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.