Sailing Around The World

Archive for June, 2013

Good Morning Folks Or I should say Good Monday!

Glad you stopped by my blog this morning at work and don’t worry, your boss has know idea and if they do then a great compliment goes far. Yup that’s right its Sunday evening here about 6:30pm and on the East coast it is 12:30am. You know it’s hard to explain that drinking on a Sunday night is not a bad thing but if you have a job that requires you to be chained to the desk from 7am to 5pm,  5 days a week , you would shun me. Well I work very hard at not dyeing each day we sail and repairing everything that breaks each day. I feel more like MacGyver in the TV show each day. I surprise myself what I can do with the tools I have. But back to the whole drinking thing, I know its bad to drink on Sunday but after a few Glasses of red wine and a beer I feel like a leaf just falling form a tree on a warm fall evening with the smoky sent of the fire place nearby. Ok, after that sentence I guess I should put down the second beer, LOL. FYI “LOL” means “lough out loud” don’t worry mom & dad gotcha covered on the text language. Well you know when you have a double fisted grip on some local Hinano Tahiti beer you just have to finish it. Then wake up at 6am when the old man is rummaging around the galley for his breakfast and you just say “fuck it” get up and sail through the reef and on to Northern Tahiti, “day 200”. Yes life with your parent after you have been away for 12 years is somewhat hard to be re-accustomed too. I shall not get into that right now and continue with the real point of this blog. What we did in Tahiti was clean the boat from 8am to 2 pm. Then Adam and I listened to a motocross track on the main land and were drawn to the sound like bugs to a zapper. We dinghy to shore and walked a ¼ mile to a motocross track and watch the local all-stars ride the dirt bikes in a motocross. Then when we got back to the boat we watched some crazy asshole fly some little plans off the anchorage around our heads and then land again as we enjoyed some wine. After that Adam made some dinner with my dad’s continuing impute and we drank more beer. Off to northern Tahiti tomorrow and hopefully markets of fruit, bread, meat, and great people to talk to. Miss you Beautiful Lady!

Enjoy It, each Drop, each Flavor, each Day, Enjoy Life

Jacques

 

A little motocross, its just amazing that such a small island contains such a sport.

A little motocross, its just amazing that such a small island contains such a sport.

This guy took first in his heat and I think just about any rider in the US could smokem. But "A+" for effort

This guy took first in his heat and I think just about any rider in the US could smokem. But “A+” for effort

This guy just got big air lol! Yup ready to buy another motocross bike again , lol!

This guy just got big air lol! Yup ready to buy another motocross bike again
, lol!

Yup, I always thought about making my  red radio flyer wagon into a plan but this guy beat me to it. DAM IT Every time

Yup, I always thought about making my red radio flyer wagon into a plan but this guy beat me to it. DAM IT Every time

Dam thing got off the water

Dam thing got off the water


Tahiti, Fakarava Photo’s

Today we took a bus from our anchorage on the south end of Tahiti to the north main city of Papeete. We were only there for 3 hours and had to get back on the bus after we found out that the bus stops running at 12pm. So we climbed back onto the bus and went back to Dragonsbane to fix stuff, scrub stuff and watch a great moon rise and sunset. I also took some time to catch you up on my photo’s of our travels through the Tuamotu Islands. I started with Tahiti landfall when we sailed into our anchorage early in the morning. Then I back track to Fakarava Island in the Tuamotu’s. Enjoy!

As the sun rose over South Tahiti it shined over the mountains that rise 4500 feet above sea level and the sunlight warmed my face as we searched the reef breakers for our narrow passage into the anchorage as Adam slept below.  It was a cold night became its winter here, almost 75 degrees last night!

As the sun rose over South Tahiti it shined over the mountains that rise 4500 feet above sea level and the sunlight warmed my face as we searched the reef breakers for our narrow passage into the anchorage as Adam slept below. It was a cold night became its winter here, almost 75 degrees last night!

The clouds tried to snuff out the sun but it fought through the clouds and ended up being a great day in Tahiti!

The clouds tried to snuff out the sun but it fought through the clouds and ended up being a great day in Tahiti!

Later that day in our anchorage called the Port du Phaeton the local canoe paddleing club raced by our boat for a hour or two.

Later that day in our anchorage called the Port du Phaeton the local canoe paddleing club raced by our boat for a hour or two.

Ok so back tracking now! The photo is us entering the lagoon passage in north Fakarava .

Ok so back tracking now! The photo is us entering the lagoon passage in north Fakarava .

As we sailed in a squall started to race toward us but the little strip of land was enough to fend it off and the sun came out shortly after this photo.

As we sailed in a squall started to race toward us but the little strip of land was enough to fend it off and the sun came out shortly after this photo.

After we set the anchor we took the dinghy in and walked onto the main road or I should say the only road on Fakarava.

After we set the anchor we took the dinghy in and walked onto the main road or I should say the only road on Fakarava.

As we walked along we snapped a few pictures and this is a pixcture of the dock off the dive shop where we arranged our dives.

As we walked along we snapped a few pictures and this is a pixcture of the dock off the dive shop where we arranged our dives.

We road bikes up and down the strip of land and took a few photos of the landscape.

We road bikes up and down the strip of land and took a few photos of the landscape.

More landscape of north Fakarava

More landscape of north Fakarava

Our showers after diving the north passage of Fakarava. Adam and I did our first Nitrox dive and went down 120 feet. I love Nitrox because you can dive for over a hour with little effort.

Our showers after diving the north passage of Fakarava. Adam and I did our first Nitrox dive and went down 120 feet. I love Nitrox because you can dive for over a hour with little effort.

Just a little 2 track that we walked to get our bikes and some lunch from some local persons home.

Just a little 2 track that we walked to get our bikes and some lunch from some local persons home.

Well this is the Fakarava school bus and public bus as well.

Well this is the Fakarava school bus and public bus as well.

Typical transportation

Typical transportation

The only store which had very limited items and that was no surprise to us. I guess I am getting used to have only the basic foods and nothing else.

The only store which had very limited items and that was no surprise to us. I guess I am getting used to have only the basic foods and nothing else.

Yup life is so hard here the dog has to take a nap at 1 in the afternoon.

Yup life is so hard here the dog has to take a nap at 1 in the afternoon.

Time to get out of North Fakarava and sail to south 26 miles to South Fakarava which we did on the inside of the island through the lagoon.

Time to get out of North Fakarava and sail to south 26 miles to South Fakarava which we did on the inside of the island through the lagoon.

Few sailboats in front of us that we passed, just saying!

Few sailboats in front of us that we passed, just saying!

Welcome to the new neighborhood in South Fakarava.

Welcome to the new neighborhood in South Fakarava.

Nice little house off our anchorage.

Nice little house off our anchorage.

First shot off the back of Dragonsbane and we could not believe how clear the water is. We are anchored in 30- feet of water.

First shot off the back of Dragonsbane and we could not believe how clear the water is. We are anchored in 30- feet of water.

The only restaurant that only served dinner with reservation only . Also the bungalow for the diviers that came here to dive only for a few days.  That’s it, that’s south Fakarava!

The only restaurant that only served dinner with reservation only . Also the bungalow for the diviers that came here to dive only for a few days. That’s it, that’s south Fakarava!

As we ate lunch and through orange peels into the water the fish would swim up and try and eat the peels even a big grouper.

As we ate lunch and through orange peels into the water the fish would swim up and try and eat the peels even a big grouper.

And then more fish!

And then more fish!

Then the sharks that we dived with and snorkeled came to check out the action and ate the shit out of the fish LOL!

Then the sharks that we dived with and snorkeled came to check out the action and ate the shit out of the fish LOL!

Adam and I went to shore and my dad took this picture of us looking into the water for coral heads that are near the surface. You had to weave around them so you would not rip a hole in the dinghy or damage the outboard motor.

Adam and I went to shore and my dad took this picture of us looking into the water for coral heads that are near the surface. You had to weave around them so you would not rip a hole in the dinghy or damage the outboard motor.

Ok well sometimes you hit a coral head and your not so happy with yourself. Good news is that no damage was done, lol.

Ok well sometimes you hit a coral head and your not so happy with yourself. Good news is that no damage was done, lol.

Ok this is looking from the lagoon side of Fakarave to the Pacific ocean which as you can see is not far away.

Ok this is looking from the lagoon side of Fakarave to the Pacific ocean which as you can see is not far away.

As you can see the beach is very gray and all coral. This is the beach on the pacific side of the island that face the non-stop punishment of the Pacific Ocean.

As you can see the beach is very gray and all coral. This is the beach on the pacific side of the island that face the non-stop punishment of the Pacific Ocean.

Ok so remember when I blogged about the crazy guy who made pizza in a skirt and served us a salad that was only tomatoes? Well this is his bungalow and resort for divers and crazy sailors! This is the entrance into his own little dock.

Ok so remember when I blogged about the crazy guy who made pizza in a skirt and served us a salad that was only tomatoes? Well this is his bungalow and resort for divers and crazy sailors! This is the entrance into his own little dock.

Looking down the side of the lagoon and his speed boat to the dock we arrived on.

Looking down the side of the lagoon and his speed boat to the dock we arrived on.

The tables we ate pizza

The tables we ate pizza

Looking down from our table into the ocean pool you could see all these little fish.

Looking down from our table into the ocean pool you could see all these little fish.

After walking through the dock side you entered the bungalows and the center garden.

After walking through the dock side you entered the bungalows and the center garden.

All the bungalows where on land and sea.

All the bungalows where on land and sea.

Another cool bungalow.

Another cool bungalow.

If you can recall to my blog of the 3rd worlds largest waterfall  in Nuka Hiva, I talked about the man I meet in the jungle there. Well this is him and he was I think a little touched in the head but I really like the guy. He was very nice! The Photo was given to me by our good friends from Compass Rosy

If you can recall to my blog of the 3rd worlds largest waterfall in Nuka Hiva, I talked about the man I meet in the jungle there. Well this is him and he was I think a little touched in the head but I really like the guy. He was very nice! The Photo was given to me by our good friends from Compass Rosy

 

Just remember, god did not intend for man to sit in a office cubical and look into a computer screen for 50 years. So let it all go and find what makes you happy, so do that STUPID. I know that I will when I return to the USA.

Love Life and enjoy it! You only get One!

Thanks,

Jacques

 


Swimming With Sharks Video South Fakarava

Taken at 100 feet below the ocean in a 3 knot current pushing us into the Fakarava Lagoon. You see most of the sharks at the 3/4 mark.

Thanks,

Jacques

One more video of the same dive but in 60 feet on a reef wall. FUN STUFF A?


Day 2 to Tahiti, Lots of Wind

We are currently 30 nautical miles off the south end of Tahiti. Our destination is the Port du Phaeton on the South West end of Tahiti. The wind is blowing 25 to 30 knots and we have been averaging 7.5 knots which will put us at the Tahiti reef entrance at 4 in the morning. We have decided to heave too 30 miles off the coast until midnight. Then we will begin to sail again and should arrive at the reef entrance to Port du Phaeton around 8am. Hopefully the currents are weak like many of our friends have informed us. I would hate to do white water rafting again through the tall waves that block most of the reef passes when the current is opposite of the offshore waves.

We are all glad to be back at a more modern location but it is bitter sweet. We will have to start locking up Dragonsbane and the dinghy on shore. It is true that when you get to a modern country the crime is much worse then out in the small island chains. I personally like the feeling of no crime and that if there is a crime it could only be a handful of people. Anyway I hope to post pictures and video when we get settled on Tahiti Island.

Current Position: 17deg 45.9min South, 148deg 36.0min West

Thank you all,

Jacques


On Our Way to Tahiti; PIZZA?

We left this morning to Tahiti and it should be a 2 day sail. Our speed right now is 7 knots heading 236 degrees. The weather forecast is calling for winds to stay 20 knots all the way to Tahiti which is great news.

Last evening I found out that there was a man on the little spit of land that we anchored in front of that made pizza. The catch was that you need to have at least 6 people for him to fire up his mud oven for pizza. So I motored around the little anchorage and found 11 people to eat pizza. It really was not that hard to get folks to join us for a pizza dinner, salad, and dessert for $2000 Franks each. The other reason being that there is no restaurants on the south end of the island so this was a nice find. The French pizza mans name was Nihiru and owned his own bungalow right on the island. His location was very cool, after you made your way through the maze of shallow coral heads with your dinghy you tied up to a small concrete dock, greeted by a old dog wagging his tail. The Lagoon was part of his bungalow and the ocean water pooled right next to where we ate pizza. The roof was a high peaked A-frame with long tables under it. The pacific ocean breeze kept us very cool and the water was filled with tropical fish. We dined with 6 English, and the rest Americans. We drank wine and talked about everything, but like all conversation we drifted into the difference in political, government, and life in our own countries. The pizza was made by Nihiru who ran the fire mud oven well wearing a green flower skirt and no shirt. He was a very fun busy guy and kept telling us not to give any wine to his works because they would drink all night and not work tomorrow. He served us first the salad which I thought would be lettuce, vegetables, and dressing. Nope his salad was just tomatoes and dressing. Not one person was upset about having just a tomato salad because none of us has seen tomatoes in a months and we enjoyed the tomatoes very, very much. Then he served the pizzas two at a time that had cheese, red sauce of some kind, chicken, and another white sauce. They were all very good pizzas. Then he served a dessert cheese pie that had crumbled honey granola on it, which ended up being very tasty. He collected his money and said stay as long as you like but I am off to bed. So we all drank a little more wine, and chatted with full stomachs. As the evening wore on we all dinghy back to our mother ships and slept under a clear star night sky.

Current Position: 16deg 51.36min south, 146deg 14.87min West, COG 238 SOG: 6.5 kts

Enjoying life is hard sometimes, but always worth the risk!

Thanks,

Jacques


Fist Full of Black Pearls, Chasing Sharks!

I dont know if I have mentioned that French Polynesia is the best place in the world. Over the last few days I have enjoyed diving in the northern and southern passes of Fakarava Island. I saw many of the famous black pearl farms that supply the world with some of the best pearls. I personally bought a hand full of low grade black pearls and a few high grade pearls that have already been set/jeweled. Yesterday we sailed 28 nautical miles through the interior of Fakarava Island and weaved our way through the coral heads and reefs to the southern end of the island. Adam and I had scheduled two dives at the southern passage that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Fakarava Lagoon. The northern pass has a current of five knots and the southern pass has a current of 10 knots. The nice thing is we are anchored on the inside of the southern area of the island which is nice and calm. But the bottom is littered with coral and the anchor chain makes lots of noise as it drags across the coral. The really nice thing is that the water is so clear you can see 40 feet down like you are looking through air. The most interesting thing about the southern end of Fakarava is the black and white tipped reef sharks. After we anchored we ate some lunch and through some old bread off the back of Dragonsbane. First a school of 30 or 40 black fish swam up and started eating the bread, then a few 40lbs groupers swam up and sucked in the bread like a vacuum. Then 12 black tipped reef sharks showed up and they were 4 to 8 feet long. The water boiled with tropical fish and sharks around us and I was like a little kid again laughing up a storm watching them swim around Dragonsbane. I could not wait to go diving with all the sharks.

Today we went diving and I can say that it was the best diving I have ever done. We dove with Nitrox enriched oxygen tanks and went to depth of 104 feet. We dropped into the pacific ocean and descended down to 100 feet and rode the current into the lagoon along the coral walls through the southern pass. The water was so clear I felt like I was superman flying through the sky. There was millions of tropical fish and really big fish. Eels, Rays, Grouper, and tons of fish that I have never seen inches away from my face. Then halfway through our dive were the current was the strongest, there was over 200 black tipped sharks swimming in schools. We drifted right through them and I could not believe how big the sharks were. I took lots of film and I hope I will get a good internet connect soon so I can share some of the video. Today was one of those days you hear people talk about but you never think its really as good as they say. Well its all true and I am so glad I am doing this trip. Life to short, live now!

Thanks,

Jacques


Life is Better With Less

Fakarava Island is a very beautiful and laid back like many of the Pacific Islands I have had the pleasure of visiting. The Island is 32 miles long and 15 miles wide but the middle is a lagoon of water that we are anchored in. The perimeter of the island is land and you can walk from the pacific ocean beach to the inside lagoon beach in 5  minutes. Today we rented some bikes and peddled up and down the strip of land and stopped at many of the local homes. At the driveway of many of the local homes they have signs that say SNACK. I would turn down there drive way and peddle down to their home on the beach and they would offer to make us sandwiches or a whole meal of food. I would also be offered handmade crafts that were all made from local black pearls, stones, shells, and beads. I have been collecting a lot of the handmade necklaces, and bracelets because they are so complex and beautiful. They only cost between 1 to 20 dollars depending on how much you dicker and deal or how well you speak French.

I must say again that the Pacific French Polynesia Islands are 150% better than the Caribbean Islands. Every cruiser that I have talked with that has been in both locations has agreed with me. I know in the future that I will return to the French Polynesia, and hopefully with my own family. The area is void of large groups of tourist and commercial development. This allows you to experience a more true and unique appreciation for the communities food, lifestyle, and conservation. Based on my months of experiences here I personal feel like I have surrounded myself in the past with too many material items that I thought I needed. I know now that I am much better off to be without, then responsible for them or have the stress to care about them. Life is better with less, because it gives you more time to be better at life.

Enjoy Life,

Jacques 

Pictures!

Picture from the beach of our anchorage

Picture from the beach of our anchorage

Walking down the main road in town

Walking down the main road in town

Biking down the Island road

Biking down the Island road

Having dinner on the beach with some other cruisers! We made hamburgers

Having dinner on the beach with some other cruisers! We made hamburgers

Chatting with some young peolpe my age. They are from Germany, and LA.USA

Chatting with some young peolpe my age. They are from Germany, and LA.USA

Sunset Again

Sunset Again