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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daniel's Bay (Anse Hakatea)

As usual we've been working and playing hard now that our passage is over, so I'll just try to hit some of the highlights.

It was most exciting to see Eiau Island come into view Friday afternoon since we knew Nuku Hiva was just one more night away. We got into Daniel's Bay early Saturday morning and immediately went to work putting the boat back to rights. Since the entire exterior (and even underneath the dodger) was encrusted with salt the first thing we did was wash the cockpit with fresh water. Then we reversed the contents of the Pullman and quarter berths to make the former back into our bed and the latter into our storage area. After lunch and a nap for John we put the outboard on the new dinghy for the first time and went around the anchorage introducing ourselves to the other boats, most of which had come from Mexico. Of course Ziggy was ecstatic to have the boat stop moving, and ran around the decks well into his usual nap time.

That night we were incredibly lucky to have a hard rain which washed the rest of the boat for us! I wiped down the boat, John took a look at the Cape Horn to see how he might fix it, and then we joined three other boats for a hike to the waterfall. Wow! That was probably the most beautiful place we've seen in all the Marquesas and I can't believe we skipped it last year. We were so paranoid about the notorious no-nos, but we only got a few bites apiece. The hike was long (about 14 kilometers round trip) but not particularly strenuous, and it starts out through the lovely little village at the river mouth in the bay next door to where we actually anchored. There were plenty of ripe mangoes on the ground along the way so we picked up a few that weren't split or terribly bruised from their fall.

When we returned from the hike we moved the anchor chain from an unused mid-ships tank back up into the bow chain locker, and John replaced a corroded electrical terminal block in our hanging locker. We definitely have a leak somewhere. Salt water is coming into the boat from the side decks and traveling through the overheads and down every wiring location including our beautiful Alpenglow lights. I opened one locker to find a manual only to see evidence of salt water along the bottom of the locker. So everything had to come out and get wiped down. Fortunately the locker next door hadn't been affected. But I'll have to go through every single one to see what's gotten wet.

On Monday John did some more work on the Cape Horn, and tightened the Spectra steering cable (supposedly the Spectra doesn't "stretch" it "creeps" - but I'm not sure what the difference is!). Then we took the dinghy over the river bar and up on shore where John installed the old dinghy wheels on the new dinghy. We made a trade for fruit with Mai, the young man in the green house who is of great service to cruisers. He asked us for a souvenir flag from us with our names on it for his collection so we gave him a Farallon Patrol flag which should be pretty unique among the others. Besides installing the wheels we were checking on the potable water status. A pipe had broken somewhere and water had not been available over the weekend. But the pressure was back so we returned to the boat for our jugs. First John installed a new holding tank vent thru hull, and then we made three trips into the river to take on a total of 108 gallons of water.

Just after sunrise today we motored the short trip to Taiohae. We went to shore where I walked to the store for baguettes while John rinsed salt covered gear and lines and filled a few jugs with water for washing (the water from the faucets here is not potable). Back on the boat we emptied the chain locker and John washed it out with fresh water. Then we did the same thing to the lazarette. Meanwhile I defrosted the freezer and wiped down some of the things that came out of the salty lockers. We made another trip to shore for more wash water, and called it a good day's work at 3 PM. John is on standby waiting for a call from a friend who is rounding up strong bodies for help getting a new engine into his boat. Supposedly he is going to go alongside the Aranui where a crane will lower the engine straight into the sailboat. Hopefully everyone will return with all their fingers and toes.

There were 3-11 boats in Daniel's Bay (coming and going every day) and maybe 40 boats here in Taiohae. The Puddle Jumpers from Mexico are keeping very much in their own groups, but that won't stop us from crashing their party!