July 16, 2001 ~ July 31, 2001
July 31, 2001
We dinghied over to several of the Seven Islands and walked in the shallows between two islands, covered with nesting, mating and flying birds, making much more noise than my parrotts ever made! They were many different species of terns and boobies. We did not venture too near for fear of scaring the mother away from the nest. We then went to another larger island with more coconut palms and dense vegetation. We walked almost around that island, seeing blue footed boobies, and all-white terns, etc. etc. We also saw many little black tip reef sharks in the shallows, while we were beaching the dinghy. Unfortunately, I did not take my camera (for fear of getting it wet, since it was still blowing hard), so I do not have any pictures of these islands, nor the nesting colonies of birds. Once again, we noticed how healthy and pristine the environment is....how beautiful nature is with no contact with man!
We snorkeled on the reef extending out from the island and experienced the BEST snorkelling so far. Unfortunately, we needed to return for lunch and we were concerned about returning to the other anchorage, since we had not officially cleared in or talked with the rangers, so we only snorkeled for about half an hour!
We had lunch while anchored and then sailed the four miles back to the anchorage. Now THAT is my kind of sailing!!!!!! Very smooth seas with just the genoa out...perfect. We anchored using our floats/fenders to keep our chain up off the coral. We dinghied into shore and were very graciously welcomed by Tom and John, the caretakers from Rarotonga. They presented us all with a green drinking coconut! Oh! are they ever delicious! We also met Gabby (Gabriella), an Austrian girl, on *Tilicum Triton* an Italian boat. We were invited to a fish barbecue ashore at 6pm that evening. A sailfish was caught that morning by John and Tom from *Shadowfax X* I made my Five Bean Salad and rice and we had a WONDERFUL barbecue. The fish was absolutely delicious and everyone made wonderful dishes to share. We were quite an international anchorage: Britain, South Africa, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, United States, Italy, and Australia with John and Tom from Cook Islands/New Zealand. These experiences are what makes all the tough rough passages worthwhile!!! We didn't return to our boat until 10pm....absolutely stuffed with delicious food and good feelings from meeting new friends from around the world!
July 30, 2001
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Shirley and Bob! Congratulations!!! 35 years!!
When we turned on the VHF when we awoke, we realized that either *Silver Heels* or *Bow Bells* had a BIG problem during the night!!! We heard later in the morning that their anchor chain/rope had broken early in the evening, and *Bow Bells* had to motor around all night, which would be very scarey since there are shallow spots where they could hit the coral. John (one of the caretakers) and Andy on *Silver Heels* with the help of other cruisers on their dinghies, dove and retrieved the lost anchors and *Bow Bells* was once again anchored safetly. Thank heavens the wind had switched to a more northerly direction so that they had some relief from the fetch, even though it was still blowing 25+!
We sent out an email update and then went snorkeling for almost an hour before lunch. The coral here is quite different (actually it might be the same as elsewhere, but here we can see the bottom in 60-75 feet of water!)! The view when you first enter the water is magnificent! You feel like you at looking down from a 100 story building with beautiful blue water, coral pinnacles of varying heights (some coming all the way to the surface) and sizes, with many brightly colored fish and clams! We snorkeled in complete and utter amazement of such absolute pristine beauty! This is the way God made the reefs....and this is the way all coral reefs should be around the world!
After lunch we snorkeled at a different spot, where we saw sharks, rays, clams and fish. Eric speared two parrot fish and one grouper, enough for two dinners for the four of us, while we were in the water for about an hour.
We had a delicious dinner of parrot fish, rice, carrots, corn bread and chocolates before we watched a very entertaining movie, "What Planet Are You From?" We recommend this movie to everyone....VERY funny!
We had winds up to 25 knots during the night, so we are hoping that all is well back at the anchorage. We were also surprised that no one else sailed over here for protection and relief. Those poor cruisers were on anchor watch for 4-5 nights! We also received information over our Inmarsat and the SSB, that *Amoha III* had broken/lost their rudder about 150 miles from Suwarrow and put out a MAYDAY! We informed them that *Bagan* a motor vessel should be nearby, possibly able to offer assistance.
July 29, 2001
We ALL survived the night with water coming over the bow, with winds clocked at 39 knots and a swell of 3-4 feet. I cleaned the boat (which was in disarray after our passage), while David and Eric tried to figure out if we could and should move. We were very concerned about spending another night here like last night, so we decided to move across the lagoon to the Seven Islands, even though we had not been ashore to speak with the two park rangers (we did not have our dinghy in the water and nobody was going ashore in these winds anyway!) to ask their permission. We had a great deal of trouble pulling up our anchor on the first try and lost our boat hook overboard, which we assume we will find when we return since we could easily see it on the bottom. We managed to pull up the anchor on the second try and motored the 3-4 miles across the lagoon and were anchored in about 60 feet there behind the motu. We still had lots of wind, but NO fetch so no waves, and no reef as a lee shore. It was VERY surprising to us that no one followed us!
We had clam chowder, corn bread and cheese for dinner! We had a wonderful night's sleep! We were so very thankful for a stable anchorage after five nights with very little rest!
July 28, 2001
We were anchored off Anchorage Island, Suwarrow, Northern Cook Islands about 1:30pm with about twelve other boats. We were VERY thankful to be inside the reef with winds of up to 40 knots and seas of 12 feet on the outside! It took us 4 days 4.5 hours for our passage, which was quite excellent compared with 5-6 days for others.
After we were anchored here, we realized that it was pretty difficult here also. We fixed up the boat for anchorage, but I left many items stowed and also kept my patch on! We had a delicious dinner of tuna, corn, rice and brie cheese! We went to bed early, but did not sleep well with the pitching of the boat and the increasing winds. We finally awoke about midnight and maintained an anchor watch until dawn. This is the FIRST anchor watch we have ever had. It was also VERY scarey since we (and all of us in the anchorage) were definitely in danger of losing our boats! We were anchored at about 50feet in coral and had set out the buoys to hold the chain up off the coral with a long snubber. In other situations when anchored in sand, we would turn on the engine and motor to keep the anchor from dragging. But in this situation the danger comes from the boat pitching up and down, jerking the chain against the coral which can cause it to break and using the engine could intensify this. So the only option was to watch and wait for sunrise (the sun does not appear until about 7am!) and immediately start the engine if the anchor chain broke to keep her off the reef behind us!!!
Not a very nice landfall! Anchor watch here was definitely much more stressful than being out at sea!
July 27, 2001
Passage Day #4 and the seas continued to build with higher winds. We lost another mahimahi but managed to land a beautiful skipjack tuna, which was put into the freezer and we ate rotis for dinner in the rough seas. We continued to make good speed in the high winds. I was able to write a few emails and read a sailing magazine. I also finished reading "A Sea Vagabond's World" by Bernard Moitessier, who had many adventures here in the South Pacific, living on Ahe in the Tuamotus and also having contact with Tom Neale who lived on Suwarrow. Tom Neale wrote a book entitled "An Island to Onself." We are hoping to obtain a copy of that to read also. We are anxiously awaiting landfall tomorrow!
July 26, 2001
Passage Day #3 and the seas were getting rougher with higher winds....we took a wave over the bow and the hatch above the computer, SSB, Trimble and stereo leaked a mass of SALT water! Luckily Eric had stowed the computer in its special plastic bag and shut the cabinet door, so NO major damage!!! Thank you! Thank you! This computer is our life line to the WORLD! We just had to clean up all the water and had soggy salty towels hanging around for the duration of our passage.
I also found out that I could keep down French baquettes and soda water. So....I am not skin and bones yet! We had a REALLY rough night with squalls, rain and winds to 40 knots. Then we had no winds and started to really roll while the sails and boom bang as we roll side to side. We seem to go from one extreme to the other. The wind did return and we only needed to motor for about two hours. However, when we have unsettled conditions and squally weather that means that Eric and David need to be on call to back up Ellen and Jason, who can't change sails, etc. So, that means that they do not get the sleep that they need. Not an optimum situation...but we have found that there is a Sailing Law which states that everything is fine during day light, but conditions become very difficult with higher winds and seas during the DARK of night! We wonder often how most of the cruisers do these long passages with only two of them aboard!!! We salute them!!!
July 25, 2001
We were making excellent speed with good winds, but I was still having difficulty with mind over stomach, especially since the stomach was winning, even though I put on a patch last night! This is always so frustrating to me, since I have soooo much work to do on the computer (answering all your nice emails and updating this website daily), and I find that to be very difficult for me to do. I can manage sleeping very expertly!!!! To make matters worse, we lost a beautiful mahimahi, right next to the boat when David was ready to gaff him. Then we almost caught a red tailed Tropic Bird on our lures. Thank heavens, he was not really hooked and flew away unhurt!
July 24, 2001
We were already to go and sailed out of Passe Teavanui, Bora Bora about 9am bound for Suwarrow, Northern Cook Islands. I threw flowers into the water....that will guarantee that we WILL return!!!!:)
We are back on our same watch schedule with four hours during the day and two hours at night. Jason is on 10am-2pm and 12am-2am, David is on 6am-10am and 10pm-12am, Eric is on 2pm-6pm and 2am-4am, and Ellen is on 6pm-10pm and 4am-6am. Eric is responsible for sending/receiving emails about 4-5pm and weather faxes at 8am, 2pm, and 8pm. I am responsible for checking into Russell Radio in New Zealand at about 6pm (we are still on Hawaii time, which is -11UTC) to give our GPS position and to obtain current weather forecasts. I also called in again on 14313 to Pacific Seafarers Net to report our position which you can follow on two different websites. They are: (1) www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps and then type in KH7JL and (2) www.findu.com/cgi-bin/winlink. cgi? KH7JL. You might check periodically when you know that we are on passage to see if we are on either one of these sites. Also, if there are any hams out there, you could contact us on 14313 USB during the roll call of vessels which begins at 0630 UTC (Hawaii time it is 5:30pm) I noted that the last time that we had checked in with Pacific Seafarer's Net (which is based in California with one HAM on the Big Island) was the night before we made our landfall at Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, on April 24, exactly 3 months ago!
I had a pretty rough day...I think I forgot to pack my "sea-legs" and left them in the beautiful turquoise lagoon of Bora Bora! (Maybe I will have to return to get them back!) We had spent almost 3 months in a quiet anchorages! Like I mentioned before, it is also good for trimming the waistline to go without food for several days on passage!
July 23, 2001
Jason's temperature was normal last night and again this morning (and we are hoping that it will stay down and not recur), so we decided to leave tomorrow! Eric and I dinghied into town to purchase as much bread and provisions as we could with about the 800 francs in change remaining!!! (I felt like a little kid raiding her piggy bank when I was paying for these items at check out!) We also wanted to purchase fruit from the roadway stands; however, all items were about double what we had been paying since the big cruise ship *Three* was in the harbor!!!! We did purchase about 15 baquettes....to put off "baquette withdrawal" for yet another few more days!
When we first arrived at the wharf, we were meeting Gene and Sue on *Peregrine* from San Diego, and I glanced around and saw a woman whom I was sure I knew!!! I walked over and asked if she was Joy Gaston from Maui? We couldn't believe it...Joy was Julie's 4-5th grade teacher at Kihei School and I substituted for her class often that year. Joy was Teacher of the Year on Maui, became principal of Kamalii School and is now back in the classroom teaching gifted students! She said that she had been to Bora Bora before (never before on a cruise! but it was cheaper than the overwater bungalows!) and she had spent time with the University of Hawaii/Bishop Museum professor doing research on the mares on Raiatea. Unfortunately, she and Laurie were venturing in search of a motu on the southeast side of the island, and we were busy preparing to leave tomorrow and with Jason's health still in question, we had no time to have them come aboard! We told her where we were anchored, but the cruise ship was still anchored near Vaitape when we set sail, so she will just have to "see" *Peace and Aloha* via the pictures here on our website! Once again....What a small small world!
David and I went back over for one last hour of snorkeling at our favorite spot! We even saw a few new fish and an eel which we had never seen before. Bora Bora is definitely a hard place to leave! We enjoyed our last Bora Bora "green flash" sunset followed by French Bread pizza with brownies for desert for our last evening here after visiting with Mike on *Sundance* from Aspen, Colorado!
July 22, 2001
Another beautiful day in paradise! *Lady Kathyrn* set sail for Rarotonga, while *Daydreamer* set off for Suwarrow. Jason's fever was less today, so hopefully, we will also be on our way soon. No rash, so we are assuming that it is NOT dengue fever! Thank heavens! There were also two very large beautiful sail boats (over 100 feet long) which arrived in the anchorage. It is very hard to imagine the amount of care, the size of the crew, and expense needed to maintain a sailboat of that size! Definitely not in our league!
We snorkeled way out on the reef again today, but couldn't find the exact spot from yesterday where the fish were so friendly, but the coral was still magnificent and the clams so brightly colored. We seem to never grow tired of this snorkeling! We could spend all day under the water ....if we didn't get so cold!
July 21, 2001
Today was another relaxing day, doing odds and ends on the boat, in preparation to leaving on our 4-5 day passage to Suwarrow (Suvarov or Suvorov are other spellings) in the Northern Cook Islands. We have been vascillating about which direction to travel: northwest to Suwarrow, American Samoa, Western Samoa and Tonga or south (really western at about 20 degrees S) to Rarotonga, Beveridge Reef, Niue, and Tonga. We read rave reviews about either route, but were very concerned about the small harbor in Rarotonga with *Peace and Aloha*, and after talking to Cliff on Mulokka III, who pointed out that it is much warmer on the northern route, plus better weather with less gales and storms which seem to cross from New Zealand at about 20 degrees south. We really need to clone ourselves to go in both directions! One really should spend more than one season in all these beautiful islands of the South Pacific.
We dinghied over to the reef on the western side of the Topua motu, just north of the lighthouse and found the most spectacular spot on Bora Bora! Very clear water, many fish with exquisitely colored clams and a huge variety of beautiful colored corals! After we were finished snorkeling, we dinghied along the southwestern coast of the motu, where we had anchored about 5years ago when all of us were aboard *Samara.* Unfortunately, they are building a huge hotel with hundreds of overwater bungalows covering the wonderful reef where we had snorkeled. We continually ask ourselves if there are enough tourists in the world to fill all the over-water bungalows at $500+/night that are being built, especially here in Bora Bora??? The destruction of the natural beauty of the reef and the motus is obvious....We had the feeling that Bora Bora is killing the "Golden Goose!" We find this to be very sad, because Bora Bora still remains, at least in my opinion, THE most beautiful island in the world! But with development, jet skiis, parasailing, overbuilding, destruction of the coral reefs, and price gouging, we are not sure that we will return! We are so fortunate to have experienced The Bora Bora of four and five years ago!
Unfortunately, Jason continued to have congestion and a fever up to 102.6. We were beginning to be concerned that it could possibly be dengue fever (which is still epidemic in Tahiti and Bora Bora); however, none of the symptoms included congestion.
July 20, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Nalu!!! Our grand-dogger is TWO years old today....and we haven't even seen or petted her yet!!! One of the problems with this lifestyle!
Today was rather rainy and cloudy, so we did boat projects: David painted and decorated the flags which I recently made, Eric worked on this computer (not much time left for me to write updates for this website and answer emails after they gather weather faxes 2-3 times per day for almost an hour, receive/send emails and download Inmarsat-C!) and then went over to *Dirtie Dottie* to burn new cds for charts, etc, while I cleaned and made wheat bread for our passage (after we eat up all our fresh baquettes, since we have no room in the freezer for them). David and I did go snorkeling off the boat again for almost an hour (got VERY cold since the water is 82 here!) before we went over to *Dirty Dottie* about 7pm for breadfruit cake (which was delicious!) and tea with Mark and Dorothy before they leave for Rarotonga tomorrow. Unfortunately, Jason"s temperature was still up to over 101, so he stayed home. He was VERY disappointed, since he loves to go visiting/socializing on other boats, especially if he can have coffee or a coke! Dorothy took pity on him and sent him a piece of her yummy cake (I got the recipe, too) and a scone for his breakfast tomorrow!!!
July 19, 2001
*Targquin* stopped by to tell us that Brian on *Windsong* was not doing well and they had decided to fly out to Papeete and then possibly home to see his urologist in Seattle. Betsey emptied her freezer, refrigerator, plus all her fresh fruits and vegetables!!! What a welcomed gift!!! We were feeling terribly guilty receiving ALL this abundance, but they need to turn off everything when they leave the boat. *Tarquin* sailed over to the Bora Bora Yacht Club and found a mooring for them. David and Eric went aboard *Windsong* and helped Betsy motor across the bay. I spent the day getting out cans and food which is stowed under screwed floor boards and under settees, updating my inventory and restowing all in more accessible spots. Eric replaced the water pump on the generator. We snorkeled for almost an hour near the boat. Very beautiful!
We had delicious French Bread pizza for dinner! That is the way it always works...we discover some food which we enjoy and then we leave and can't purchase all the necessary ingredients...in this case, wonderful French Baquettes! Stouffer's frozen ones just don't measure up! Unfortunately, Jason had a fever of 101.6 after dinner with congestion. We are still assuming that he has what David had last week, but David did not have a fever!
July 18, 2001
A busy day in preparation for leaving tomorrow: packaged up the rotis to freeze them, wash down, folded and put away, and I cleaned all the boat, especially the heads! *Bow Bells* and *Silver Heels* left about 9am on their way to Suvarov. Eric went up the mast to check all the rigging....found that he needed to replace a chafed halyard again. He worked on that while David and I went into town to provision, especially for bread (we are going to have "baquette withdrawal" after we leave here! No more French islands, until New Caledonia, but we won't visit there until next year! Actually it is probably just as well for our wallets! We have found the prices here, especially here in Bora Bora, to be extremely excessively expensive!! Quite an increase from when we were here chartering about four years ago!), finished up our phone cards (Sorry, Dad!!!), exchanged our remaining polynesian francs for US$ (lost about $30 on that transaction!), and we met Dorothy and Mark (*Dirty Dottie*) and John and Diane (*Daydreamer*) who were also provisioning. I made brownies and stowed purchased items, while Eric and David worked on the generator and cleaned our "garden" off the bottom....really too bad that we can harvest all these green stuff and eat it!!!
We also heard that *Stella de Marae* had been robbed on their boat, while they were sleeping, at the anchorage on the east side, where we were last week. This was REALLY a shock for all of us! We have continued to lock up our dinghy every night, but have not been shutting and locking the doors. This type of theft is definitely not the norm here in French Polynesia - we think, because the French give them everything that they need!
But we have an added complication: Jason woke up not feeling well with a low grade fever of 99.5! We are assuming it is the same virus which David had last week and continued to make plans to leave tomorrow, assuming that he will feel better and well enough to travel!
July 17, 2001
Eric, Jason and I went into town while David sewed tell-tales on the main sail, as suggested by Cliff on *Mulloka III* (they SHOULD have been installed by Ullman Sails when they were made!!). June and Cliff on Mulloka III headed off about 8am...bound for Suvarov! We stopped at *Windsong* to see how Brian. He seems to be improving on Cipro antibiotic. We went to the Internet Cafe and updated this website, we hope, but had trouble with four of the pictures. We still need your input on this website!!! We arrived at the magasin and NO bread!!! We were soooo surprised because they had lots of bread the last couple of weeks during the festival. We were told that they would have more in the afternoon. We walked about a mile down the road to another store where we purchased carrots and tomatoes, but they had no bread either. We were VERY discouraged since we need to provision somewhat for our 6-7 day passage to Suvarov.
I made rotis for our passage meals and stored the French Polynesian charts and books away, while Eric and David worked on the engine and generator leak. While David and I were defrosting the freezer, which is getting VERY low, with only three fish dinners (no fish to spear around here and none to catch between the islands!) and we are NOT able to purchase chicken breasts here as in Raiatea, only chicken legs! We should LEARN to purchase alot when we have a chance!!) Eric burned some charts on cds after borrowing them from *Silver Heels*. We did a load of wash in preparation for leaving on Thursday.
July 16, 2001
A very BUSY day in preparation for heading west to Suvarov in the Cook Islands! We checked out with the gendarmes, went to the Socredo bank to receive our bond back (after checking the other two banks for today's exchange rate from polynesian francs to US dollars or NZ dollars) which we received back in NZ traveler's checks and polynesian francs (we won't know how we really did until we arrive in NZ and find out how their dollar compares with ours; however, between the four of us, the bond will have cost us about $500-600!!!!), we purchased bread at the "magasin," and the guys borrowed some jerry jugs from Wind Song and Mulokka III to purchase diesel and gas, so they could fuel up after lunch. I finished up sewing the remaining two flags, so that David needs to decorate them (paint on stars and designs!). *Tarquin* came to visit and Pete introduced us to his two daughters: Sally, a veterianarian from Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Carolyn from Tucson. They also informed us that Brian on *Windsong* had an very serious urinary tract infection with prostatitis. We tore our boat apart looking for medical supplies for them. We hope that he will soon be feeling better.