April 17, 2008—Well, we have now been here in Nuku Hiva for 8 days. We found out that the shop in Tahiti is “working” on our pump, but Steve decided to go ahead and order a new one from the states. He had a hard time finding one, but friends that we met while we were cruising in Alaska in 2005 who live in San Diego have taken on the task of finding one from a shop in San Diego, having it shipped to them, and then shipping it to us here. They have been such a big help!
The past two days have been very wet. Yesterday it rained almost all day, and not just small showers—it poured. Then it rained heavily again this morning. Right now it has let up, at least for awhile.
Yesterday, Steve was ashore, and I stayed on the boat to work on some things. I heard a lot of splashing going on all around the boat. When I went up to see what was happening, I noticed small sardines or minnows swimming all around the boat. Then I saw a small black tip shark chasing them. The next thing I knew, there were six of the small sharks feasting around our boat. A large manta ray also swam by. It was quite a show and it went on for two hours. When Steve came back, he was watching and noticed some type of fish also feeding in the group. He got out his rod and cast a few times. He ended up catching on of the sharks. He got his needle nose pliers and was able to release the shark without getting bit. He then cast a few more times, and he hooked a fish, which gave a pretty good fight. He pulled in about a 6-pound Pacific Bonito. Bonitos are a variety of tuna, and they are supposed to be pretty good eating. We haven’t had much fish, but we now have eight nice fish steaks in the freezer.
This morning we went aboard “Liberty” to help them at the fuel dock. Another cruiser was in his dinghy to help push the boat around if needed, and his shipmate, who spoke French, was on the dock speaking to the attendant. The quay is made of concrete, and it was built for large ships, so you can not tie up along the side. Carl had to back the sailboat—always an adventure—up to the quay. As he was backing, Steve dropped their anchor, and then Yvette and I threw lines from the stern that were then tied to the quay. The result was that the boat was floating just off the quay. The fuel line was passed out to the boat, and Carl and Yvette filled their tanks and then allowed us to fill two of our jerry jugs with diesel. The surge was pretty strong, and there were some good gusts of wind that all combined to keep the sailboat moving all around and to keep us on our toes.
We decided to put up our large awning today. That will help to shade the boat and, hopefully, keep some of the rain from coming down the hatches. It needed to be aired out anyway, so it should work well.
Many of the boats that we crossed with are now coming into this anchorage. It is very nice to get to see these people again, but it just reminds us of what we are missing. We are trying to stay upbeat about the situation. Steve went in today and reserved a car for us on Monday. We decided that we would explore the island by car. There are several beautiful waterfalls and several villages that we would like to see. By doing that, when we do get going, we can head to the next island and save some time.
We keep busy with laundry, checking with the mechanic, getting groceries, and doing small boat projects. We are doing a lot of reading right now, so I’m glad that I loaded up on books.
That’s all the news for now. I’ll write more in a few days.