Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday 17th July

Nuku Hiva

8 54.888 S
140 06.115 W

The rain finally stopped and the sun showed its face this morning. We opened up the boat to let some fresh air and sunlight in and to help dry the interior out again; it’s amazing how just a couple of wet days leaves the whole place damp and musty. Of course all the cushions etc outside also needed to be dried out along with the spinnaker – that’s becoming a bit of a joke; I don’t think it will ever get dried out between the rain and the huge wind gusts that necessitate it being taken down lest it blows away! Still we are trying; it was hoisted again first thing this morning. Gerry did his morning dash to the store to get some croissants and was a little more successful today, arriving back with 4 croissants and 4 sweet rolls. We enjoyed them along with paint stripper strength coffee for breakfast. We carefully poured the last buckets of rain water that we had gathered into the water tanks and packed the buckets away. Then it was time for us to go on a long walk. We took down the spinnaker (still not dry) to prevent it blowing away in our absence, closed up the hatches and bailed the last of the water out of the dink which we then took into the dock. The tide was low and still going out so we made sure to tie up near the steps, having had the problem of trying to get back in the dink at low tide once we have learnt our lesson very quickly. We went first to the post office as we needed to mail in our customs forms, I tried my ATM card in the machine there and low and behold it worked! Next we set off towards the bank and the supermarket; on the way we met up with Sue and Ross who were just completing their checking in. Ross headed off to the Gendarmerie whilst Sue accompanied us to the bank and the store. At the bank I again tried my ATM card – same result – it gave me money! Poor Gerry he tried his to make sure and yes it rejected his card, thank goodness mine works. Continuing on to the store I saw that there were lots of bushes of jasmine along the shore line – I had been right about the scent we could smell on the evening breeze, the flowers on the bushes were huge – about the size of the top of a coffee mug round. The supermarket was a pleasant surprise, it had a good variety of canned and packet foods alone with all the things that we have to have (chocolate and Pringles!) It lacks fresh fruit and vegetables, though outside there was a trestle table set up and a woman there was selling tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, string beans and zucchini. Now we just have to find fruit. Across the road from this store is the second store which had a good variety of frozen meat and vegetables plus a few things that the first store lacked – between them we should be able to get most of what we need for the forward passage. By the time we got through the second store Ross had joined us and he and Sue decided to head back to their boat whilst Gerry and I continued on our walk around the bay. It was a very pleasant walk along the shore; we found the church that we would have gone to had the service been at a reasonable hour! The church was very picturesque, and I felt typically French with Polynesian touches.
The carvings around it were fantastic and there was a beautiful shine to one side of the church which had the backdrop of the mountains – quite spectacular.
Continuing along the coast road we found the 3rd store, a little set back from the road but what a discovery – they sold TIMTAMS! We left there and continued on our way past what seemed to be a? sacred spot where there were several stone carvings of Tiki / totem likeness and an open stage sort of building which seemed out of commission, I took pictures of all of this on our return. The cemetery was just a bit further along the road and had several frangipani trees in flower amongst the graves. We continued on until we reached the end of the road, just next to Rose’s Museum and bar (happy hour there Tuesday and Friday at 16.30 hrs – guess where we will be tonight) We turned around at this point and walked on the black sand beach until it ran out and then returned to the road for the rest of the walk back. By the time we reached the first of the stores it was gone midday and as everything closes down from 12.00 until 14.00hrs we decided to head straight back to our boat. We made one more stop on the way – just outside the dock there is a building which we suspect is purpose built and houses the artisan’s work, there are carvings, beadwork (made from seeds), tapa cloth and some local preserves for sale. I was entranced by the carvings and will be going back with money in my pocket and Gerry no where close by! Back on the boat we had lunch and hoisted the damn Spinnaker up again. After a very short while there was a “SNAP” and the bottom end of the spinnaker took off at right angles out to our starboard side (it had been tied down to the port side). The gust of wind had broken the leash holding it to the deck, thank goodness the halyard held. Once again we were out on deck hauling the thing in – at least it wasn’t in the water this time! I’m beginning to think that it might be better to leave it wet until we try flying it again. I spent the early afternoon hours typing up blog notes and adding some photos for the last 3 weeks – not many but have a look at the spectacular sun and sky pictures going back to June 22nd to make it worth my time. At 14.00hrs Gerry took off in the dink to go and reclaim our laundry which should have been ready yesterday. He arrived back far too quickly, obviously something was wrong – the laundry wasn’t open that afternoon! We spent the next couple of hours reading our books and then at around 16.00hrs we dinked across to Rose’s with Sue and Ross for happy hour. We tied our dinks up to a tree on the beach and walked across the road to Rose’s, we were a bit surprised as Roses place is just her house which has a long table set up outside for happy hour. There were just 2 other men there for the time we were there. Rose asked if we were going to eat there, offering us Mexican chicken and salad for dinner, we already had other plans so politely declined – in retrospect it was a mistake! We had 2 drinks and then made our way back to the dinks, disaster had struck - the tide had turned and was coming in, washing over the back of the dinks and filling them with black sand and sea water. We bailed out quickly, jumped in the dink and motored off to the dock where we tied up before heading along the road to the restaurant that Gerry and I had eaten at a couple of times. Although it was open they didn’t seem to be expecting to have to serve dinner – the beer was waiting to go in the fridge and wasn’t cold and the worse news was that there were no vegetables that night and no salad either – we should have eaten at Rose’s! We made the best of it having curry and rice and ragout and rice but it would have been better to have had some vegetable with it. After eating we took a slow wander back to the dock and dinked back out to the boat for the night. Ross volunteered to do the bakery run in the morning so we didn’t have to get up early. We said good night and settled in for the night.



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