciously slowing the boat down so
that we arrive after dawn on Monday. Winds are in the
mid-twenties from the east. seas are 6-9 feet in ESE swells,
with a few scattered squalls.

We are still steering 211 degrees magnetic from our current
position of S 12 degrees 49.88 minutes, W 143 degrees 10.97
minutes at 1912 Marquesan time. Speed is 7.5 knots.

Michael, please alert the family in Taou to our early Monday
morning arrival. Perhaps they could rig a new mooring for us.


Sabbatical III on the move


Sabbatical III left Hakahetau Bay on the island of Ua Pou,
Marquesas today at 0720 local time headed for the small atoll of
Taou in the Toumotu archipeligo. The trip is charted at about
450 nautical miles. Our route takes us on a heading of 211
degrees magnetic until a point SSE of Takaroa. From there we
will bisect the broad channel define by Kuehi and Fakarava on
the south and Takaroa and Apataki to the nortth. Our final
destination is Anse Amyot on the northwest corner of Taou. We
expect to arrive before dark on Monday. If we arrive late, we
will spend the night at sea and enter after dawn. If we cannot
anchor in Anse Amyot, Taou for any reason, our backup is to
enter the lagoon of Fakarava via Passed Garu. Fakarava lies
only 12 nm. south of Taou. The position of Toua is S 16
degrees 00 minutes, West 146 degrees 00 minutes.

Sabbatical III left Ua Pou well provisioned with 675 liters
of diesel and 650 liter of water. She also is burdened with 50
large pomeloes, 30 mangoes, 100 limes, 120 bananas, and one
large breadfruit. There is nothing but fruit everywhere you
look down below. Scurvy is not an issue. The Tuomotan family
that will host us in Taou has no access to fruit, so some of
this cornucopia is intended for them.

It is now 1020 local time, three hours after departure, and
we are making excellent progress. We are doing 8.8 knots with
single reefs in the genoa, main, and mizzen sails. The wind has
abated somewhat and is now from the east at 22 knots. Seas are
7 to 9 feet in closely spaced swells out of the ESE. The
forecast calls for diminishing waves and wind over the next 3
days — a truly excellent forecast for what can be a difficult
passasge if the weather gets out of hand. Skies are partly
cloudy after a morning squall. Little squall activity is
forecast for the next three days.

We will try to undate our progress daily. We loved the
Marquesas, with the visit of Hannah and Mia being the highlight,
but now feel it is time to get on the road again as our 90 day
visa clock in French Polynesia is running down.

Current position (1038 local time) is S 9 degrees 39.55
minutes West 140 degrees 22.87 minutes.

New slideshows

There are new slideshows posted beginning with Isabella island (Galapagos) and ending with Nuku Hiva, Marquesas as of ten days ago.  No captions yet as we do not have a good internet connection yet.

Day 3 with Hannah and Mia

Tuesday June 12th

Today we hiked over to Hatiheu to have lunch. It is a two
hourwalk up a steep mountain – through lime and mango forest and
then down an equally steep path to the little village of
Hatiheu. There are fantastic views from the top – including that
of our boat in the harbor. It is a well marked trail, used
daily by villagers going between the two towns ( as there is no
other way to get from one to the other unless you have a boat).
Hot, sweaty, and tired, we reached the town just in time for a
really nice lunch at Chez Yvonne – the same place we had picked
up Mia and Hannah just 2 days before. Our friends from the
boat “Caramba” had walked over earlier in the day and were
having lunch there as well. After lunch we decided to do a
little hike up the road to where we were supposed to find some
interesting archeological remains- supposedly just 20 minutes
away. We walked up a very steep hill and then continued along a
beautiful road for at least 40 minutes finding nothing but mango
trees, goats and palms trees. We decided to turn back and when
we reached the town we found out from “Caramba” that we had gone
up the wrong road. Too tired and hot to try again, we joined
“Caramba” who had arranged for a motorboat to take them back to
our bay. Instead of a two hour hike, we were treated to a cool
and pleasant 15 minute boat ride. We all jumped in the water as
soon as we got back in the boat to cool off. Mia passed out
about 8:30 and Mark, Hannah and I stayed up a little later
watching the stars.

Hannah and Mia Arrive

Ready to suntanJune 10th, 2007
We are a week behind in keeping up our blog, but it will have to
wait, as the most important news is now that Hannah and her
friend Mia have arrived safely. We picked them up in the nearby
harbor of Hakehau today where there were dropped off after a 2
hour taxi ride from the airport. They were scheduled to arrive
today, but as of yesterday, we did not think they would be able
to make it. Yesterday it seemed that everything that could go
wrong was going wrong. Mia flew to Chicago Friday night so that
she and Hannah could catch a flight together on Saturday morning
to L.A. – and from there to Tahiti – and finally to catch the
once a day flight to Nuka Hiva. They stayed in an airport hotel
on Friday night and the woman at the desk there stupidly told
them that they only needed to get to the airport an hour before
the 8:15 a.m. flight. Apparently there had been big storms on
the east coast the day before and when they and about 1,000
other people arrived at the airport they found lines snaking out
the door for Southwest airlines – and a lot of swearing going
on. By the time they got to the check-in counter their tickets had been given away and they then had to wait on stand-by for the next flight ( 3 hours later), which they also did not get onto. They finally got onto the 1:30 p.m. flight,
which would not get them to L.A. in time to get the flight to
Tahiti. They would be able to get a much later flight, but that
flight was arriving in Tahiti only 40 minutes before the once a
day flight to Nuku Hiva. We received an e-mail from Hannah
telling us that they probably would miss their plane, and when
we talked to Mia’s parents the story got worse as it appeared
that if they missed the flight to Nuka Hiva on Sunday, the
earliest they would be able to get on a plane would be

Needless to say we were all a bit crazed – plus
frustrated as we can only communicate by e-mail and by satellite
phone. We had several conversations with Mia’s parents, and
tried to make phone calls to Air Tahiti to try to see what could
be done – while Mia’s folks spent hours and hours doing the same
thing from their end, beginning in the morning with the
Southwest Airlines people. By the time we went to bed Saturday
night it looked like there was little chance that the girls
would get to Nuka Hiva and our already short time with the girls
would be truncated from 10 days to just 6. We did not like the
thought of the girls spending 3 or 4 nights in a hotel in Tahiti
while waiting to get onto a plane to Nuku Hiva. We had made
plans for a taxi to get the girls from the airport in Nuku Hiva
and bring them to the next bay over from us called Hatiheu. Hatiheu has a town and a road – although it is a rough and bumpy 2 hour drive from the airport. The bay in which we are anchored, Anaho Bay, has no roads at all. We stay in Anaho because is well protected from ocean swells, which is not the case for Hateheu Bay. We had arranged for a taxi well in advance, as we were told it is difficult to find someone at the airport to drive you anywhere besides the main town which is at the opposite end of the island. Thinking that the girls could not possibly make it in, we cancelled the taxi.

Much to our surprise, however, on Sunday morning we got up and
checked our e-mail right away and found out from Mia’s parents
that the plane from Tahiti had arrived an hour earlier than
scheduled, and that the girls did get on the plane to Nuku Hiva,
and that they should be arriving shortly. We quickly called the
taxi driver – but could only leave a voice message for him – and
pulled up anchor to get to the next bay to be there when and
if the girls arrived. Our friends on Intiaq, and another French
boat Caramba, both offered to help by following up with the taxi
driver by phone, and also by giving us a mobile phone number
that the girls could call when they arrived on Nuku Hiva. We
pulled up anchor and within an hour were anchored in Hatiheu –
and soon after were on shore awaiting the girls at our
pre-designated meeting spot at the sole restaurant in town –
Chez Yvonne. We received a VHF radio call from our friends on
Intiaq telling us that Hannah had called the mobile phone, and
she and Mia were in the taxi and en route. There were a number
of tatooed and bone bejeweled locals hanging around the
restaurant who knew that the girls were on their way (small
town!) and told us they would be there shortly. At 11:30 a taxi
pulled up – and hooray – there were Hannah and Mia – looking
beautiful, tired and thirsty. We loaded everything onto the
dinghy and had a quick lunch on the boat before sailing back to Anaho Bay which is a much more comfortable place to sleep. Our friends on Intiaq greeted the girls with bouquets of balloons (they are equipped for everything on that boat) – and the girls managed to stay up for a few hours before collapsing. We aren’t sure if they will sleep through the night now, or just take a little nap.

Monday June 11
The girls slept from 4:30 p.m. yesterday until after 7:00 a.m. this morning! We all woke up to a gorgeaus, sunny day and spent the whole day on the boat – suntanning ( Mia and Hannah anyways), reading, talking, swimming, and visiting with the neighbors on Intiaq and Caramba.

Hakehau and Hakahetau [delayed post]

[This was sent on June 3rd but failed to post]

Thursday May 31st

Hakehau, Ua Pou
This morning our friends on Rishu Maru and Esperanza left . They
are on their way to the Tuamotus a 4 day sail from here.
Pretty much everyone stops in the Tuamotus when they leave the
Marquesas. They are a large set of coral atolls that lie right
between the Marquesas and Tahiti and are supposed to be very
nice with extremely clear water and wonderful snorkeling and
fishing. We will be heading that way in 3 weeks. We spent most
of the day Thursday trying to get some fruit and buying a few
groceries. There is this odd guy who swims around the harbor
here, just resting on a small surfboard, and asking the sailors
if they need help getting any fruit. We had been saying no to
him, but when we walked over to a house which everyone said was
“the place” to go to get fruit, the swimmer was there taking
down orders. Several other yachters were there – and he said he
would send his buddy up into the hills to get fresh pamplemousse
and bananas and bring them down to the dock at 2:00 p.m.. We
asked for some bananas, and pamplemousse, and then we continued
on our way.

The day before we had gotten about 20 beautiful mangoes in town from someones yard, and we found a gorgeous looking tree outside another house today and asked if we could have some. The woman who lived there was very young and cute and she hopped up onto the fence, and picked a dozen huge mangoes and gave them to us, but with the warning that they probably wouldn’t be too good because they weren’t ripe. We have become used to this, as the locals only eat fruit fully ripened on the trees ( except bananas which everyone picks green). Since we can’t wait around for them to ripen and drop off the trees, we are happy to get the green fruit and let it ripen on the boat. When you pick a hard mango from the tree, an incredible amount of sticky sap comes running out of it and we are sure we are missing out on a lot of yummy sweet mango taste by taking them prematurely but what can we do? We stopped for lunch in one of the two restaurants in the village. The special of the day was chicken paella, which I had, and which I only mention as it is going to come up later in the blog. The waitress at the restaurant doesn’t seem to like us very much but we enjoy eating out since we don’t get a chance to do it very much here so we ignored her rude behavior and enjoyed the food.

We had decided that we would leave for another harbor in the afternoon as the village we were in, Hakahau, was not terribly interesting and we didnt really like the harbor very
much either. The anchorage has a beautiful view, but it is ruined by a cement wall they have running all along the shore, and some construction trucks working on the nearby docks. Just
as we came back to the bay, however, we saw our friends on Intiaq pulling in. We have not seen them for nearly a month since we left Fatu Hiva- so we went over to help them with their
anchor (Vera beat us to it, however), and to say hello. They had just spent the past few days in the nearby harbor of Hakahetau which we were preparing to sail to. I told them that
we had eaten in a restaurant in town that day and Karin totally surprised me by saying, Oh, and didn’t you have chicken paella for lunch? I couldn’t figure out how she could possibly
guess this. It is not a typical dish, I had seen no-one since the restaurant who could possibly know Karin and tell her, and I was pretty sure there was none dribbling off of my chin. How
did she know It turns out that she had been talking to some of the people in the village of Hakahetau, and a young woman had told her that her boyfriend worked at the restaurant in Hakahau and was planning to make chicken paella. So Karin figured, rightly, that was probably a pretty good chance that I was at that restaurant. It was very funny. We were glad to see them, but anxious to move over to Hakahetau, and meet up again with Vera who had just sailed over there.

The fruit man showed up on the dock as planned, but somehow he had messed up the order, and forgot to bring anything for us just for the other boats. So he gave us a small bunch of
bananas for free and said he would bring us fruit the next day if we wanted. We said no, because we were really anxious to leave by then. So at 4:00 P.M. we pulled up our anchor, with Jean Francois helping us pick up the stern anchor, and set off for the nearby bay of Hakahetau. It was a very short distance only about 5 nm, but really stunning. The island of Ua Pou has a beautiful coastline with very huge, very phallic looking peaks jutting up above the green hills. A large pod of dolphins starting swimming with us for the last mile leading to the bay. We hope to take Hannah and Mia here for a few days. We pulled in to the harbor at 5:00 and found that it was empty except for Vera. They invited us over for our second dinner of fresh mahi-mahi.

Friday, June 1, 2007
Today the weather changed and we had a whole day of rain and squalls. Unusual here to have a whole day like that, and there was a lot of wind and swells in the bay. We hung out with Vera on our boat for part of the afternoon, and then just hunkered down to await the storms passing.

Saturday, June 2, 2007
The weather was pretty awful all last night and we were starting to worry about our friends on Rishu Maru and Esperanza. We would not have liked to be out at sea these past 24 hours and we know they are only way to the Tuomotus. Vera touched base with them via their satellite phone, and it has been very rough the worst conditions that Rishu Maru has ever experienced and they have been sailing for 25 years. Vera was supposed to leave today for the Tuomotus, but between the bad weather reports and our discouragement, they have decided to wait until the weather improves. They were really trying to time their arrival in time for optimal tides in the Tuomotus, there are many atolls there that you can (or should ) only enter at low slack tide and in broad daylight so you can see any coral heads that are sticking out. Today would have been the last day in the month that they could leave and arrive in the Tomatoes at low, slack tide, but it is too risky to leave with such big swells and strong winds.

We continue to rock uncomfortably on the boat with this big swell, but we are safe, and there is nowhere else to go right now. Mark and I went into town today as the rain stopped for a
while and we just had to get off the rocking boat. The town dinghy dock is a tough one ? you have to tie a stern line from your dinghy to a float about 30 feet from shore, and then motor
forward to the dock and leap off and tie up to the dock. Because of the big swells in the harbor there were some big waves breaking on the dock, but two local guys helped us tie up
without much trouble at all. We found a very cute, small town, with a tiny little restaurant run’ by a French man and his wife. The restaurant doesn’t have a sign or anything, but a very
friendly local women led us there when we asked her about getting food. The French man, Pierrot, has only lived here a year, but his family is all from here originally, and pretty
much everyone in this little town is his cousin or brother-in-law. He told us to take a walk up to the waterfall for an hour and then come back for lunch, so we did. We had not
expected to walk to the waterfall today. After such heavy rains we thought the path would be muddy and mosquitoey ( which it was), but it was not a long walk ( about 40 minutes each way), and it was nice to have a walk. The waterfall was great with a nice clear pool to swim in. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were eating us alive, despite the Deet we had applied so carefully, so we did not stay long.

When we got back to town (after collecting a couple of dozen limes on the way), we found a’nicely set table at Pierrot’s for us. His wife and daughters and other family members were all
having lunch at the other table and were very friendly to us. He served us a great meal — quiche, entrecote, frites and broccoli, followed by some excellent French coffee and cut pamplemousse. He sat down with us and we chatted — a good chance for me to practice my French again — and it was really fun. We told him we wanted to arrange for a taxi to take Hannah and Mia to the airport on June 20th, and asked if he could help. He drove us to the home of the taxidriver in town, his brother-in-law and cousin Maurice, and we made an arrangement. We parted with an agreement to come back on Monday to pick up some fruit from him at his house. He gave us an enormous pamplemousse and a half a dozen passion fruit and we said goodbye.

Back at the boat, the weather seemed better and we went off for a snorkel. The whole side of the bay here is a coral reef and it was very clear water. We dinghied over to the reef wall and
dropped our anchor to hold the dinghy there while we swam. When it was time to go we could not pick up the anchor. Mark looked down and saw that the anchor was under a piece of coral 30 feet down. He tried to free it, but it was clear someone had to dive down and retrieve it. So Mark dove down and freed the anchor. Before we could pull away though, it lodged itself under another piece of coral and he had to get in and dive down
again. His ears are hurting now.
In the evening we had Vera to the boat for a “Pride and Prejudice” party. We had told them how much we love the BBC movie of it, and they have borrowed our DVD 3 times already to
watch it, so we decided it would be fun to watch together. We only had the energy to watch the first 3 chapters but may finish it up with them at some later date.

Sunday June 3, 2007
Last night and today the swell in the bay continued to be uncomfortable. By about 2:00 P.M. it seemed to be calming down a bit finally. We went for a great snorkel, and then watched a
huge rainbow appear in the sky just at sundown. Our friends Brita and Michael from Vera came by to say goodbye as tomorrow they leave for the Tuamotos. We have so many pictures we want to share, but we have no internet access at all here, and have not
had any really usable internet access except for a few brief hours in Nuka Hiva. We may have to wait until we get to Tahiti to share the rest of our good photos.