Greetings from Nuku Hiva.
We arrived Saturday afternoon at 1:00 PM Sophie time (UTC – 8), which means we made the passage from San Diego in 18 days and 21 hours. I am told by some of our new friends here that we had a fast passage. Personally, I am thankful that we had a great crew, no one got hurt, and nothing really broke on Sophie.
Here is the view that greeted us Saturday morning after 18 days at sea.
It’s hot here at anchor in the harbor, and now that we are no longer sailing I think that the ice maker has replaced the bimini and the Kindle as my favorite thing on the boat. We’ve been going through about 5 loads of ice a day since we arrived.
Once our anchor was down, we opened a bottle of champagne and toasted our successful voyage. We then opened another bottle, and we then switched to margaritas. I broke out the barbecue and cooked a couple of pounds of sausages.
After that we all jumped into the warm water and swam around for an hour. (We’ve since cut back on our harbor swimming because we’ve been told the gray sharks are 12-14 feet long here).
Then we all dried off and dinghied into town and went for a walk. It was really, really hot. I mean HOT. We found a store and bought a baguette and a case of Hinano (50 cl bottles) and then headed back to Sophie for another swim. Dinner was a birthday pizza party, after which I immediately fell asleep on the couch. Rich and Dan still had some gas in their tanks, so to speak, and dinghied into town after dark to attend a Polynesian masquerade ball. Rich was impressed by the drums. Overall he felt that he had a wonderful birthday.
Sunday was the first full day of our cruising life. Everyone slept really well Saturday night. We woke up and went for a swim. Jenna, Leo and I each paddle boarded. Rich and I went into town and bought two more baguettes. Dan and Leo went fishing. We met a German couple with a 5 year old girl in town, and Katerina and Hazel were soon sitting at our aft cockpit table making puppets.
Dan caught a 20 pound fish in the harbor, but we later learned that it really wasn’t safe to eat. So we had a tuna barbecue instead and invited the German couple along with Dave and Kathy from the Atlantic 48 “Lightspeed” over for dinner.
Monday was hot. We played around with making shades for the aft cockpit. We met Gaston, a 12 year old French boy from the steel schooner “Valhalla” that had just arrived from Chile, and he and Leo because immediate friends. Gaston joined us for a flank steak dinner followed by a sleepover.
Tuesday centered around our big ATV adventure. We rented 3 vehicles and followed the French cruiser Ofred to a beautiful valley and some quiet bays on the eastern side of the Island. We then visited an archeological site.
Afterwards Dan spent about 6 hours getting a tattoo, followed by a pizza dinner with everyone at a restaurant in town.
We couldn’t have asked for better crew for the trip. They were cooks, crew, family, friends, fishermen and cleaners, all rolled into a single package. It won’t be the same without them, and both Hazel and Leo have been a little sad and grumpy today. Rich and Dan have become friends, though, and Dan is already planning a visit to Rodental for one of Rich’s summer festivals. We will miss both of them very, very much.
We’ll be a cruising family of four for the next 6 weeks as we explore the Marquesas and the Tuamatos. We then pick up Max and Becca in Papeete in mid-May to kick off our summer social season. We’ve made it, we’re healthy, school is going well, nothing on the boat is broken, and we have an icemaker. We’re in pretty good shape.