Saturday, 31 May 2014

More Nuku Hiva - Anaho and Haataivea Bays

We are leaving Anaho Bay this morning (30 May 14) and heading the the neighouring bay to the west, Hatiheu Bay so that we are better positioned to hike up to the archeological sites. Apparently this takes about 3 hours off the hike which some of the other kid boat would prefer. There is also supposed to be a small village there.

The funny old orange kayak that we bought off Craig's List in San Diego for very little is getting lots of miles (and good exercise for me as it is not the most efficient kayak in the world). After our very wet and bouncy windard trip to one of the beaches to catch up the other kids we then hiked to Haataivea Bay to the east of Anaho. Quite breathtaking as you crested the ridgeline and descended down to the very windswept and wave pounded beach. It looked more like Scotland than the tropics. I took a few photos with the go pro - the only camera I was carrying - but it does not do it justice. The kids played for hours building a forts and refining the bows and arrows in their armoury. The kayak back just as the sun was setting was more sedate and graced with a very close dolphin show. The dolphins were spinning as they jumped so curious what that behavior indicates. Our guess is that they are actively fishing but will try find out once we have internet again.

Yesterday was a maintenance day for me catching up on preventative and corrective maintenance. I was suspicious that we had a saltwater leak in the engine compartment as our two year old gearbox had more surface corrosion than it did before. I found that the foot operated salt water pump for the sink (which we use to reduce our fresh water usage) was leaking onto the transmission but also that there is a hint that the exhaust elbow may also have a pinhole leak. I did bit of an adhoc repair to the salt water pump to see if it will stop leaking but I think it will be a candidate for replacement in NZ as it requires what looks like a cork seal. I have cleaned up the exhaust elbow and tightened the hose clamp for the cooling water so will see if that sorts out that leak when we run the engine next. There is a small black dot on the weld so it is certainly suspicious. If it is indeed the elbow leaking I will see if I can repair it with JB Weld. The elbow is only two years old and was custom made for us in Anacortes so will be disappointed if it is failing already. In my further search I found two hose clamps that needed replacing due to excessive corrosion. The surface corrosion on the transmission will be dealt with by some nasty rust remover and more engine paint. I took apart the vang too to locktight the bolts and to add some shims to reduce play in the system. Looking forward to finding a machine shop to make me some parts ...


Liz's letter from 26 May 14:


Greetings from the middle of the afternoon!

I had the choice at 10:30 last night when everyone else was sleeping to call it a night myself or sit at the computer for "just a few minutes". I chose the former in the hope that I could write to you during the day today... and now, here we are - typing in the daytime!

Max and the kids have paddled with bows and arrows in hand over to the "far" beach for the afternoon with most of the other kid boats. The NZ mum from the neighbouring boat has just gone home from popping over to get her "Benjamin fix" (which was lovely because I washed the dishes and mashed bananas for bread while she was here without a little person strapped to me). Now I have a moment to write. Will wonders never cease!

Yesterday's adventure was a hike to a garden where we could get tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and of course, pamplemousse and bananas. By the time I loaded Max's backpack with 10 pamplemousse (avg size 8" diameter), there was no room for eggplant or watermelon that were also growing there. Everything was growing when we arrived, so it was certainly fresh! The garden is about 20 min beyond the far beach (which requires a surf landing) or just over an hour from the close beach, so we walked a long way. You appreciate your food a lot more when you carry it by hand an hour home in the heat!

Once back at the close beach, a local couple was just arriving in their small power boat. Max offered to help bring it ashore [en francais bien sur]. They didn't need our help, but once they alighted, the lady came over with a fish in her hands - Pacific Bonita, for us! No, she didn't want anything from us in return. When I asked if it would be good for poisson cru, and if so, how should I make it, she told me that it would be good, and that I would need lemons. I told her that we had none, and asked where I should get some. She pointed to a tree across the field, and suggested that I ask the lady in that house if we could have some. Soon Max and I found ourselves tromping among the coconuts and other unknown trees looking for the "citronier", which had seemed reasonably easy to see from the beach, but stumped us a bit when we were closer... eventually we found it (after asking directions once more) and went home with a pocket full of tiny lemons. Since we still had mahi mahi and tuna in the fridge, the bonita will wait until tomorrow. We had heard of this kind of hospitality before, but this was our first experience of it - lovely!

The next challenge was to return four big people, one baby, two backpacks, and a grocery bag of produce back to Fluenta ... Max managed it in two trips, but our little kayak was heavily laden!

After our return to Fluenta for a (very) late lunch, our NZ neighbours came by with their 9 yr old daughter to see if the kids wanted to play at the close beach for a bit. On their return, Victoria prepared the rest of our mahi mahi for frying in coconut oil. This had been step 1 of our coconut curry fish (Cruiser's Fishing Guide Coconut Fish #2, plus bananas, minus other veg ... we use what we have) the previous evening, and she liked it so well that she wanted it for dinner last night. We ended up with four kinds of fish on the table (tuna poisson cru attempt #1 ... hopefully to be improved for attempt #2, sashimi tuna with sesame oil, soya sauce and rice vinegar on the side, fried mahi mahi, and coconut mahi mahi). There were a few bites of green beans each, as a hungry Johnathan had cut them one for the pot and one for himself. I can't complain as it was very late and there are worse things for him to snack on, but I might ask a grownup to cut them tonight :)

Today was a little less adventurous. Victoria has been badgering us since we left Mexico to bake bread. Yesterday when I came across good descriptions of the bread components and process in two of my cookbooks, I told her that she could bake if she would also do a science report on the ingredients and their purpose, as well as the overall process. (We have a month to go, and I am trying to create school where I can!) She agreed, so this morning (after she had drawn me *my* star chart test ("To which horizon is this boat sailing - N, NW, W, SW, etc?" - Max has already had a few of these to do), we got to work. Just as we were waiting for hot water to cool so we could add yeast, the couple from SV Roundabout (Pam and Ted from Alberta) dropped over for a visit. They also spent last year in Mx, so it was fun to catch up, and Victoria was patient with my divided attention. We got it done: Victoria was kneading the dough as they left, and I have been punching it down for her this aft. Her plan is to make one loaf and one treat (Auntie Sarah's cinnamon ball bread, a tea ring, or her own concoction ... either way it will have an addition of cinnamon, sugar and butter!) We will likely go to the close beach for a "sundowner" (and hopefully planning tomorrow's hike) once they come back, then it will be time for baking bread, banana bread, and dinner.

Every day, we have been hoping to use our bbq, but it has been too windy thus far. Tonight seems the same (5 kts gusting 15-20 kts). Tuna is nicest bbq'd, but it may have to go into the pan anyway. On the subject of wind, this would be the perfect location to launch Trickle - sheltered bay, lots of kids, clear water, a plan to stay here long enough to merit the effort of launching and recovery, etc - but constant gusting wind has prevented us every day thus far. On the other hand it has led to some interesting math-on-the-march: yesterday's discussion during our hike was along the lines of "if the wind force goes up with square, and Trickle likes 7 kts, but we get 14 kts, how much more force is that? What about 21 kts (like we have had here)? What about 28 kts (like we had in Fatu Hiva)? Even without launching Trickle, she is very much part of the family!

Anyway, I hope our note finds you well, and that spring will soon find its way to your lawn and garden. Sounds like everyone at home would appreciate a little warmth right about now!

Love, Elizabeth

PS - This is where I left my note at about 5pm. Now it is again approaching midnight, the boat is quiet, the bread (one plain loaf, one cinnamon ball loaf, one banana bread, and 6 (huge) muffins) is baked, the dishes are washed, the counters are wiped, everyone else is sleeping, and I am again returning to the laptop to send a middle-of-the-night epistle. Just after I finished writing the main note, Max & our friends came back from the far beach to see if Benjamin and I might like to go with them for a drink on the close beach. We jumped aboard the dingy, Max & Victoria paddled in the kayak (Johnathan had come back in the dingy, and he did an admirable job of handling the painter, getting Benjamin's life jacket on, pushing us off, etc), and we had a nice little visit ashore (that lasted until rain and sunset colluded to send us back to the boat). One of the dads had gone back early, and since all the kids were chilly, they had all hopped aboard - he was like the pied piper with about 8 kids and himself in his dingy, delivering them boat to boat). Dinner was therefore well late - we didn't return to the boat til 6:30, and then (of course) banana bread needed to be mixed and yeast bread needed to be formed - so thank goodness for popcorn and flexible tummies! Max braved the winds after all, and the last of our tuna was delicious seared on the bbq and served with mashed potatoes, green beans, cucumber, and tomatoes. It looks like we will stay put tomorrow, and perhaps sail over to the next anchorage, rather than hiking there from here. Some of the families are concerned that the 8-hr round trip might be a bit much for little legs ... we shall see what the next few days bring...

Once again, love to all, E
At 5/26/2014 9:23 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°49.00'S 140°04.00'W
At 5/26/2014 9:23 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°49.00'S 140°04.00'W

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