Friday, May 9, 2008


May 9, 2008--First of all my May 7 blog did not go out so I am positing it with this one. Secondly, we left Nuku Hiva on the 7th planning to head straight to the Tuamotus. When we got out of the bay, we noticed that the knot meter was not working on our new instrument, and the depth meter on our GPS was not working either. We decided to tuck into Daniel's Bay at the southwest end of Nuku Hiva. We had wanted to go there any way.

The entrance to Daniel's Bay is a bit of a challenge. It is a narrow entrance, and there is a rough sea at the entrance and the surf breaks on the eastern point. The west side has sheer cliffs. However, once you get into the bay, it is very protected and calm with spectacular scenery. A deep green valley comes down to the shore, and this is where you can pick up a trail to hike to a waterfall. We anchored among seven other boats and immediately took a swim to cool off. Steve then pulled the speed transducer and took a dental pick to it. All the growth, barnacles and such, was just amazing. Next he pulled the transducer for our GPS and did the same thing. His technique was quite good, and I told him that in his next life he could become a dental hygienist. When he finished that job, we just sat in the cockpit and enjoyed our wonderful surroundings.

We planned to hike to the waterfall the next morning, but when we got up, the valley was surrounded by rain clouds, and it was already sprinkling a bit. We decided to skip the hike, probably a good thing as the beach has a lot of noseeums that bite, and just head on south. The winds looked pretty good for the next three days, so we got ready to leave.

We put up our main sail while still in the bay, the engine was running just fine, and we headed out through the entrance. The ocean waves were coming right at our bow this time, and the boat was struggling to take the waves head on. Then the engine begins oscillating again. Darn, we were sure we had it running pretty well. To make a long story short, we backed off the rpms a bit and just held our breaths while she lumbered slowly out the pass. Finally we were clear of the entrance and could get our head sail out. The winds were gusting, and we had some pretty large seas, but once we cleared the island a bit, every thing settled down.

All day yesterday we enjoyed from 15 to 19 knots right off the beam, which is our fastest point of sail. The seas were big during the morning, but they calmed down by afternoon and remained that way during the night. We had no squalls or sightings of ships last night. There was some lightening off in the distance, but it never came close to us. Right now we are looking at a 155 mile 24-hour period, which is very good. We planned for a five-day passage; however, we hope to make it in four days.

Steve snagged another fish, but it got off the line. When he pulled his lure in to check it, the hook was about half way straightened out--must have been a big fish. He changed lures and will continue trying.

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